STEM Foundation

New Partnership Announced to Boost STEM Skills and Training

City & Guilds, a global leader in skills education, is partnering with the New Engineering Foundation (NEF) to improve the quality of vocational education and training for science, technology, engineering and mathematics. 

Through this partnership, NEF will be supporting City & Guilds in the development of its new programmes of study for 14-19 year olds, the TechBac®.  NEF will provide its technical expertise and contributions from its extensive network of industry partners to input into the design elements of the new programme.  This support will help to develop a curriculum in engineering and digital technologies that will deliver productive, valued and responsive technologists for a new age of industry.

Kirstie Donnelly, Director Product Development and Learning Technologies, said of the partnership: ‘We are delighted to be working with NEF on the development and roll out of our TechBac®.  Both organisations are trying to raise the quality of vocational education in this country and help it gain the recognition it deserves for plugging the skills gap in STEM sectors.  Through the partnership, we will be able to get direct feedback and endorsement from employers and the FE community as we continue to develop the TechBac®, ensuring that when we launch next year we have a programmes of study that best meets the needs of employers, learners and colleges.’

Both organisations recognise the importance of developing rounded individuals with the attributes and capabilities valued by employers including business skills, self-awareness and critical thinking. As a way of disseminating and promoting this thinking, NEF has developed the concept of T-Shaped Learning® that supports the development of transferable professional skills and personal qualities in addition to a strong base of technical knowledge.  NEF will be working with City & Guilds to ensure the TechBac® curriculum reflects these principles, giving those who complete the qualification a point of difference when job seeking.

Professor Sa’ad Medhat, Chief Executive of NEF adds, ‘Vocational qualifications, particularly in such subjects as engineering, are vital for our economic growth.  The proposed TechBac® for Engineering development aims to provide a purposeful and valuable technical vocational qualification that higher education institutions and employers will recognise, and that learners will value in fulfilling their aspirations. NEF is proud to be working with City & Guilds on this important new qualification.’

City & Guilds’ new TechBac® programme will demand learners show a balance of knowledge, skills and experience in a vocational area.  A focus on the demonstration of practical skills is likely to require new approaches to delivery on the part of providers. The partnership with NEF will also make available a TechBac®-focused programme of Technical Briefings and Masterclasses to support and strengthen teachers’ understanding of employer requirements, current practices and new technologies.

The City & Guilds TechBac® will be available for learners from September 2014 and, alongside engineering and digital technologies, NEF is working with City & Guilds on other technical vocational qualification streams including construction.

For more information on this new partnership, please contact Sarah Peers at sarah.peers@thenef.org.uk or on 0208 786 3677

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