Qualifications in pole position

A qualification to help bridge the gap between school and work was officially launched at the F1 in Schools finals on September 15.

EAL product specialist, Andy Barton presented the new Level 1 Foundation Certificate to delegates from the UK and around the world at the F1 in Schools Finals being held in Singapore ahead of this weekend’s Grand Prix.

Evolution F1 crowned UK National Champions 2015
Evolution F1 crowned UK National Champions 2015.

F1 in Schools is a national and international competition that tasks teams of students to design, test, manufacture and race a scale model Formula 1 car. The programme is run in almost 50 countries with regional and national finals events.

Winners from each National Final compete at the highest level, the F1 in Schools World Finals, vying for the F1 in Schools World Champions title; the Bernie Ecclestone World Champions trophy; scholarships to City University London, and bursaries for UCL Mechanical Engineering.

Andy Barton, who is also one of the competition judges, joined Nissan, NAC and F1 in Schools to jointly present the curriculum offer to 47 teams from 22 countries.

“There was a lot of interest and positive reaction as to how the EAL qualification can help bridge the gap between school and work, preparing youngsters for employment,” he said.

“Delegates from many countries, including China, Austria, Botswana and the US all left with a pack outlining how the qualification works. It went down very well.”

Specialist awarding organisation EAL is pioneering a raft of new initiatives to drive vocational pathways to work into schools – giving younger pupils the tools that they need to embark on a rewarding career.

The Manufacturer National Skills Conference (15 – 16 October) aims to uncover ways in which businesses can gain higher productivity by focusing on their workforce needs.

The inaugural National Skills Conference will be held in partnership with the Catapults’ most leading centre, The Advanced Manufacturing Training Centre.

Set over two days the conference will provide a platform for discussion about the skills issue currently affecting all aspects of British manufacturing and give the opportunity to make change throughout the industry. This event will explore best practice methods and innovative thinking in developing your workforce.

If your business, like many other companies around the country, struggles to find the necessary skills to allow it to run optimally, then this conference will help provide you with tangible ways to improve your workforce and operational efficiency.

Click here to find out more.

The deal is the first struck by the company’s new Head of Commercial Development, Natalie Wilson.

“EAL’s partnership with F1 in Schools reflects our determination to drive vocational qualifications into the classroom”, she said.

“The F1 in Schools Technology Challenge provides an exciting yet challenging educational experience through the magnetic appeal of Formula One. Teams of learners aged 9 to 19 deploy CAD/CAM software to collaborate, design, analyse, manufacture, test, and then race miniature compressed air powered polyurethane based F1 cars.

“The challenge inspires learners to use IT to learn about physics, aerodynamics, design, manufacture, branding, graphics, sponsorship, marketing, leadership/teamwork, media skills and financial strategy, and apply them in a practical, imaginative, competitive and exciting way.”

EAL’s Level 1 Foundation Certificate in Engineering Technology has three optional units (Introduction to Computer Aided Drawing (CAD), Introduction to Computer Aided Machining (CAM) and Introduction to Engineering project planning) mapped to F1 in Schools activities,helping learners achieve the qualification through activities that would otherwise not be officially recognised.

Wilson added:  “Every pupil taking part in this truly inspirational competition will have the chance to gain a meaningful qualification which could set them off on the right track in life.”

F1 in Schools Founder and Chairman, Andrew Denford hailed the agreement as ‘ground-breaking’; “The magnetic appeal of F1 provides the spark to inspire a new generation of great British engineers through the F1 in Schools programme.

“Thanks to EAL, students participating in F1 in Schools not only benefit from the challenge of the competition, but can also gain a landmark qualification which will be invaluable to them as they progress into further education and their careers.“

Participating schools can utilise one of 15 ‘Make and Race Centres’ – hubs where their designs are manufactured and raced under controlled conditions.

Managing director of EAL, Julia Chippendale, said: “EAL believes in stimulating the imagination of young people – to awaken their drive, ambition and abilities to realise their true potential. This project is the perfect platform to do just that.”