Presentation on theme: "Progressing from labour market intelligence reports to HE level provision that is well supported by employers Suzanne Maxwell Head of Continuing Professional."— Presentation transcript:
Progressing from labour market intelligence reports to HE level provision that is well supported by employers Suzanne Maxwell Head of Continuing Professional Development Continuing Professional Development
Background The University has strong links with industry, one of the largest placement schemes in the UK and a very strong graduate employment profile Its research and contracts portfolio is worth £87m There is an increasing emphasis on knowledge transfer, i.e. achieving economic, social or other impact from its research Continuing Professional Development (CPD) is seen as a key element of the University’s knowledge transfer strategy
What do we mean by CPD? The focus of CPD at Bath is on workforce development, primarily at postgraduate level in STEM areas. An example: The Faculty of Engineering and Design offers a suite of distance learning programmes. Participants can work towards a Masters award or can opt to take individual units for CPD purposes. The courses enable businesses to benefit from EPSRC funded energy efficiency and sustainability research, specifically in energy and the environment, bio and alternative fuels, renewables, low carbon building materials, power and energy engineering, sustainable environments and green chemicals.
From UKIRC (2010) Knowledge Exchange between Academics Knowledge Exchange between Academics and the Business, Public and Third Sectors
Why do we need to understand employers’ needs? Published information offers a good steer in terms of the skills gaps that may exist in a particular sector but there is a need to go beyond this and look at specific requirements Whilst it is important that our courses build on our research, it is essential that they also meet employers’ needs What are the difficulties? Time and resources Language barriers Number of SMEs in region Complexity of what we are able to offer
University of Bath Sub Project A partnership for Engineering CPD, learning, training and knowledge exchange Collaborating with Wiltshire College, Swindon College and City of Bath College, recognising the potential strength a cooperative relationship can provide to employers in terms of the supply of knowledge and accredited learning across all levels (from NVQ1 to PhD)
Aims 1 To generate specific market information and intelligence about engineering employers’ training/CPD to understand more fully their behaviours and demands 2 3 To ascertain current levels of market penetration, overlaps and gaps in coverage by the University and the colleges To develop innovative and cooperative working between the University and the colleges such that it can better meet the wide needs of employers and can lead to sustainable engagement across the region and between the 4 institutions
What did we do? Identified a region/companies to be included in the research Acquired client data from all partners Developed a value proposition and a telephone questionnaire Targeted 435 companies - 50 took part and provided information on the composition of their workforces, anticipated growth strategies, training and development, and opportunities for working with the partners in the future Followed up with letters and circulated the findings of the research Carried out a number of visits which elicited richer and different information from the calls
Summary of findings Most companies’ workforces are not growing The focus is on existing clients’ needs and securing new business Developing the current workforce and promoting internal progression is a priority (rather than the employment of new staff) Training and learning increasingly needs to be work-based Regional suppliers able to provide skills, expertise and knowledge in partnership with employers are perceived to have clear benefits over suppliers based outside the region (except where specialist expertise is the reason for engaging them)
Learning Points There are good opportunities for developing CPD for employers (although this may be better termed learning or training) Labour market information is an important first step in determining skills gaps and a general understanding, but… Face-to-face dialogue and exchange of information with key decision-makers is vital Our approach to employer engagement is somewhat fragmented We should work more closely with our partners to offer a comprehensive service to employers Staff time and resource needs to be allocated in order to build and maintain relationships with employers Suitable staff should be selected to undertake this work and should receive appropriate training
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