Faces of FuturU: Claudia Luca, Director of Education

A photo of Claudia in a purple t-shirt at the FuturU Summer Summit

Meet Claudia, Director of Education at FuturU. In our latest Faces of FuturU article, Claudia shares how she got into her field of work, the benefits of online learning and what we’re building at FuturU to support healthcare professionals to grow in their careers and realise their potential.

Can you tell us a little bit about your role?

I head up the Education division here at FuturU. We deliver recognised and regulated qualifications, primarily to health and social care professionals but people working in other sectors too. We also provide End Point Assessments for apprentices entering into the care profession or progressing through their Adult Care career.

I joined FuturU in September 2022 – it was very early on our journey when we were  conceptualising it and getting everything set up.

What does a typical day look like for you?

Oh gosh – I’m not sure any of my days look the same! A big part of my job is to set the strategy and direction for our educational offer. There’s a need for change and we want to approach things differently, so we’re constantly looking for ways to push the boundaries through the innovative work we’re doing in the technology space. 

At the moment, we’re designing a new Level 2 Adult Social Care certificate which we hope to get approved soon by the regulators, and we really want to challenge the status quo with it, and do things differently. So that’s a primary focus for me right now.

Outside of work, I like the outdoors and I unwind at the gym. I love walking and nature photography. I’m lucky to live in a village in Oxfordshire where I’m never far from nature. 

How did you get into this field of work?

I entered the education sector right after university. To be honest, I fell into it – I was looking for a job to pay the bills!

In my first role I worked with universities, helping them to deliver their degree programmes more flexibly – at a distance and internationally for example – to give learners flexible, non-traditional ways to access high quality education and reputable awards and qualifications. 

Learning online is something we might take for granted today, but back in the early two thousands this was quite novel. We wanted to move away from the prevailing practice of simply putting lecture notes on a virtual learning environment to create online learning experiences that were interactive, engaging and enjoyable. Many of our learners had full time jobs so the learning needed to have immediate applicability and be flexible too. 

I became interested in the idea that there were better ways to provide the learning experience, and that the existing approach to education could and should be reimagined and restructured. These are concepts that continue to be relevant today in the work I do at FuturU. We are designing learning pathways that break down qualifications into their component parts. Ultimately, jobs can be broken down into skills and competencies, so why wouldn’t qualifications be thought of and structured in that way? When you start to rethink what an educational outcome is through that lens, suddenly you can start to think about how you can create a much better alignment between qualifications and careers.

What motivates you at work?

We’re often limited by our own imagination and we don’t know what we don’t know – opening new possibilities up to people is part of what we exist to do, it’s our mission. That gives me a lot of motivation.

Another strong motivator is the people I work directly with. It’s a privilege to be able to support people to succeed in their endeavours, and to be in a leadership position. I wouldn’t be where I am today if it had not been for the people around me who supported and championed me, and believed in me. The thought of being able to give that back to others is a really strong driver for me. 

What do you love most about your job?

Day-to-day, it’s the people I work with. We have a fantastic team who inspire me. There’s not a day that I don’t come to work and learn something from someone, and I treasure that.

Can you tell us a little more about the Level 2 Adult Social Care certificate?

The Level 2 Adult Social Care certificate is an exciting new qualification that’s being launched by the sector to provide people entering the care profession with a formal qualification that helps them on their first step in their career. 

It’s part of a wider drive to professionalise care and put it on an even footing with healthcare. Healthcare has been professionalised for a long time – there are clear roles, career paths and qualifications – but that’s not been the case for care. 

This aligns strongly with our mission to enable healthcare professionals to achieve their potential and have fulfilling careers, and to bring more people into the profession. It’s very exciting!

What excites you most about the future of FuturU?

We’re really excellently positioned right now, at this intersection between the new technologies that are emerging, and the way we are thinking about skills and refocusing education on what people really need to succeed in their careers. I’m really excited about that, and about what it can unlock for our learners.

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