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Audio Visual Centres in the 21st century
18 An Audio Visual Training School.
18.1 If the above is a true reflection of the AV skill levels available to the university sector then we should be alarmed and very worried about the future of AV support. Considering how many universities and colleges of further education there are in the UK it does not take a genius to work out the vast numbers of AV technicians that are required to support this essential service.
18.2 To address this problem and undertake a structured programme of training is an enormous enterprise. It is essential to enter the 21st century confident that support services are able to cope with the ever increasing technological demands.
18.3 There seems to be two ways of tackling the problem the easiest route would be for a training organisation to take on the task, such as the City and Guilds of London Institute or that the University sector undertakes the task. In my view the former would be more appropriate and has many accredited courses available in similar trades and professions in FE.
18.4 If this were adopted we would be ensured that there was a qualified body of technicians with the appropriate skills and a recognised qualification (GNVQ) to take us forward. There will be those that will argue that technology will largely render these skill levels redundant which as far from the truth as you can get. True there will be a change of direction but technology will demand different skills and we should not be content with the status quo, we must raise awareness, train our staff to new levels of competence that runs parallel with the requirements of the institutions.
18.5 A structured course with an appropriate syllabus and resulting professional qualification is essential for the next century.
18.6 The University sector must be the largest single user of AV for what is effectively a single employer.
18.7 We are in a very strong position to ensure that a formal course of training is reintroduced. We need technicians who can develop new techniques and use their creative abilities, not just set up off the peg equipment. Convincing the C&G or anyone else to resurrect the AV course is quite another matter which will need considerable effort to bring it to fruition.
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