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Match supply and demand

Any increase in the number of apprentices must be matched by the capacity of tutors. The limiting factor at the moment is the number of experienced design support tutors, and their available pool of design tutor apprentices.

Since it takes time to gain the requisite experience here, our planning has a focus on design support Work-based learning is one of our values, so we must have diploma pathway apprentices for the design tutors (and their design tutor apprentices) to work with. But if we have too many pathway apprentices in the system then they will not get the right levels of support...

It has to be like the porridge in the kid's story – not too hot, not too cold, but just right.

Recruitment onto the diploma pathway seems to be working out well for us at the moment. It will be crucial to our success to manage this as we move forward.

If you have read so far, you might think that our diploma is not for the faint-hearted. It is not my style to “sell” the diploma to anyone. The diploma is, with the help of design course organisers, selling itself while we get ourselves organised.. We have apprentices coming forward. Everyone is helping to build the system in their own way, and it's still early days.. If I am to recommend a strategy for recruitment, I suggest we concentrate on design course graduates who “get it” - that is they:

  • take responsibility for themselves (the Prime Directive)
  • value the diploma for what it is now (some support leading to peer recognition)
  • are intrigued by us as an interesting (if unusual) bunch of people

I also make sure that my design course students understand that the course is the foundation and the diploma the diploma turns theory into practice, so that the enthusiastic ones know that they may easily graduate onto the pathway.

 

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