In 2015, Dudley College entered into a British Council International Skills Partnership with Elangeni College which would ultimately become an award-winning success!
Designed to enable curriculum development in Welding and Maritime, Dudley College worked with South Tyneside College to provide a full programme of support for Elangeni, including sharing good practice in teaching, introducing the college to City and Guilds in order to obtain international accreditation for their courses, and technical skills.
The project also demonstrated the importance of involving employers in projects like this. Doosan and Babcock, through existing ties with Dudley College, provided training in welding to teachers at Elangeni College, as well as consultancy around setting up a welding workshop to international safety and quality standards. As a result of this Elangeni have been able to establish a new welding workshop and curriculum informed by the relationship with Doosan; Dudley College has also increased its engagement with Doosan and is now delivering a number of apprenticeship programmes for the company. This relationship between the colleges and the employer shows how local employer engagement arrangements can be expanded to encompass international activities, preparing students and the workforce to find employment in a globalised economy.
Through the work of this project, Elangeni College has advanced tremendously. A new welding workshop has been established to meet the needs of the region, and will become a Centre of Excellence for Welding. This will help staff increase their confidence in working in this field, and increase the employment rates of graduates.
The Maritime aspects of the project have been equally successful, with Elangeni entering into a partnership with the University of Natal to provide accreditation for new Navigation courses. This is a major development for a community college, and will again lead to greater employment rates for those graduating from the course.
While the first phase of the project has now concluded, we have been asked by the British Council to develop an Advanced Partnership Project, a new initiative that will bring Umgungundlovu College into the partnership. Thanks to the skill, dedication and commitment of our partners, we are confident that we will continue to achieve exciting results through our work in South Africa.