Here are the answers to some common questions about the education and skills landscape and how businesses can get involved.
The Guide and the Index are resources for employers who are looking for information on the Education Landscape in England. You will find a clear summary of the education and skills landscape, the range of options, and the different ways employers may wish to get involved with the education and skills system, and insights on the many benefits to business of getting involved. These independent resources also point you to authoritative information to follow-up on particular areas, for example, employing an apprentice, hosting an industry placement for a T Level student, options for upskilling your existing workforce, or supporting careers education in your local school.
You can find the contact details for local employer organisations representative bodies for industry, wherever you’re based in the country, as well as from training and education organisations on the Next Steps page of this website. These organisations can answer specific questions and provide further guidance on how businesses can get involved with the education and training system.
Most of your future workforce is currently in education, which means connecting with schools, colleges and universities is a great way to source talent. Businesses will gain understanding of individuals who could become future employees, as well as insights into the education and training landscape as a whole. Taking opportunities to share your knowledge and experience will help inspire and inform the career choices of the next generation. Opportunities include giving a careers talk, providing one-to-one mentoring for a student, or opening your doors to young people to visit your premises. There are great opportunities for businesses to raise awareness and understanding of their organisation and industry helping students to think about their future employment choices. Longer placements also give you additional resource for your team, and you can use the opportunity to assess a student’s capability, often recruiting direct from the placement programmes. Find out more about the benefits of this engagement through the Guide and Index (download below).
Providing workplace experiences is a great way to raise awareness and understanding of your organisation and industry, and help students transition into the workplace. Activities include hosting short workplace visits or longer industry placement opportunities for older students. More detail on what different workplace experiences entail can be found in the Index (download below), as well as links to further information from reliable sources.
Your input into classes will ensure that teachers can share up to date knowledge, and gives you the opportunity to shape the skills being taught around your business needs. You could help design a course or support a student project, give teachers the opportunity to find out about current industry practice by hosting a site visit, teach a masterclass yourself, or even donate some equipment or workshop time for students. More detail on ways to support high-quality teaching can be found in the Index (download below), as well as links to further information from reliable sources.
If a business is aiming to boost productivity and improve employee retention, investing in the professional development of its existing team is an important strand of activity. Leadership and management skills are some popular forms of training. However, businesses can also consider linking up with their local college or university to open the door for technical training to upskill or reskill existing staff. The Index (download below) includes links to information for businesses about training and development available from the education and training organisations.
Sharing your knowledge and expertise with education institutions, with skills bodies, and with government will help to influence what is taught so that it is relevant to your business. You could work with a college to design a course relevant to your business or be a school or college governor. Or you might contribute to the expert employer panels that shape technical education nationally or locally. More detail on ways to provide expert guidance can be found in the Index (download below), as well as links to further information from reliable sources.
Government has been working with employers to change technical education, to benefit industry and to help individuals gain good jobs. Groups of employers are setting the standards for different occupations and the Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education is working with panels of employer experts to make sure the standards stay up to date. The occupational standards underpin apprenticeships and new technical qualifications, such as T Levels and Higher Technical Qualifications. Find out more in the Guide (download below).
This is an easy to understand and independent overview of the options for engaging with the education and skills landscape, plus the benefits of doing so. The Guide is backed by leading business organisations and also provides information on how technical education is changing to better meet business needs.
The Index is a comprehensive list of the range of activities and schemes businesses may be asked to get involved with. There could be different terms being used in your local areas, but the Index contains the main categories you need to know about. The benefits of each activity and the likely time commitments are included too.