Majd Khador is a professional Construction Teacher at Derby College after graduating from the SET for Teaching Success programme in July 2019. He undertook an Industry Insight placement with Bowmer + Kirkland as part of the preparations for future delivery of the Construction T Level. The placements are part of the T Level Professional Development support offer to provide opportunities for professional updating for teachers that is industry relevant and that facilitates knowledge transfer and professional exchange.
What were your key objectives for going on a staff placement in industry?
My main objective for going on this placement was to have an insight into the latest developments in the construction industry with one of the best construction firms in the country. This was particularly important to me as my experience to date is more academic and I needed to update my industrial knowledge. Another objective was to use the knowledge from this experience to contextualise my lessons further and bring them to life with more realistic examples from the industry. To do so, I worked along engineers in various roles on the site and made sure to ask questions and exchange knowledge and experience with them.
Furthermore, being onsite with the construction team helped me to further understand the set of skills and behaviours that are expected of employees and workers in the construction industry, so that my colleagues and I can help prepare our T Level students to have competitive employability skills.
Tell us about your experience and the highlights of the placement
I had a great opportunity of being placed on a Bowmer + Kirkland construction site in Summit Park in Sutton in Ashfield, where an impressive 1,750,000 square foot distribution centre is being built as part of a major development. This development, funded by a major institutional investor, is possibly the largest ever single investment in the Ashfield area and in the region as a whole and is expected to bring 1,800 good quality new jobs in a variety of roles. The project itself uses state-of-the-art techniques and designs from the industry. I had the opportunity to witness first-hand some of the latest methods in the industry for the construction and quality control of steel frames and concrete floors. I also had the opportunity to learn a lot about the external and civil engineering works carried out on the site. Most importantly, I have now better understanding of the set of skills and behaviours that are required in the industry at present and in the future.
What did you value the most about engaging with Bowmer + Kirkland?
The whole placement experience with Bowmer + Kirkland was engaging, educating and inspirational thanks to their staff who did not hesitate to exchange knowledge with me and offered all the help and guidance that I needed to get the most out of this experience. Even though the placement lasted for only five days, I had the opportunity to shadow construction engineers, civil engineers, site managers, project managers and quantity surveyors. One of the most valuable outcomes of this placement is having a first-hand experience with some of the procedures and techniques I teach at the college but never had the opportunity to see how they are run in real life. It also introduced me to modern techniques that I have not heard of before.
What has been the impact on you, your colleagues and your organisation?
This experience has had a very positive impact on me personally as it allowed me to network with some of the most successful professionals in the industry and exchange practical knowledge and experience with them. We use problem-based learning (PBL) pedagogy in our department at Derby College Group, and this knowledge could be utilised in preparing more realistic scenarios for our PBL lessons and assessments.
I have set a plan of disseminating what I have learnt through the placement to my colleagues during our weekly team meetings. This is to help drive curriculum design developments that reflect and meet the industry’s current and future needs. This would hopefully help our department and Derby College Group as a whole to be fully prepared to deliver a high-quality T Level programme from the outset in September 2020.
How will this positively impact on future T Level learners?
The placement experience has also improved my understanding of the skills and behaviours required by employers in the construction industry. I plan to use this knowledge to inspire our future T Level students and help develop their employability skills during their time at the college. Furthermore, it will enable me to give better advice to my students when it comes to discussing their own T Level industry placements and available progression routes beyond their time at the college