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Tackling technical skills in schools

by | Sep 11, 2019 | Laser Cutters, News

Higher Technical qualifications are on their way!

The Department for Education has recently announced plans for a new set of Higher Technical qualifications. Education Secretary Damian Hinds hopes to get rid of the ‘snobbery’ associated with this type of qualifications. He also wants to put the UK on a level footing with countries like Germany, where an impressive one in four adults has a technical qualification – compared to just one in ten in the UK.

In this article, we’ll discuss the importance of teaching students technical skills. We’ll also look at the classroom technology to support this.

What are Higher Technical qualifications?

Higher Technical qualification status will be given to what are currently level four and five qualifications. These sit between A-levels (at level three) and bachelor degrees (at level six). These qualifications are offered by FE colleges, universities and institutes of technology.

There are as many as 4,000 level four and five courses offered in England, but research shows that a massive 40% of these have fewer than six students enrolled.

The new qualifications, planned to come into effect from 2022, build on existing measures to transform the UK’s technical/vocational education. These include the launch of T-Levels from 2020 and the creation of more apprenticeships.

Why is teaching technical skills in schools important?

Hinds summed up the need for these qualifications as follows: “Employers across the country are crying out for more computer programmers, engineers, electricians and technicians in fields from advanced manufacturing to healthcare.

“But the evidence shows that despite these qualifications putting people in prime position to take advantage of that demand and the opportunities for better wages and better prospects – not enough people know about them.”

The digital skills gap is still very much a reality in the UK. However, with good job and salary prospects for tech-savvy kids, these qualifications could encourage more students to study technical subjects.

Equipment to support teaching technical skills in schools

1) iPads

These are super-versatile classroom tools that can help kids gain a range of useful skills in areas like design, learning to code, collaborative working, project-based learning and more.

2) Interactive screens

Interactive screens are often the hub of the classroom. One of their main benefits is they support the delivery of lessons in a teacher-led, but interactive way. These screens also offer some pretty exciting teaching options, for example creating interactive HD displays or taking kids on ‘virtual’ school trips!

3) 3D printers

These offer kids a hands-on way to learn about an epic range of curriculum subjects and develop useful skills such as teamwork, problem-solving and using their creativity. From a technical viewpoint, kids will also learn about iterative design, prototyping, construction and manufacturing.

4) Laser cutters

Laser cutters provide practical ways to teach kids about product design and engineering components. Students can use these tools to create architectural models, and for woodworking processes like carving and engraving, for example.

Utility Rentals offers an awesome range of flexible rental packages for school-friendly classroom technology to inspire the engineers of tomorrow.

To find out more about our equipment and how it can help support the teaching of technical skills in schools, contact our friendly team.

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