What's What - The BlueDome guide to outdoor qualifications
WHERE HAVE ALL THE QUALIFIED INSTRUCTORS GONE?
As an employer of Outdoor Instructors and also a provider of training, this question perplexes me. Over the past six years there has been a massive increase of courses being run the length and breadth of the country supposedly training outdoor pursuit instructors for the Industry.
Currently you name it; its on offer; from NVQ Level
2 Activity Leader to NVQ Level 3 Outdoor Education, Professional Instructor
Courses, National Diploma in Outdoor Education (BTEC First Diplomas
now being introduced), Higher National Diplomas in Outdoor Education
or Adventurous Activity Management (or the so called Foundation Degree).
Degrees in a whole host of associated areas!
How much is the Industry having its say to the providers
of these courses?
As people in the Industry, surely we should be taking
a close look at what our Industry requires. The shortfall of certain
qualifications, and the lack of experience. How often do you see an
advert asking for applicants to hold an NVQ or National Diploma? Or
person required, who holds a Degree in Outdoor Education. You only have
to look at any of the Outdoor Education Magazines or staffing websites
to get a full clear picture of what the Industry requires.
Over the past three years I have regularly been advertising
for Instructors. I have liased with many other managers across the Country
regarding the position with regards to recruitment. Where have all the
qualified Instructors gone?
We run an adult course, training people to work in the Industry and I would say that over 40% of the students are disgruntled College students, young adults who have been completely let down by these Colleges. They have been told one thing at recruitment but the courses never come up with the so-called goods. Instead the Colleges continue in coning young adults into Further Education, promising them one thing and delivering another. Oh what a great attraction! Come and do a course that you spend one or two days participating in outdoor pursuits. Who can blame the students! We all wish these courses were about when we were younger. Surely within 2 years these colleges can get them through some of the necessary qualifications. Obviously not!
Am I asking for too higher qualifications? There was a time when we were looking for people with a minimum of SPA and BCU Level 2 Coach. Now due to the desperately low number of enquiries I have even had to lower this standard. What is the point in Colleges advertising and recruiting to these courses, if they do not give them the necessary skills / qualifications to take that step into the Industry. These young people end up working for Summer Camps instead running Outdoor Education at a lower level with so called in house training. Thus still failing to progress them through their own personal development and into achieving the basic qualifications.
What about Minibus driving!
Greg completed a BTEC National Diploma in Public Services
with Outdoor Education
Lisa competed a BTEC National Diploma in Outdoor Education.