Employer Engagement Activities:

Careers events participation

Careers events are aimed at raising awareness and understanding of the range of employment opportunities available to young people planning for their future careers. They also provide an opportunity for employers to promote opportunities in their organisations, meet with the young people who could become future employees and talk about the skills and qualities they look for in recruits.

The events are normally hosted by education providers or careers support organisations and provide exhibition space for employers to promote their companies and their employment opportunities. Some events also include workshops allowing employers to present information about their organisation, the types of careers available, and current and future recruitment opportunities.

Careers talks

Careers talks allow an employer to present information about their organisation and the types of careers that they can offer, with details about the skills and qualities they look for in recruits.

They can take place by employers visiting schools, groups of students visiting an employer, or as part of a careers event.

These talks can also support the matching of the school curriculum with careers needs.

Job entry support (CV workshops/mock interviews)

Employers can provide opportunities for students to learn about what they look for on CVs and application forms, followed by an opportunity to practice developing CVs/applications based on a real job description and application format. This support can be delivered through a classroom – based workshop, with employers providing advice on applying for jobs, followed by mock interviews with advice and feedback on interview techniques.

This approach can be undertaken for any work experience opportunities that an employer has available.

Employability workshops /sessions

This activity is aimed at developing skills in young people that will help them to get and stay in work. Employability skills include functional, personal, learning and thinking skills.

Employers can set specific tasks and projects that will help to develop such skills, that also link the curriculum to the world of work, but help young people learn by doing.

They can be undertaken as single or a series of workshops /sessions and are normally developed in conjunction with teachers.

Mentoring support

This involves employees working as volunteers to provide a role model or advisory /learning support to an individual student. The focus is on establishing a relationship that will encourage ambition, raise aspirations and support personal skills development and increase confidence. Some mentoring support focuses on the development of numeracy and literacy skills (particularly in primary schools), where an employee volunteers as a reading or numbers partner to a student.

The support is normally provided for about an hour a week during the school term.

Enterprise support/ Champion

This type of support focuses on providing learning experiences that help to develop enterprise skills in young people, including the ability to be innovative and creative, take and manage risks, have a ‘can do’ attitude and the drive to make things happen. It also includes financial capability, and business and economic understanding.

Employers can set specific tasks and projects that will help to develop such skills, that also link the curriculum to the world of work, but help young people learn by doing. This may include a project allowing students to run their own company offering a real service or product. The project may include: designing and making their product or service; marketing and selling; trading and managing the company; and raising revenue through selling shares.

Employees work alongside small teams of students to provide advice and guidance, whilst the students make the key decisions following consultation and debate.

Enterprise Advisor

This is a national programme run by the Careers Enterprise Company and delivered with the support of the Leeds City Region Local Enterprise Partnership.

Volunteers with experience of employment or self-employment working as Enterprise Advisers (and supported by Enterprise Coordinators), will work closely with a specific school /college to: develop a whole school strategy for careers, enterprise and employer engagement; provide access to their local business networks; and help schools /colleges to develop programmes and activities to motivate young people, support independent choice and positive outcomes for young people.

More details about this specific programme are available here…

Class-room learning and curriculum development support

This involves employers working with teachers to support class-room based learning that develops STEM, sector-specific and/or core skills, demonstrating the relevance of academic learning, and how it can be applied in the world of work.

Employers can become involved in one or more of the following:

  • Curriculum design and review – focusing specifically on bringing the curriculum and learning up to date with developments in STEM and key sectors
  • Project design and delivery – providing staff to support specific tasks and projects that will help to develop skills, that also link the curriculum to the world of work, but help young people learn by doing
  • Problem-solving challenges – providing staff to facilitate independent thinking, team work, and develop solutions to real-life business problems.
  • Work-related learning resources – facilitating use and access to technologies and new learning techniques and resource such as virtual labs making science more accessible and fun.
  • Classroom presentations by employees – raising awareness of STEM, key sectors and skills needed

Employers can work directly with individual schools or can contribute to wider programmes for example via the Industrial Centres of Excellence and as STEM Ambassadors.

Work experience

This is defined as ‘A placement on employers’ premises in which a learner carries out a particular task or duty, or range of tasks or duties, more or less as an employee, but with emphasis on the learning aspects of the experience’.

Work experience is intended to help young people understand the world of work, and develop employability skills and a ‘can do’ attitude. It provides an opportunity for young people to understand their strengths and areas for further development, whilst building personal skills such as confidence and clarifying their career options and interests.

For an employer offering work experience allows them to model the patterns of work and learning for the future workforce, equipping young people for working life. It provides access to potential future employees, and aids recruitment alongside raising the organisation’s profile amongst young people.

It can take different forms for example a week or 2-week block, or 1 day per week for a set period.

Work shadowing

Work shadowing can be provided to both students and teachers, giving students an understanding of specific job role, and educating teachers into changing workplace practices, so that they can impart their knowledge to their students.

The employer provides an opportunity for the student/teacher to follow one person through an agreed working time period, learning about the nature of the work and the skills needed to undertake it.

School Governor

Schools are increasingly seeking employers to support their governing bodies and provide a business perspective on its long-term development and its strategy and curriculum. The governors have 3 core roles:

  • To support and challenge – including ensuring accountability and championing success.
  • To provide strategic management – establishing a strategic framework and monitoring and evaluating progress.
  • To make executive decisions – allocating and controlling the school budget, and appointing senior staff.

The average time commitment is 10-15 hours per term, but there are considerable benefits to contributing to governing bodies, including helping staff to develop valuable skills, and enabling employers to play a positive role in their community.

STEM Ambassador

This is a national programme run by STEMNET (the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics Network), who work with thousands of schools, colleges and STEM employers, to enable young people of all backgrounds and abilities to meet inspiring role models, understand real world applications of STEM subjects and experience hands-on STEM activities that motivate, inspire and bring learning and career opportunities to life.

STEM Ambassadors come from a wide range of careers and professions and volunteer their time and support to promote STEM subjects to young people through a range of original, creative, practical and engaging ways.

They provide an invaluable and free resource for teachers, helping to deliver the STEM curriculum and raise awareness of STEM careers, by revealing how essential STEM is throughout the world.

More details about this specific programme are available here…

Workplace visits

These are planned visits hosted by employers to enable students to understand the different job roles and activities within an organisation. The employer provides staff to act as guides to small groups of students on site tours, and provide information about how the organisation works.

The 2-4 hour visits are planned with the teachers in advance, with preparations about what students should look out for. The students are debriefed at the end of the visit.

Bradford Council have supported the establishment of four business-led industrial centres of excellence: Built Environment, Business, Environmental Technologies and Advanced Manufacturing and Engineering. They have been set up to enable local/ national companies to take an increased leadership role in the design and delivery of 14-19 learning and drive up the aspirations amongst young people and demand for skills needed to support the growth of businesses in key sectors in the Bradford Economy.

The centres are developing a pipeline of potential recruits. They provide an environment where employers and educational providers work in partnership to exchange knowledge and innovation, helping to address potential skills gaps within industry. With employer input ICE students gain industry led qualifications, knowledge and experience given them a deeper understanding of industry, boosting their employability.