College lecturers teaching vocational subjects are out of touch with
workplace practice and need support to update their expertise.
A report from the Learning and Skills Development Agency, based on a survey
of 891 college lecturers, found that while most make an effort to keep up-to-
date this tends to be through research rather than practical experience.
Twelve per cent consider themselves "out of date" and only 27 per
cent have benefited from placements or secondments to the workplace. Few
lecturers have had recent experience and many have not been employed in their
industry for between five and 15 years.
Maria Hughes, author of the report, said "Lecturers need to be
supported. This requires greater collaboration with people in the industry.
"It could be through time spent in the workplace or through discussion
and mentoring. Shared staffing could also be used with employees from industry
going into colleges and people from colleges into industry."
Many lecturers believe that without direct association with their vocational
area their levels of knowledge and skill would be out of date in two to three