Engineering employees are to get better access to learning materials through the Engineering Learning Link network, which is being set up by the EMTA. The scheme is chiefly directed at employers and staff in smaller and medium sized companies, but larger companies, students and people wanting a career in engineering can also use it.
The 30 Engineering Learning Link Centres, which will be operational by April, will be in EMTA offices or at partnership organisations. They will provide open and distance learning materials, using multimedia and traditional textbooks. Topics covered will include information technology, keyboard skills, health and safety, general management, job search and general education. The centres will have staff to demonstrate the learning materials and offer guidance on courses.
The project is being used by the University for Industry to see how it can help introduce lifelong learning in the engineering sector. The EMTA has also teamed up with Cranfield University to set up an Open Learning Research Centre. Teresa Schofield, manager and research officer at the centre, will work on issues like computer assisted learning.
The centre will be a focus for open learning specific to engineers. It will look at companies which already have their own open learning centres and virtual universities to see what materials and media are most popular in engineering training.
The ultimate aim is to provide easier access to training for individuals and companies, to raise standards in engineering.