Students studying the Diploma in Manufacturing and Product Design (MPD) can now gain access to Ginsters’ Callington Bakery without leaving their classroom, thanks to online video conferencing technology.
Using free Skype communication software, pupils are able to talk directly to staff at Ginsters and look around the bakery as part of course projects and assignments. The new Diploma in MPD targets students aged between 14 and 19 and mixes practical and theoretical work on food manufacturing and product development, including at least 10 days’ work experience.
"At Ginsters, we have worked with schools and colleges in Plymouth and Cornwall for many years. But we noticed that visits were decreasing year-on-year. It seems that new challenges associated with taking a class of young people on a visit were responsible for this reduction. These included transport, health and safety, financial and time-tabling issues," said Chris Schaffer, bakery training and education co-ordinator at Ginsters. "We didn’t want this to affect our ability to help schools, especially with the new work-relevant requirements of the Diploma in MPD, so we decided to use Skype. Now, thanks to this technology, we can give students access to our facilities and the expertise of our staff."
Schaffer, who has signed up to become an employer champion for the Diploma in MPD, has also developed an educational website to support Ginsters’ activity.