How to get the edge on school outreach

Mar 14, 2024 | Apprentices & school leaver, Home Featured, How-to

ISE’s latest research reveals what employers can do to better engage schools and college students in careers.

ISE’s School Outreach report Forging Stronger Bonds: Redefining Employer-School Engagement for Tomorrow provides insight to how employers can best work with schools and colleges to engage students with careers.

From across the UK, 91 schools and colleges and 53 student employers, from a range of sectors and organisation sizes, were surveyed. You can read some of the main findings in our article to launch the report.

Three key themes emerged from the findings.

Start early
Schools and colleges reported that today the majority of engagement and outreach activities are targeted at Years 10- 13 students. This would correlate with employers telling us that one of their primary goals of undertakings these activities is for recruitment purposes.

Some activities are undertaken by employers for earlier year groups (Years 7-9). The report found employers would benefit from this early approach over the long-term.

Engaging early provides an opportunity to inspire and engage students about your sector and educate them about different pathways you offer while building diverse, sustainable talent pipelines for the future.

Understand needs
When shaping your outreach strategy, think carefully about your objectives and how you can build deeper relationships with schools and colleges at this early stage.
This means understanding what schools and colleges need. There are a wide variety of activities being undertaken currently, from careers fairs and assemblies to workshops, mentoring, and more. However, while the educators surveyed felt they had sufficient careers fairs and emails about careers opportunities, they would like more mentoring, careers assemblies and practical help with interviews, CVs and assessments.
Schools and colleges also told us that they preferred activities during assemblies or lesson time and the vast majority would prefer them to be 30 minutes to an hour long.
Through understanding the needs of the school or college, it will help you identify how you can add value through less frequent but higher quality engagements, increasing impact for you, the school/college and its students.

The report found both schools and employers would benefit from organisations getting together on careers activities.

Take the opportunity to join forces internally with colleagues, and externally with other employers and third-party suppliers on school outreach activity.

Sector based and cross sector collaborations provide an efficient and effective way to inspire and educate students about careers and bring both vocational and academic pathways to life.

Collaboration could also help if you aren’t able to offer in-person/traditional work experiences due to role type or sector. Consider if there are other innovative ways to bring the working world to life for young people.

Could you join employers in similar sectors to deliver an engaging and inspiring experience which simulates working on a project/scenario without the full commitment of traditional work experience opportunities?

You may also be interested in…

Employer collaboration essential for successful school outreach

How Aon reinvented work experience to engage disadvantaged young people

What makes good employer engagement in schools?





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