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Employers as Learning Partners Judith Smith, Senior Adviser SRC Mini-Conference 2010: Council Chamber, All Saints, Thursday 4 th November 2010.

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Presentation on theme: "Employers as Learning Partners Judith Smith, Senior Adviser SRC Mini-Conference 2010: Council Chamber, All Saints, Thursday 4 th November 2010."— Presentation transcript:

1 Employers as Learning Partners Judith Smith, Senior Adviser SRC Mini-Conference 2010: Council Chamber, All Saints, Thursday 4 th November 2010

2  Context  Definition  Key issues  Recent initiatives  Questions for consideration

3  What we don’t know ◦ 2006 Leitch Review- need for higher level skills, business and university engagement- set target for 2020 ? The new political arena ◦ 2009 Higher Ambitions (Framework for HE); UKCES/BIS National Skills Strategy- ?The future ◦ Impact of Browne?  What we do know ◦ New government approaches –continuing work with business/employers- expansion of HEIF; enterprise, New Technology and Innovation Centres (Cameron to CBI) ◦ Public information set- need for identification of links with employers and support for employability (Willets) ◦ 2009 New Industry, New Jobs – STEM, low carbon, new innovations, responding to social, health issues relating to demographics

4 The Academy’s mission is to support the sector in providing the best possible learning experience for all students  Employability Learning programme  Facilitate and broker networks of projects, institutions, individual academics and subject centres in the areas of employee learning, employability, employer engagement  Disseminate the learning of pedagogical approaches and methodology associated with quality and standards in workforce development, work based learning and employer responsive provision

5  Working with employers to increase the quality and/or the quantity of employer responsive higher education provision  Working with employers to enhance the employability and skills of our students, including those already in employment

6  Many students now and in future are likely to be employees first and foremost ◦ What do they bring? What services do they need? What are they looking for?  The work-place is a context for learning and applying new knowledge- where does the campus fit in? ◦ What are the teaching and learning issues– more of the same? new approaches? fitting in with existing provision? bespoke provision?

7  Learning enhances the individual’s skills and career progression but also meets employer need for workforce development – what role for HE in supporting each?  Academic standards?  Funding mechanisms? Cost effectiveness?  The ability to be flexible/ what flexibility means?

8 Investing in learning to improve personal performance in securing new work Investing in learning to improve personal and professional performance in existing work/ organisation Investing in learning to improve the organisation’s performance and competitiveness Investing in learning to bring knowledge and skills into the organisation Formal relationship (employed) Informal relationship (not employed) Organisation driven Individual driven Nixon, I. (2006) Work-based learning: Illuminating the higher education landscape, HE Academy

9 Opportunities/challenges for HEIs…. (1) Traditional Provider focus: Identifies needs Develops generic knowledge/skills Creates new knowledge Work relevant Employer/learner focus: Identifies needs Develops applied knowledge/skills Transfers existing knowledge Creates new knowledge Work focused

10 Opportunities/challenges for HEIs..(2) Provider develops curriculum Provider undertakes assessment Wholly accredited by provider Evaluate quality of learning experience Learner/employer negotiates curriculum Employer/learner contributes to assessment May not be accredited Evaluate impact on learner/organisation development

11 Opportunities/challenges for HEIs….(3) Fixed delivery schedule Full/part time clearly distinguished Support is programme centred Learner support is from provider Assessment focused on Knowledge Traditional approach to assessment Flexible delivery schedule Maybe full or part time learning - short/long/ accumulated Support is learner centred Learner support is from employer Assessment focused on knowledge/skills Innovative assessment

12  Varying numbers of learners?  Budget constraints?  Changing context/different skills requirements?  Need for portable/transferable skills?  Quality assurance issues of staff/business?  In house training?  Mentoring and supervision?  Progression e.g for apprentices?

13  HEFCE/HEA/QAA/fdf initiative to address issues  Highlighting good practice on managing quality of provision disseminated across the sector  Support from QAA ‘Employer responsive provision survey: a reflective report’ ◦ Definition; HEI considerations; LTA; use of credit  Development of ‘Demonstrator’ projects (highlighting key learning emerging from the projects)

14  Maintaining HE standards in accredited in- company training  Managing employer and HEI partnerships to maintain quality and standards  Rapid response and fit for purpose solutions for employers, which maintain standards  Designing, accrediting and assuring bite size provision

15  Supporting employer-based staff and academic who contribute to academic awards on workforce development provision  Supporting workplace mentors  Assessment, including use of external examiners, Boards, roles for employers  Determining the volume of credit for negotiated learning  Achieving equity and consistency by quality assuring APEL

16  9 leads, 30+ HEIs, 2 LLNs, 1 FEC, several employers contributed to the projects  Designed to draw out exemplar approaches to tackling key issues  Designed to be read alongside the QAA report  Full report on HEA web and ‘EvidenceNet ’

17  Assessment: “quality assurance of work-based assessment frameworks need to consist of an appropriate ‘blend’ or ‘meshing’ of workplace competencies, rubrics and organisational impact considerations with academic theory and knowledge, so that the end ‘product’ is a learner who has developed comprehensive personal and professional attributes and who can be a more effective participant in relation to their organisational environment”

18  Partnerships: the case studies highlight the need for academic staff delivering on employer- responsive programmes to have experience of workplace practice or, on occasions, to undertake additional training to prepare them for employer- responsive learning

19  University management of work-based learning Written by members of the PVC Employer Engagement SIG for PVCs and middle managers  Quality and responding to employer needs Summary of the learning from the nine HEFCE funded demonstrator projects that the Academy coordinated,  Learning from Experience in Employer Engagement Publication with chapters written by HEFCE funded EE projects

20  How can HE develop a constituency/culture that considers employers as learning partners?  There are challenges involved in developing partnerships with employers- what is the role for academics? How should HEIs develop new approaches to LTA?  There may be new skills requirements for HE staff to engage- what are the issues in supporting, developing, rewarding HE staff?  Developing a holistic approach to institutional employer engagement- for employability development, for employee up-skilling, for skills utilisation, for KTP?

21  Judith Smith, Senior Adviser  Jane Kettle, Senior Adviser  Laila Burton, Programme Coordinator Tel:


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