Further Memorandum from Association of
You may recall that when the Association appeared
before the Employment Sub-committee on 13 December to give oral
evidence in connection with the above inquiry, my colleague Ruth
Silver (Principal of Lewisham College) described an approach which
the college had developed as part of the New Deal FTET programme
which sought to link the training provided to identified jobs
in local companies. The Sub-committee asked for further information
about the scheme and about any similar programmes operating elsewhere
in FE colleges.
I regret to say that I have been unable to locate
any other initiatives of this kind within the FE sector. I am
however enclosing a fuller note about the Lewisham scheme, prepared
by the college, which I hope the Sub-committee will find helpful.
Lewisham College has been piloting a new approach
to training for work. This new approach uses job descriptions
for entry-level administration posts to create training programmes
to prepare suitable clients for work. The job descriptions are
current and have been obtained from large city firms. The pilot
programmes have shown that starting with the employers` needs
and working backwards through course design and delivery to the
prospective employee is effective.
The programme is holistic in its approach and
produces a work-ready client that understands the needs of employers
and can confidently interview for available vacancies.
The aim of the City-Bound programme is to equip
clients with the hard, soft and basic skills required to secure
jobs currently available with large organisations in London.
These firms offer excellent rates of pay at
entry level, outstanding conditions, benefits and career prospects.
The programme lasts a total of 16 weeks and
runs from 9:00am-5:00pm, five days per week. Six to eight weeks
of the programme will be a pre-employment placement (see below
In order to gain a place on the programme clients
must be either New Deal 18-24 or New Deal 25+. Clients must also
sit the Test of Adult Basic Education (TABE). This is an American
test that measures the client`s ability in the following areas:
English vocabulary, English comprehension, Mathematics computation
and Mathematics concepts and applications. The assessment is not
only used as a selection tool, but also to ensure that the programme
can deliver the skills requirements of both the clients and the
The client will be given intensive training
in the current business use of the Microsoft Office Software Packages
Word 97, Exel, PowerPoint and Access and spoken and written business
English. The client will also undergo a personal development programme
that will motivate and inspire, whilst improving communication
skills, developing confidence and preparing the client for interview.
The clients attend a pre-employment work-placement,
which will give them the opportunity to put skills learned on
the course into practice as well as testing their general attitude
to work. Can the client work as part of a team? How do the clients
respond to being supervised? Are they punctual? How do they deal
with internal and external customers?
The pre-employment placement will be with one
of the college`s public sector partners, for example the Local
Authority or Community Health Trust.
The manager or supervisor is asked to give a
rigorous assessment of the client`s attitude to work and performance
whilst on placement. Time spent on the placement is currently
If all elements of the programme are successfully
completed, the client`s Curriculum Vitae (CV) and covering letter
will be sent to an appropriate employer. Currently this could
be KPMG or Deloitte & Touche. The employer reviews all the
CVs and covering letters received and from these decides which
clients they wish to interview. Following the interview the employer
will decide to whom they wish to offer an internship.
The internship covers a period of employment
that lasts 16 weeks. During this period the client is employed
by the college and the college charges the employer an agency
fee. At the end of the 16-week peroid the employer will decide
if they wish to offer the intern a permanent position.
Clients have access to a coaching/mentoring
service whilst they are on the programme. Clients can use this
service to discuss any aspect of the programme or any personal
issues or concerns that they might have.
Each week additional support is available to
clients to allow them to improve their use of business English
or use of numbers.
Progress is assessed throughout the programme
and includes the volume and quality of the work that is produced,
punctuality, attendance, attitude and dress.
All clients will take the Q-WIZZ test. This
is an American IT programme that assesses the client`s ability
to use the Microsoft packages at basic, intermediate and advanced
level. The results of this assessment are used for programme selection
and employment placement purposes.
What happens if the client doesn`t reach the internship
If for any reason clients do not reach the internship
stage they will be given the opportunity to apply for other vacancies,
which the college has access to through its Virtual Personnel
department and via a direct link with the Employment Service database.
They will also be helped with their job search, production of
a professionl CV and covering letter and have the opportunity
to improve and practice their interview skills.
One of the major objectives of this programme
is to place every client into work.
Association of Colleges
Hard Skill Development
Amending text with written instructions
Electronic diary management
Use of sound and graphics
Complete presentation production
Database production and use
Soft Skill Development
An introduction to personal development
Career mapping, management and development
Confidence building and self esteem
Developing a CV and covering/supporting
Time and project management
Professional Interview skills training
at Drake Beam Morin (DBM)
Understanding and surviving in
the corporate culture
Understanding behavioural styles