Local lecturers chosen to star in recruitment campaign


A group of college lecturers from across Essex, Kent and East Sussex have been chosen to feature in a region-wide campaign aimed at attracting people with industry experience into becoming a teacher or trainer in Post-16 further education.

Among them are people who swapped their jobs in catering, construction, aviation, engineering, health and social care, accountancy and digital roles to share their skills and expertise with the next generation.

George Hedges, a digital media lecturer at East Sussex College in Lewes, said: “I love seeing the spark that switches on when students get what you are trying to show them and they can see their potential.

“If people with industry experience are considering becoming a lecturer, I recommend they contact their local college to see where their skills might fit. Colleges are always looking for specialists to come in and teach technical skills to students, with professional input.”

Accountancy Lecturer Deborah Gibson, who works at MidKent College in Maidstone, explained: “There’s a lot more to being a lecturer than standing in front of students and delivering a lesson. You also undertake lesson planning and are involved much more with the students themselves.”

Former aviation engineer Paul Oakley, who specialises in teaching metalwork at Stansted Airport College, added: “I love the interaction with the students and it’s great to see when they grow in confidence and skills and become better engineers. I still get to work with industry and have strong links with maintenance operators and airlines which is great for students looking for future careers.”

The project is being funded by the South East Local Enterprise Partnership (SELEP) to combat shortages of lecturers in key subject areas in colleges across Essex, Kent and East Sussex.

Project Director Tim Strickland said: “FE Colleges and independent training providers are always looking for people with real-life experience to join our teaching teams to help us educate the workforce of the future which will support the economic growth and productivity of tomorrow.

“It’s an extremely worthwhile profession and will appeal to people who are passionate about their subject area and want to work with students to equip them with the skills they need to forge their own careers. It is always rewarding to see students develop the knowledge, skills and attitude to learning which they will take through life with them.

“The sector is a large and highly supportive employer which provides many opportunities for staff to broaden their experience, qualifications and specialisms. We are grateful to SELEP who have provided funding to awareness raise the profile of becoming a teacher in further education.”

As well as videos from lecturers explaining why they love teaching, the www.becomealecturer.org website also contains a wealth of information about what is required in teaching and links to colleges across the region with vacancies.