Digital Learning in Logistics
Blog Post by Louise Rowland, Deputy CEO for Ufi VocTech Trust
We have been pleased to hear about the progress being made by Goodwill Solutions CIC to transform the delivery of its training programmes from face-to-face to online, with support from Ufi’s VocTech Now fund.
Based in Northampton, the company provides specialist logistics services to retailers and manufacturers and has a strong commitment to funding social impact work through its commercial activities.
Goodwill Solutions CIC offers training and personal support to people with mental health problems, ex-offenders, the long-term unemployed and the homeless, helping hundreds of people gain employment in logistics.
At the beginning of 2020, the team were developing ideas about how to further this work to help even more people to gain confidence, skills and jobs in logistics. The plan was to offer work placements as part of the training programmes and work started on designing a series of courses for people with different prior experiences.
Then the Coronavirus pandemic hit, forcing the Goodwill team to review their plans. It was obvious that learning would have to move out of the classroom. At the same time, the demand for labour and skills in the logistics sector increased dramatically. The hugely expanded demand for home deliveries, as well as the creation of new health facilities and services, meant that the sector was busier than ever.
The team were determined from the start to learn what works in online learning delivery and not to recreate the worst features of classroom training. Courses would definitely not include any PowerPoint slides with a dreary voice-over!
With a clear focus on the needs of the learners the team set three objectives for their VocTech Now project with Ufi:
- To learn how to make the best use of online learning platforms to engage learners and enable them to achieve the learning objectives.
- To identify a suitable accreditation partner.
- To find an online learning platform that had the capacity to deliver the learning courses developed, and would be able to provide learner analytics and be affordable.
So where are they now?
Goodwill has embraced the spirit of VocTech Now, designed to help vocational learning providers rapidly transition to online learning. The purpose of VocTech Now was not only to overcome the barriers to learning caused as a result of lockdown, but also to support vocational training providers to adopt new ways of working so that digital learning could be further scaled and sustained in the post-pandemic future.
The team at Goodwill Solutions CIC have:
- Decided to move forward with the Canvas VLE learning platform which can deliver the need for high-quality learning and data about individual and group learner progress.
- Agreed the brand and marketing strategy for their new offer – The Supply Chain Open Education Academy.
- Secured accreditation with Qualifi - an Ofsted-approved awarding organisation.
- Developed new leads, with interest from Local Enterprise Partnerships, logistics businesses, and HM Forces.
With the new brand settled, the final pieces of work are underway to complete the online courses ready for a full launch on 3rd August 2020.
The next step is to offer online learning courses, and the resources to study them, to vulnerable and disadvantaged people in Northamptonshire. The Supply Chain Open Education Academy will work with charities and public services, including the police, to help reduce disadvantage by helping people to gain employment in the logistics sector, while also earning qualifications at appropriate levels.
The future looks promising for Goodwill Solutions CIC.
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