LEARN: The PETA team from Bradford College are currently developing a skills curriculum for workers at Tata Motors
LEARN: The PETA team from Bradford College are currently developing a skills curriculum for workers at Tata Motors

New links forged between Bradford and India

Indian automotive giants, Tata Motors, have been forging new links with a leading Yorkshire college recently as the next generation of Indian workers step into 21st century learning.

Bradford College has been strengthening its international links with the industry leaders, working with their suppliers, the Lucknow Excellence Cluster, on helping to train up the south Asian workforce.

The Indian automotive industry is facing intense competition at the moment, with the skill shortage highlighted as one of the key areas of concern by the Indian business community and government.

Established in 1945, Tata Motors Limited is India’s largest automobile company and employs over 60,000 people.

With a strategic alliance established with Fiat in 2005, it now has dealerships, sales, services and a spare parts network of over 6,600 touch points across the world.

And now, with support from British Council, and the UK-India Education and Research Initiative, the Lucknow Excellence Cluster is working with Bradford College’s Post Compulsory Education and Training (PCET) team to develop an appropriate skills curriculum for the Tata group.

There have been two previous visits, initially a team from Bradford College set up the project and this was followed by a visit to Bradford College from a group from Tata Motors and the Lucknow Excellence Cluster.

Visits to local firms were arranged and the delegation was introduced to the concept of the Virtual Learning Environment (VLE), Moodle. Attendees felt the visit was a success and returned to Lucknow, in India, to continue developing the curriculum.

Bradford College is now half way through the project and have started the professional development process of turning Engineers into trainers.

The Lucknow Excellence Cluster employ thousands of staff, so potentially 100 trainers are needed. In order for the project to be sustainable, a programme of training ‘Master Trainers’ was developed and delivered over four days by Kirstin Sawyer, Cathy Mitchell, Richard Nelson and Andy Naylor from the PCET Team in India.

The attendees were drawn from a range of businesses and developed the skills to plan, deliver and assess teaching and learning.

As well as the training sessions, the PCET Team experienced wonderful hospitality, with visits to famous sites in Lucknow, such as the Bara Imambara and the British Residency. The team also learnt about Chikan, which is the traditional embroidery of Lucknow.

Andy Naylor, Curriculum Team Leader for PCET said: “Working with the group was a really rewarding experience.  People were friendly and respectful and importantly the food was great.

“The most rewarding aspect of the trip was that the training we delivered had a significant impact on how people viewed teaching and learning.

“The approach to training in India is often quite traditional but this didn’t stop them taking on board new ‘learner-centred’ approaches to teaching and learning.”

Two more visits from the Lucknow Excellence Cluster to Bradford College are planned before summer, in order to further develop the curriculum and continue building the Moodle site.