C2C Next Steps at Belfast Met
A key output of the teaching and the day itself is that, although all the students enjoyed the day and found it very interesting, this kind of teaching will not be able to continue past the Leonardo C2C project. In order to integrate C2C or sustainable design thinking into the curriculum on a regular and assessed basis, it must form part of a nationally recognised module that can be included on the QCF framework. It is our recommendation therefore that a next step for the project is to write a unit for certification that can then be taught at any College. Without a recognised unit, it will be very difficult to teach such concepts with our current teaching structure.
Belfast Met have written units in the past for inclusion on such frameworks and they can take 6-18 months for approval. This module could embrace C2C principles as well as Circular Economy thinking.
Over the past number of months, we have looked at how to implement C2C within businesses. Indeed, we sold the concept at a display at government buildings during May 2013, and discussed it with a large local tyre manufacturer who is currently considering a joint project. We have also discussed the concept with a number of creativity lecturers, all of whom are enthusiastic about the idea.
We have mentioned the idea of doing some projects with a local industrial manufacturer, however the uptake has not been forthcoming as the benefits of looking at the concept has been difficult to sell. (We would be very interested to look at how others have tried to disseminate the information to businesses in the locality.) Furthermore, we are confident that a nationally accredited unit or course of some description (whether a short course or part of an existing QCF structure) would be much more beneficial in conveying benefits of the concept. Indeed, in Northern Ireland, SMEs can obtain 75% funding through the Department for Employment and Learning (DEL) to complete accredited training (this is not available for non-accredited training). As the vast majority of training in Northern Ireland is conducted in this manner, with regional funding assistance, it is absolutely critical to certify C2C concepts.
The development of these courses, perhaps in association with businesses and the Leonardo C2C partners would be the next logical step of the C2C project for Belfast Met.