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HETA adapts to current lock down measures positively

27th April 2020

During this difficult time, the team at HETA have developed new ways to deliver teaching and learning to all our learners. Our staff have embraced new technologies despite the challenges they face, and we have deployed a range of interventions to help our young people through this difficult period.

Theory classes have been running each week for all three centres via Microsoft Teams. Learners have been participating in virtual lectures, and online assessments have already taken place. One to one independent time with instructors is also continuing, ensuring we monitor the welfare of our learners. Alongside this, work is also continuing to enhance the learners’ practical training. The online presence has been phenomenal from our learners as they are keen to continue with their learning.

Electrical Instructor, Nick Lewis from our Scunthorpe centre has been delivering video sessions which includes practical demonstrations whilst at home. “Being at home delivering is challenging but myself and other instructors have developed our normal routine through innovative ways. I have a lot of equipment at home that I can use to demonstrate practical skills to learners”

“Each day the learners are logging in at 8am, I currently have 100% attendance rates, we have video sessions via Teams then in the afternoon the learners write journal entries on OneFile as part of the evidence for their BTEC.”

With the use of the technology that our instructors have made available for our learners, learners are able to carry out distance learning, taking part in group projects, independent learning and forms of practical training.

Learners from our Grimsby centre have been tasked with a design project on hospital ventilators. We asked the learners to design a ventilator thinking about the manufacture of the design and the ratio of breaths per minute integrating their engineering science knowledge. Other projects the learners have been studying include working on maintenance schedules and researching ac/dc generators.  

HETA’s second, third- and fourth-year learners are also on task with continuing their apprenticeship and gathering evidence to progress their qualification. The field team Assessors / Mentors are working closely with apprentices through the current challenges and have moved fully to remote and virtual learning, assessment and communications.

Field Team Manager, Wayne Cash said “Our methods of communication maximise the use of our e-portfolio system (OneFile) and a range of interactive tools and virtual learning environments to maintain learner engagement. Progress and work will continue to be set, monitored and supported in ways which are familiar to the learner.”

“We have placed detailed instructions on OneFile for work progression and support for current in company apprentices who are work working towards their qualification. Apprentices at gateway or approaching End Point Assessment, will continue to be supported as far as possible during the current situation. While we continue to work closely with End point Assessment Organisations to plan ahead, we recognise that delays around assessment are of concern.  We can reassure all affected learners that these organisations are actively planning for the continuation of Assessment activities, with solutions currently under review and pending approval from awarding organisations.”

The Higher Education team at HETA have adapted their usual timetable replicating them with online sessions for learners. Graham Taylor, who is the HE Programmes Leader at HETA put a plan in place which established an online teacher forum for the team to share best practice, guides on how to use online platforms and how to submit assignments for learners. Graham Taylor said the team are meeting daily at 7:45am to discuss the previous and current days teaching and share any issues/good practice.

“Since teaching remotely and embracing Microsoft Teams as a delivery platform our HE, attendance has been excellent and we have received great feedback from both students and employers”

HNC Learner, Zak Vierucci from SSE said “Considering the sudden circumstances, the remote lecturing is working really well. I think we were all initially worried that we were going to miss out this year due to the outbreak, but Pete and Steve have continued with the course straight where we left off. Thanks to all for putting the work in to keep the course going for us all.”

Overall the team at HETA have put in exceptional efforts for learners to continue with their apprenticeship delivery minimising every delay possible. The wider team at HETA have been working from home catching up daily via Microsoft Teams developing programmes for next year as well as putting steps in place to minimise disruption once we safely return to work.

Iain Elliott, HETA CEO says “I’m immensely proud of what the HETA staff have achieved in a short period of time and in difficult circumstances-there has been an awful lot of hard work and commitment. Our investment in technology over the last 2-3 years has paid off. We have developed a business resilience that gives us strength going forward and has created more opportunities. Fundamentally, we have been able to preserve some ‘normality’ and our learners have been able to continue with their education and training.”