What are the best current practices in Employer Engagement in Further Education? During February 2015 we asked in our Employer Engagement Survey 67 professionals working in Further Education across United Kingdom what they think about Employer Engagement, what marketing activities they do and which activities they would like to do more.
Overall, our respondents shared the idea that employer engagement is all about building long term relationships with employers and delivering courses that prepare learners for employment and meet the needs of employers.
Unsurprisingly, the main source of frustration for 45% of our respondents were the constant changes of government funding policies. With the upcoming election this is a hot topic in the news. You can see that every party has its own program for improving the education sector. While these initiatives can be beneficial they bring uncertainty to the current climate.
Most marketers and employees in business development wish they had bigger marketing budgets and 42% of our respondents are no exception, making it the second biggest challenge.
The focus of employer engagement activities seems to be more or less aligned with the Skills funding statement with 68% of respondents planning to focus in 2015 on promoting apprenticeships, followed by 65% planning to increase the number of employers they work with.
When it comes to marketing tactics, and sourcing market information, it’s all about face to face interaction with employers. 75% use job fairs for marketing and 70% use employer visits and long term relationships to learn about the market.
According to Skills Funding Agency (SFA) if Colleges are not perceived as collaborating enough with their Local Enterprise Partnership, they can see their budgets diminish. But at this moment, only 42% rely on market information of Local Enterprise Partnerships and even less, only 25%, on their local councils. This suggests that more collaboration is needed to identify regional skills gaps as 42% of providers do plan to develop new courses to meet local needs.
What is on the marketing wish list of our respondents? More than half would like to see more social media marketing and face to face interactions with employers such as job fairs.
Active Informatics has recently released Connect Employer Engagement, a next generation customer relationship management CRM that supports all education and skills provider’s Employer Engagement and Student Work Placement activities.