BLOG: 'Train the Trainer' by Ahmed Nawaz, The Manchester College
Morgan Sindall Construction is currently hosting 12 T Level students from The Manchester College. Senior Teaching Practitioner Ahmed Nawaz shares how this industry partnership is helping to up-skill the college's own teaching staff through activities such as our recent ‘Digital Construction Sandpit’ challenge.
National Careers Week has been an exciting time for us at The Manchester College as we reflect on our industry partnerships and how they are making a difference in education. We are proud to have established a partnership with Morgan Sindall Construction, who are currently hosting 12 of our students studying towards T Level qualifications.
T Level is a relatively new concept in education. The course allows students to gain access to high-quality technical, career-focused education, providing them with an excellent grounding to apply for apprenticeships in Built Environment professions.
The benefits of our partnership with Morgan Sindall have been numerous. Our students have had the opportunity to engage with senior professionals in the industry and learn about the latest trends and technologies in construction. They have spent time both onsite at the contractor’s live projects across Manchester and also at its regional head office in Salford.
Activities to engage students
Through challenges and activities designed by the contractor, they have been introduced to the numerous roles available in construction, from project management and quantity surveying to bid management and marketing.
We are just over eight months into the placement, and already our students are brimming with ideas and confidence, with much more clarity on their future career goals.
Valuable industry insight for teaching staff
Morgan Sindall's contribution to our college extends beyond providing learning opportunities for our students. They have also been instrumental in upskilling our teaching staff, helping us to create a future-fit workforce in construction professionals through our classroom activities. This is an essential part of our college's commitment to bridging the gap between theoretical knowledge and practical application.
Digital Sandpit Challenge
One significant activity that has helped to upskill our tutors and students alike was the recent ‘Digital Construction Sandpit’ led by Morgan Sindall’s digital construction manager, Owen Ashton. This full-day workshop included an introduction and overview of Autodesk BIM 360 by Owen, along with problem-solving tasks linked to a real-life project.
Myself and three other teachers from the college worked alongside the students on tasks, which included navigating models, extracting data, identifying clashes, and raising issues/allocating risks to owners. A competitive element was introduced, and winners were awarded prizes, which certainly went down well with the students!
Winners of our Digital Sandpit Challenge
Our full team
Applying this knowledge to our curriculum
This event was a fantastic opportunity for us to participate in real-world tasks related to the company’s live projects - particularly important in the rapidly moving digital space, where without industry insights, our college would be lost.
Some key learning points from this event that I have taken away to enhance my own teaching include:
- sharing how the construction industry is implementing new technologies
- embedding visual aids in lessons to enhance the teaching and learning
- scenario based learning approach to develop the learners’ problem-solving skills
- encourage and designing learning activities to sharpen the learners’ teamwork skills
We are grateful to Morgan Sindall for their ongoing support and contribution to our college. Their investment in people and the future of the industry has been invaluable, and we look forward to continuing our partnership to provide our students with the best possible learning experiences."
Ahmed Nawaz, Senior Teaching Practitioner
The Manchester College