Web based food for thought

Posted on 4 Jan 2010 by The Manufacturer

The National Skills Academy for Food and Drink Manufacturing is developing an interactive online learning zone which it says will help employers get to grips with new work-based qualifications.

The project will allow training providers and employers to share experiences of new unit-based qualifications, Improve Proficiency Qualifications (IPQs) and Improve Vocational Qualifications (IVQs), which allow training to be tailored to specific job roles in all sectors of the industry.

Liz Pattison, a business development manager for the National Skills Academy, said: “The new qualifications framework will see over 1,000 individual units available for delivery just in the food and drink manufacturing sector alone. Ensuring each employee in every business can follow the right combination of these units to suit their job role requires providers who are exceptionally skilled and knowledgeable about the industry. It is important that knowledge and experience is captured and shared to the benefit of all.

“This project will provide an interactive environment which will enable learning professionals to rapidly maximise the opportunities that the new qualifications offer and adapt to the most significant change in qualifications reform in the last 20 years. Providers and employers will be able to diagnose which units are most suitable for particular job roles and offer feedback to ensure delivery is fit for purpose.”

The Learning Improvement Zone aims to enhance relationships between providers, employers, the Further Education sector and the National Skills Academy by developing a support mechanism for them using online social networks, podcasting, RSS feeds, online video and blog technology. It will offer a place to distribute learning materials and share best practice techniques while building a sense of community among learning professionals and engaging with industry.

“Collaboration will be the centrepiece of delivery to ensure providers and employers receive the skills and know-how to improve their performance,” said Liz. “We aim to make full use of ICT technologies to facilitate excellent collaboration and communication, ensuring a truly flexible and employer-led delivery of the new qualifications.”