Leading West Midlands supplier and installer of Design and Technology equipment for schools, HME Technology Ltd, has launched an innovative scheme in a bid to put Design and Technology (D&T) at the forefront of the National Curriculum.
It is hoped that the new scheme will help in addressing the issue of a skills shortage that is expected to arise in the UK.
The Worcestershire-based firm has put together 15 sets of teacher task sheets focused on assisting teachers with D&T. Teachers can use the task sheets as a catalyst in planning lessons up to Key Stage 4, featuring a guide that identifies various engineering subjects to help deliver the curriculum.
The task sheets designed to support teachers in using their creativity will enable them to plan the students lessons in woodwork, welding, laser cutting, 3D printing and much more.
Its task sheets have recently been implemented at the Isle of Wight Studio School, which has just undertaken a huge £250,000 improvement project including commissioning HME Technology to install a new suite of D&T equipment. Following the renovation, the teacher will be using the task sheets to exploit the wide range of machines for its D&T courses, encouraging students to recognise the vast range of career paths they can follow with the right skills.
Head Teacher, Richard White at the Isle of Wight Studio School said: “We are pleased to have been presented with HME Technology’s D&T teacher task sheets in a bid to boost interest in studying the subject at GCSE. The task sheets will enable teachers to confidently and successfully plan and teach lessons in this field, using an array of 14 different machines.
“We fully support the ambition to see the subject at the core of the national curriculum, as without it, the shortfall in skilled workers could have a serious effect on the UK economy. We devote ourselves to the future careers of 14 -19 year olds on the Isle of Wight and believe that D&T provides the skills required in many careers.”
HME Technology’s Chairman, Martyn Hale, is concerned by the impact the forthcoming shortfall may have on the UK economy.
Recent statistics published by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) show that employment in the UK is at its highest rate on record, with employers posting a record number of vacancies. However, recruiters are still reporting a large number of international candidates applying for each position advertised.
In 2013, the Employer Skills Survey (ESS), which interviews more than 90,000 employers every two years, reported a proportion of positions, from 16% to 22%, remaining unfilled due to a rise in the lack of candidates with the right skills, experience or qualifications. This is equivalent to 146,000 skills shortage vacancies.
The ESS indicates that manufacturing employers recruiting job roles in the skilled trades such as electricians, technicians etc. were particularly likely to be affected, facing a skills shortages.
Martyn Hale, Chairman of HME Technology, said: “Design & Technology is suffering because it’s not at the forefront of teachers’ minds. It is currently an optional subject.
“We would urge that D&T should be in the core subjects. It is estimated that without such measures, there will be a deficit of 340,000 engineers in the UK by 2020.
“It is quite harrowing what the future holds if D&T is not pushed in the curriculum. There will be a severe shortage of skilled manual workers and this will affect the economy in the UK as manufacturing may have to leave the country completely or be brought in from abroad.
“With the introduction of the task sheets, our goal is to help teachers deliver exciting lessons. The lessons will hopefully inspire students to study D&T further, and help shape the UK for a brighter future.”