JOBS & CAREERS SPRING 2018 - 124
The best people to teach in
further education are those
with industry experience
says Ali Hadawi CBE,
Principal and CEO of Central
even years ago, in a radical
move, Ali Hadawi and his team
at Central Bedfordshire College
decided they were no longer
going to recruit teachers. Instead, new
lecturers would be practitioners who could
impart their industry knowledge to students.
It has revolutionised the College's results.
"We created work-like settings within
the College," says Hadawi. "We then had
to decide whether to train teachers to use
that kit or take on practitioners. So, we've
taken on practitioners: people in industry
who want to see what education is like as a
sector, who want to share their knowledge
or who want to keep a foot in both camps.
"It was a totally different mindset from
recruiting teachers and training them to
teach a vocation such as motor mechanics,
social work or nursing, which are some of
the options that we offer at the college. It
has been a game-changer - not just in the
way we train, but in the way our learners
are engaged, their progress into industry
and the way employers engage with us."
Skills for life
Not only has Hadawi changed the
College's approach to teaching, but
five years ago he brought in a system
that has pushed student's "positive
progression" - people progressing into
employment or higher further education
- from 72% in 2014 to 95% in 2017.
"There's a huge difference in approach
for the learner who
comes to Central
what the College
needed to build into the teaching, learning
and assessment of a typical learner so they
leave not only with the nuts and bolts
of a qualification, but with knowledge
of how they should be conducting
themselves as responsible citizens.
"We asked industry figures what they
wanted from college leavers. They said
graduates come with the
right qualifications but
don't have all the skills
required to progress,
including 'soft skills'
such as team building,
and working with others.
We wanted to look at a way of building
that into what we deliver as a college."
"We looked at primary schools and
came across the Helen Hamlyn Trust,
"Taking on industry
been a real