James Lott is co-founder and managing director of Working Knowledge

As Colleges get to grips with new work experience criteria for their 16 to 19 year old learners, a large-scale survey has identified a huge appetite from business to support young people to become job ready. A wide range of UK businesses including Atkins Nuclear, EE, MITIE and Francis Clarke LLP have expressed their intention to employ school or college leavers in the coming year – as long as they can demonstrate the right skills and attitude to secure the job.

We know that Colleges place a high priority on engaging employers and are taking action to address new work experience criteria. Over 95% of the Colleges we spoke to at the AOC Conference reported that they will find it very challenging to offer work experience opportunities to all their students, with 67% finding it hard to engage relevant employers.

We appreciate that Colleges have a significant task on their hands to provide meaningful work experience opportunities of a high standard for all learners whilst keeping employers engaged and supported. However, the below findings provide reassurance and a useful insight into the determination of industry to support young people in a challenging climate.

Passion, positive attitude and literacy skills

Of the 1,500 businesses we surveyed, over half (52%) prioritised passion over work experience and academic qualifications. Respondents said they would be most likely to look twice at a school or college leavers’ CV if they were able to ‘demonstrate a passion for their industry in their personal statement’.

Positive attitude, motivation and a good work ethic are the top 3 attitudes prospective employers would expect to see in a potential candidate. In terms of skills, good literacy levels, communication, teamwork and social skills are top of the list for employers.

Meaningful work experience opportunities

Interestingly and significantly, only 56% of businesses cite an ‘individual work placement with a relevant employer’ as the most useful work experience a potential new recruit could undertake. Respondents also chose ‘industry specific projects set and judged by business’ or ‘Dragons Den-style employability events with business volunteers’ as meaningful activities they would be interested in supporting.

Resources, time and ‘red tape’ are just some of the challenges employers cite as barriers to offering work experience placements to young people in education. 68% of employers surveyed said that the limited capacity and resources of their business would make it difficult to offer work placements to students.

Uncovering solutions - for Colleges and local employers

For the past eight years we have witnessed the enthusiasm and commitment of the 2,500 businesses we engage in employability programmes with our partner Colleges. Once their eyes are opened to the talent of young people in FE, businesses are very keen to do more – but need support and the right opportunities to stay engaged.

To uncover some solutions to these challenges, we are hosting a high-profile forum at New College Swindon this Thursday 25th April with senior management from 30 Further Education Colleges and industry experts representing leading employers including Intel, Wella, MITIE, BAM Construct and Salesforce.

We feel have an important role to play in guiding and supporting our partner colleges at this challenging time of funding reform. We are looking forward to sharing our extensive experience of engaging employers and seeing the results of lively facilitated discussions between the two sectors. We will be happy to report back on the outcomes of this forum and share more employer insights in FE News later in the Spring.

James Lott is co-founder and managing director of Working Knowledge, a social enterprise that creates chances for young people to open doors into employment. It offers a range of value-added work experience and employability services to Further Education Colleges that engage employers

You may also be interested in these articles:

Register, Login or Login with your Social Media account:


Advertisers

Upcoming FE Events

Advertiser Skyscrapers

Latest Education News

Further Education News

The FE News Channel gives you the latest education news and updates on emerging education strategies and the #FutureofEducation and the #FutureofWork.

Providing trustworthy and positive Further Education news and views since 2003, we are a digital news channel with a mixture of written word articles, podcasts and videos. Our specialisation is providing you with a mixture of the latest education news, our stance is always positive, sector building and sharing different perspectives and views from thought leaders, to provide you with a think tank of new ideas and solutions to bring the education sector together and come up with new innovative solutions and ideas.

FE News publish exclusive peer to peer thought leadership articles from our feature writers, as well as user generated content across our network of over 3000 Newsrooms, offering multiple sources of the latest education news across the Education and Employability sectors.

FE News also broadcast live events, podcasts with leading experts and thought leaders, webinars, video interviews and Further Education news bulletins so you receive the latest developments in Skills News and across the Apprenticeship, Further Education and Employability sectors.

