A new set of government backed vocational GCSEs has been introduced by Land Rover, aimed at bringing students closer to industry. The courses will give pupils a clearer understanding of how business works in preparation for choosing their careers.

The new courses are being piloted in Bedworth, Warwickshire, with a decision on whether they will be rolled out nationally to be made this month. The qualifications will provide participants with a thorough grounding in applied business, manufacturing and engineering, with modules including recruitment, interview techniques and stakeholder analysis. Factory visits and presentations from experienced engineers will bring the classroom closer to the shop floor.

Gina Mc Dowell, apprentice manager at Land Rover said, " We want to help students understand the reality of business by the time they come to make important decisions about their careers. The enormous diversity of roles in industry gives students today a greater opportunity than ever to forge an exciting future. We want to be sure that they understand the opportunities available to them and our close relationship with schools is vital to this."

A new website detailing the courses will enable students to research the topics available.

The pilot is running at the Nicholas Chamberlain School in Bedworth and is supported by Coventry-based Land Rover dealership, Guy Salmon.

At the same, apprentices between 16-24 are trained in a separate Land Rover, Aston Martin and Jaguar initiative. Specialist modules include Service Technician and Parts and Service Advisor. A supervisory and sales apprenticeship will complement the options this year. The addition of the new programmes extends the length of the scheme from four to seven years.

Published : 07/05/03 Author : Melanie Carter

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