21 May 2015 | Fraser Talbot
I am pleased to introduce myself to BIFM members as one of the newest members of the BIFM team.
I joined BIFM in February as the Professional Standards and Education Manager with responsibility for our awarding function. I have worked in the professional body and education sector for more than 16 years and I am really excited to be working here at BIFM to bring greater opportunities for our members and the wider FM profession.
These are interesting times within the education sector and within the vocational area especially. With the Trailblazer apprenticeships and the UKCES 'Growth Through People' report, employers are increasingly being placed at the heart of the vocational skills agenda. This is in response to the perceived skills gap between traditional qualifications and the skills employers need and expect of their workforce. As such the education sector and employers must be better connected to prepare people for work.
People are taking greater ownership of their learning; they are no longer passive in their learning experience. In-work learning must increase, with changes in attitude and uptake of vocational routes into jobs. 'Earning and learning' is the gold standard at which vocational education should aim.
BIFM is embracing this shift for the FM sector. We work closely with employers and other industry stakeholders, who contributed to the development and delivery of our qualifications and will also be involved in our forthcoming qualification review. BIFM has developed an e-Learning platform to enable employers and centres to deliver the Level 2 and 3 qualifications. This provides a flexible environment to learners, across multiple devices, to enable them to learn round their careers and personal commitments.
There is growing appeal and acceptance of online learning. Learner expectations are also fundamentally changing. Learners are much more switched on and demanding than previous generations of learners; they have unprecedented access to information, have more choices and are increasingly mobile. Future digital generations will increasingly expect to learn in a manner that reflects the technology and behaviours of their everyday lives. Generation Z has never known a world without the internet and smartphones.
My daughter is typical of Generation Z, born practically with a tablet in her hand. She recently started playing with loom bands. As soon as she got her first set, she took our tablet and was on YouTube to watch a 'how to' video. She would follow the tutorial, pause the video to put her learning into practice and go back to watch sections she hadn't mastered. This is not a solitary activity; she would sit with friends with the looms in-front of them watching the videos whilst also swapping tips, techniques and providing tutorials to each other. For Generation Z virtual, collaborative, peer learning could be their future of education.
Fraser Talbot is Professional Standards and Education Manager at BIFM