Staff are getting extra hands-on experience and broadening their horizons as part of the University’s work shadowing scheme. The programme gives Kingston employees the chance to boost their knowledge observing people carrying out their jobs in other organisations.
University Development and Training Manager Pat King said work shadowing could be arranged by any member of staff to take place in appropriate organisations in the United Kingdom. The scheme was not restricted to Higher Education and offered long-term benefits to the University as well as the individuals involved. “Participants find they often establish good relationships with other organisations and are able to set up links for the University. Spin-offs can include student projects, research grants and further collaboration,” Mrs King said.
Several members of staff from across the University have already taken part in the programme and are now passing on or using the experience acquired in their everyday work. Senior Lecturer Dr Pamela Murphy from the School of Earth Sciences and Geography is presently carrying out work shadowing with Thames Waste Management and the Environment Agency. “I teach about contaminated land and waste management on several undergraduate and postgraduate modules but my background is purely academic and I felt my teaching was hampered by lack of practical experience,” she said. “As a result of work shadowing, I believe my teaching is now better informed and I can present more interesting and up-to-date material.”
Dr Penny Darbyshire, a Senior Lecturer in Law, is another member of staff who has reaped the rewards of the scheme. She got a behind-the-scenes look at the work of three High Court and circuit judges. Dr Darbyshire now plans to undertake a research project shadowing judges at every level of the English legal system and write a book analysing their work.