Improving work-based learning at Orkney College UHI

Orkney UHI has been working to adapt and develop courses this year to increase the opportunities for developing meta-skills. Students have been working on their personal development plans to increase their transferable and technical skills as part of the Enterprise & Employability course.

The twelve meta-skills are grouped under three headings of self-management, social intelligence and innovation. The framework from Skills Development Scotland provides the opportunity to develop these skills from early years, through the senior phase and onto further and higher education.

With the support of the OIC Community Learning, Development and Employability team Orkney UHI has been working across several departments to re-examine the curriculum to embed enterprise and employability skills. Orkney UHI has several students achieving or working towards enterprise, employability, and numeracy qualifications alongside traditional courses in tour guiding, hairdressing, construction, rural skills and administration. Work continues in 2023-24 to work across the other departments at Orkney UHI.

The number of work placement opportunities at Orkney UHI also increased as collaboration with the Developing the Young Workforce team secured placements with several rural businesses. The Business & Essential Skills department has also reviewed the NC Administration and HNC Business courses to maximise the opportunity for workplace learning alongside these qualifications. The department is also introducing alongside colleagues in Inverness, the work-based learning Graduate Apprenticeship in Business Management for 2023-24.

The department continues to work with OIC and private sector employers to identify opportunities for students to enter part-time employment whilst studying to complement their learning. 2023 also saw the launch of the Orkney College UHI – Business studies Facebook group where students and employers can collaborate in relation to updates, vacancies or projects.