Every week FE News has over 200 articles and new pieces of content per week. We are a news channel providing the latest Further Education News, giving insight from multiple sources on the latest education policy developments, latest strategies, through to our thought leaders who provide blue sky thinking strategy, best practice and innovation to help look into the future developments for education and the future of work.

In May 2020, FE News had over 120,000 unique visitors according to Google Analytics and over 200 new pieces of news content every week, from thought leadership articles, to the latest education news via written word, podcasts, video to press releases from across the sector.

We thought it would be helpful to explain how we tier our latest education news content and how you can get involved and understand how you can read the latest daily Further Education news and how we structure our FE Week of content:

Main Features

Our main features are exclusive and are thought leadership articles and blue sky thinking with experts writing peer to peer news articles about the future of education and the future of work. The focus is solution led thought leadership, sharing best practice, innovation and emerging strategy. These are often articles about the future of education and the future of work, they often then create future education news articles. We limit our main features to a maximum of 20 per week, as they are often about new concepts and new thought processes. Our main features are also exclusive articles responding to the latest education news, maybe an insight from an expert into a policy announcement or response to an education think tank report or a white paper.

FE Voices

FE Voices was originally set up as a section on FE News to give a voice back to the sector. As we now have over 3,000 newsrooms and contributors, FE Voices are usually thought leadership articles, they don’t necessarily have to be exclusive, but usually are, they are slightly shorter than Main Features. FE Voices can include more mixed media with the Further Education News articles, such as embedded podcasts and videos. Our sector response articles asking for different comments and opinions to education policy announcements or responding to a report of white paper are usually held in the FE Voices section. If we have a live podcast in an evening or a radio show such as SkillsWorldLive radio show, the next morning we place the FE podcast recording in the FE Voices section.

Sector News

In sector news we have a blend of content from Press Releases, education resources, reports, education research, white papers from a range of contributors. We have a lot of positive education news articles from colleges, awarding organisations and Apprenticeship Training Providers, press releases from DfE to Think Tanks giving the overview of a report, through to helpful resources to help you with delivering education strategies to your learners and students.

Podcasts

We have a range of education podcasts on FE News, from hour long full production FE podcasts such as SkillsWorldLive in conjunction with the Federation of Awarding Bodies, to weekly podcasts from experts and thought leaders, providing advice and guidance to leaders. FE News also record podcasts at conferences and events, giving you one on one podcasts with education and skills experts on the latest strategies and developments.

We have over 150 education podcasts on FE News, ranging from EdTech podcasts with experts discussing Education 4.0 and how technology is complimenting and transforming education, to podcasts with experts discussing education research, the future of work, how to develop skills systems for jobs of the future to interviews with the Apprenticeship and Skills Minister.

We record our own exclusive FE News podcasts, work in conjunction with sector partners such as FAB to create weekly podcasts and daily education podcasts, through to working with sector leaders creating exclusive education news podcasts.

Education Video Interviews

FE News have over 700 FE Video interviews and have been recording education video interviews with experts for over 12 years. These are usually vox pop video interviews with experts across education and work, discussing blue sky thinking ideas and views about the future of education and work.

Events

FE News has a free events calendar to check out the latest conferences, webinars and events to keep up to date with the latest education news and strategies.

FE Newsrooms

The FE Newsroom is home to your content if you are a FE News contributor. It also help the audience develop relationship with either you as an individual or your organisation as they can click through and ‘box set’ consume all of your previous thought leadership articles, latest education news press releases, videos and education podcasts.

Do you want to contribute, share your ideas or vision or share a press release?

If you want to write a thought leadership article, share your ideas and vision for the future of education or the future of work, write a press release sharing the latest education news or contribute to a podcast, first of all you need to set up a FE Newsroom login (which is free): once the team have approved your newsroom (all content, newsrooms are all approved by a member of the FE News team- no robots are used in this process!), you can then start adding content (again all articles, videos and podcasts are all approved by the FE News editorial team before they go live on FE News). As all newsrooms and content are approved by the FE News team, there will be a slight delay on the team being able to review and approve content.

 RSS IconRSS Feed Selection Page