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Meet Nicola Smith, Lead: Projects and Employer Support at the SCQF Partnership

What is your role within the SCQFP?

As Lead for Projects and Employer Support, I am responsible for employer engagement, identifying, developing and maintaining new opportunities and partnerships, and supporting the SCQFP Forum to use and engage with the SCQF. I have been working to increase employers’ understanding of the range of alternative qualifications being taken across Scotland and beyond, and of the skills and experience people may have developed that are comparable to these qualifications. By encouraging the use of SCQF levels in recruitment instead of specific qualifications, I have been helping to make recruitment practices more inclusive, and grow our family of SCQF inclusive Recruiters. I have also been working on a project with the Ministry of Defence to map veterans’ skills and qualifications in order to help them to move more easily into the civilian world of work, and another to increase the number and range of credit rated qualifications and awards that can be taken in secondary schools in the area of Learning for Sustainability.

What do you enjoy most about your role?

I really enjoy being able to engage with such a wide range of different employers, finding out about the amazing work which is going on all over Scotland, and knowing that the work I am doing will help people find the right job roles where they can flourish.

Tell us a bit about to your career to date

I am a fully registered teacher for both Primary and Secondary education, with a wide range of experience in educational outreach and development. Working at Glasgow Caledonian University, I led a team who supported and encouraged over 400 schools to achieve their Eco Schools Green Flag award. I also developed and implemented a sustainable, environmental change and educational outreach programme across Wiltshire while working with the Wiltshire Wildlife Trust.

Whilst living in England, I also worked on a government funded pilot project, hosted by the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents, where we worked to increase the opportunities for young people to learn to assess risk through experiential learning. More recently, I have worked with Poppyscotland on the design and realisation of their mobile museum and learning space, Bud, which tours Scotland, exploring the history of Remembrance and starting conversations about its meaning in contemporary Scottish society. My most recent role was with Barnardo’s, working in various primary schools across Glasgow, to fully embed Social and Emotional Learning within their curriculum, ethos and values, with the aim of reducing the attainment gap and building strong mental health.

Tell us something interesting about yourself?

At the start of my career, I was one of only 8 female technical teachers in Scotland. I had to have a rethink, however, as I am allergic to metal and sawdust!

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