Leicester College

Full week work experience with XMA for 68 Computing learners

Leicester College serves over 20,000 learners and in 2016 was rated fifth nationally for college student satisfaction in the National Student Survey.  In 2017, Leicester College approached XMA to lead a major work-experience programme for 68 learners of Computing.

The College wished to give Diploma learners a taste of a career in the IT (Information Technology) industry with a major player. XMA was the perfect partner for this as they specialise in IT, support, and services to schools, colleges and universities.

“In the past, the College struggled to find employers to place such large numbers of learners and quality had been a challenge. For many, this is their first experience of business life, so quality is important, meaning that their experience needs to lead to an understanding of what the business does, what makes it successful, who their customers are and their needs, career opportunities and routes in and progression.”

Sue Bassi, Work Placement & Progression
Co-ordinator at Leicester College

The College first collaborated with Industrial Cadets to help them find the best employer partner that could provide a proven structure for a full week of learning and activity.

Industrial Cadets’, Christina Bond, recommended XMA. XMA supports many communities and education outreach projects including sponsoring poets, children’s authors, scientists and even astronauts to work with schools and colleges to inspire and engage learners in different routes to success in IT and employment.

“XMA’s enthusiasm and commitment enabled us to create a great, bespoke programme to captivate the learners in a largely project-based format, so the learners could use their creative talents, experience and understanding of ICT use in school and college life.”

Christina Bond, Industrial Cadets

To make the learners’ time as engaging and creative as possible, the week began with setting a project for the learners to pursue in 11 groups. Each group had the task of developing a concept for a ‘Classroom of the Future’.

They needed to consider the best use of IT, space and resources to help learners and teachers get the best from primary or secondary education.

Learners were to consider a hypothetical customer, who would want the best for their learners.  Innovation was to be valued, as were considerations for access and inclusion for learners with special educational needs. Their environment was constructed with consideration for the wider environment including carbon conservation and sustainability of the learning environment

The week culminated in a Dragons’ Den style presentation, whereby each student group would ‘sell’ the Panel their classroom concept. All of the project concepts were outstanding, with the learners displaying considerable confidence and demonstrating their grasp of the brief, alongside innovations they had discussed within their teams. Judging became a tough task!

The top two groups both sold the Panel on their ideas and their individual and group credibility. As winners of the XMA Classroom of the Future Project, the groups were invited refine their ideas at XMA’s Nottingham office and present to an industry audience, including Ian Wedgewood of market-leading education audio-visual specialists Promethean.