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Employer led consortia & provider networks Charles Pickford

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1 Employer led consortia & provider networks Charles Pickford

2 One of the objectives of the consortium approach to developing employer-led higher education is to ensure that employers’ needs are met in a sustainable way. This relates to both large and smaller employers. Ensuring a consistency of approach and the application of standards (where they exist) means that the skills acquired on the Foundation degree programme are not only relevant to the host employer but also transferable and recognised by the employer body as a whole. Despite competition, such transferability is valued across both the private and public sectors.

3 Skills and education deficits Up-skill and re-skill existing employees Recruitment Retention Succession planning Attitudes & behaviour Value for money from education and training Evaluating the effectiveness of graduate recruitment Opportunities for growing internal talent Consistent messages from employers across sectors are:

4 Expectation of HE Strategic long term developments Collaborative relationships between HE partners Collaborative relationships with other stakeholders Consistent, but not prescriptive, national provision Alignment to national standards Delivery by staff with current industry knowledge Embraces employer expertise Values & maximises opportunities for work based learning Accredits employer based training Models of delivery that meet employers & learners needs Professional Client Management

5 The consortium approach also provides an important mechanism to support smaller business and enterprises. ‘Not all employers have the head room to engage with the agenda yet still want the benefits of an employer led HE offer’ Such organisations often have insufficient ‘buying’ capacity to influence higher education requirements. This may be reflected in various ways:

6 the limited number of students that they can support on an educational programme limited work-based learning experiences (where new roles require practice and experience that may not yet be in existence within that organisation) limited resources to fully engage with the lengthy process of developing and, once developed, the monitoring of a programme the fact that universities do not have the capacity to fully involve every single employer in the decision-making and monitoring processes.

7 Emerging characteristics of consortia: The employers in the consortia have recognised the need for higher level skills within their business Higher education institutions have a demonstrated commitment to satisfying the higher level skills needs for this particular business sector All partners recognise that current higher level provision does not offer a complete package for total workforce development

8 Emerging characteristics of consortia 2: Both employers and providers are prepared to step out from organisational and institutional self interest and recognise that the wider interests of the sector (inclusive of the supply chain) must be addressed to attain the education and skills for global competitiveness All partners have the organisational and individual capacity to contribute to shaping the educational agenda. This is not restricted to large businesses, there are smaller organisations willing to make a commitment of time and energy

9 Emerging characteristics of consortia 3: The employers and providers have the ambition to provide leadership for the sector Neither community is wedded to historical approaches in relation to the development of higher level skills The consortia are solutions-driven and output-focussed, with a pragmatic approach to tackling the challenges addressing issues There is a recognition that the approach adopted must meet current and anticipated workforce development needs within a competitive market place where attracting and retaining talented staff is crucial to the success of the sector

10 Case studies Rail ICT Power Engineering

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