We work with employers when we design, develop and deliver our qualifications to make sure that they are high quality and fit for purpose.
We identify employers’ broad requirements and consider how we can incorporate the specialist knowledge and skills that employers want into the content of our qualifications.
Through ongoing consultation with employers during the development phase, we make sure that our qualifications meet their needs.
We work with employers to provide insights into our qualifications for teachers and learners through open days, student placements, testimonies and specialised training.
We have also recently established Subject Advisory Groups that give employers and other stakeholders the opportunity to provide feedback on our qualifications and advise on future developments.
Case Study: GCE Software Systems Development
GCE Software Systems Development was one of seven new applied GCE and GCSE qualifications that we introduced in September 2013. From the start of the development process, we had two key objectives for these qualifications. We wanted them to:
- meet learners’ needs and help schools meet their Entitlement Framework responsibilities; and
- help to reduce projected skills shortages in the Northern Ireland economy.
To make sure that we met these objectives for GCE Software Systems Development, we worked closely with Invest NI, holding quarterly meetings to discuss the development process. We also consulted other industry representatives and policymakers, including the Confederation of British Industry (CBI), government departments and sector skills bodies. We held a consultation on early ideas and offered workshops and online questionnaires, allowing us to gather feedback from a broad range of stakeholders.
There was also industry involvement during the development and quality assurance phase, with employers such as Allstate, Citigroup and Liberty IT represented on the subject advisory team.
Industry involvement with GCE Software Systems Development continued after it was introduced. For example, Allstate:
- attended information and support events to answer teachers’ questions;
- proposed awards for the highest performing AS and A2 candidates;
- arranged site visits and student placements; and
- introduced the Allstate Teachers’ Technology Training (AT3) initiative, which has been running since June 2013, giving teachers one week of intensive training in C# programming.
Watch our video below to hear about learners’ experiences of GCE Software Systems Development.