Evolving our engineering programmes

Mechanical Engineering Improvement Programme (MEIP)

In 2020, Competenz embarked on a large scale transformation programme centred around improving learner success across its mechanical engineering and fabrication sectors. The primary focus of this programme is to evolve our training programmes to create a more engaging and structured learning experience for apprentices and employers.

Comprising of three key workstreams:

  1. Developing and implementing a consistent learning journey so that apprentices and employers are clear on what to expect and when
  2. Evolving our e-learning assessment processes and resources
  3. Establishing a range of quality learner support initiatives for our apprentices tailored to their unique learning needs.

Learner journey

A consistent learning pathway, or roadmap, has been established that provides a more structured approach for apprentices. This will better prepare them for the off-job component of their learning journey where relevant theory is achieved before attending block courses. The block courses have also been reshaped to focus on practical project-based learning outcomes.

Learning design and Canvas

An improvement project is underway to review and re-design the Canvas e-learning experience for our apprentices. The focus is on simplifying the assessment structure to make it easier for learners to navigate and complete their learning and enhance feedback loops for future resource creation across other Competenz programmes. By leveraging additional Canvas functionality and developing reporting analytics, Competenz staff will better support learners through their journey and give greater visibility of progress to employers.

Learner support

Competenz wanted to understand how we might better achieve sustainable support solutions for our learners. COVID-19 also challenged us to explore online delivery. We trialled a range of initiatives, including full apprentice inductions, mentoring programmes, maths and drawing workshops, online study groups, increased access to tools, and interventions for literacy, numeracy, dyslexia and other learning difficulties.

In late 2020, we confirmed the engineering learner support framework for implementation in 2021. This framework aligns with the Tertiary Education Strategy and the TEC Ōritetanga Learner Success approach in working towards parity of achievement for priority learners.

This holistic approach to learner support was developed to provide a ‘pick and mix’ of targeted support options that can be applied depending on each learner’s needs.

The pillars of this support are:

  • Learner support assessment to diagnose learner needs and develop a tailored support plan.
  • Induction and onboarding to equip learners with the skills, knowledge, and confidence they need to kick start their apprenticeship.
  • Study groups facilitating virtual group discussions with peers and one-to-one mentoring.
  • Webinars covering key topics and how-tos.
  • Specialist teaching (provided through external partnerships) to improve fundamental skills and technical understanding of qualification components.
  • Pastoral care and mentoring for additional support.
  • Literacy and numeracy intervention from online support to one-on-one or cohort-based provision.
  • Tools and support to address dyslexia and other learning difficulties.

The wider improvement programme has identified many key learnings that increase learner engagement and enable more comprehensive and targeted support for apprentices as they progress through their individual learning journey. A key focus for the future is working to adapt and integrate these across other Competenz programmes.