The project, run by Construction Scotland Innovation Centre (CSIC) and the Digital Health and Care Institute (DHI), will involve the innovation centres and colleges collaborating directly with industry to upgrade and future-proof skills training and workforce development in the key areas of construction and engineering, health and care, and information technology.
CSIC and DHI will be the hubs for delivering the programme, which will consist of two consecutive and one parallel workstream:
- Workstream 1: Upskilling college lecturers in emerging innovations;
- Workstream 2: Exposing college students to innovation and emerging technologies in the real world of work (follows WS 1);
- Workstream 3: Directly facilitating innovation and growth by supporting selected collaboration projects between colleges and businesses (runs in parallel to WS1 and WS2).
Workstream 1 will begin in August, when 27 college lecturers from 13 colleges will spend five days together on an innovation learning programme. This is designed to upskill and support them in training future workforces in terms of skills and capabilities needed to work in environments encompassing emerging innovations and technologies.
Participants will be introduced to the latest developments in digitally enabled health and care, and construction practices through the medium of Smart housing. They will attend several site visits and be asked to collaboratively develop new teaching modules to integrate their learnings from the pilot into the respective college courses.
Rohan Bush, head of public partnerships and future workforce at CSIC said: “We’re honoured to be hosting the programme, which represents a world-class opportunity for Scotland to integrate and future-proof all three key contributors to progress, which are skills training, workforce development and industry integration.”
Professor George Crooks, chief executive officer at the Digital Health & Care Institute, said: “By building relationships with the college staff, the innovation centres can better understand how to build further meaningful collaborations that can help shape the future where people can live longer, healthier lives at home and in their own communities, feeling safe, supported and valued.”
City of Glasgow College principal Paul Little said: “I’m delighted that our college is supporting the design and delivery of this pilot project. Inspiration, Excellence and Innovation are at the heart of all that we deliver for our students and with demand for digitally skilled professionals growing inexorably, it is vital as educators that we stay alert to this and to develop the full panoply of skills necessary for this fast paced information era.”
Dr Stuart Fancey, director of research and innovation at the Scottish Funding Council, said: “FUTUREquipped is bringing together colleges, businesses and innovation centres in really exciting ways…..and I believe it will be a springboard for many other ground-breaking initiatives in the future.”