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From outreach to intake: Employer Standards for ţƵ Education

08 Nov 2023

Employers are central to improving careers provision in schools and colleges. When young people meet with multiple employers in multiple ways, they gain skills, networks and social capital. They are better able to understand the new and changing routes into to work. Disadvantaged young people benefit most.

There are clear business benefits too (which this report can evidence). The more sophisticated education outreach programmes are, the more they help employers to close skills gaps and the more diverse their talent pipelines become. At a time when skills shortages are acute, some businesses are gaining significantly from effective outreach.

The Employer Standards are designed to improve the engagement between young people and employers, to the benefit of each.

The Employer Standards is a new framework and tool developed by The ţƵ & Enterprise Company to help raise the quality of business outreach with education at scale. Over 360 employers have already evaluated themselves against nine evidence-based Standards. We are grateful for their commitment to this agenda. This is providing powerful comparative data about what’s working and areas to improve.

Insight 1: High quality employer outreach works. It boosts recruitment and improves outcomes for young people.

Employers who use outreach to promote pathways to work are receiving more applications from young people. Those doing the most targeted and intensive work are four time more likely to report an increase in the number of young people applying for apprenticeships.

Insight 2: Some employers and industries are benefitting more. Ongoing and connected programmes are increasing student interest in sectors with shortages.

Construction and health & social work are among the sectors with sophisticated outreach programmes that include long-term engagement and effective targeting. On average, employers in these sectors are achieving or exceeding 7.1 and 6.5 Standards respectively, versus 5.7 for all employers.

Insight 3: The Standards are highlighting common challenges around supporting the interview and application process and the engagement of parents/carers.

Preparing young people for application processes (Standard 5) is proving the most challenging for employers to meet (average score of 41%). This finding is matched by FSQ data (58% of Year 11 students report they do not feel confident talking about their skills in an interview, contrasting with more positive responses on other career readiness questions).

This report summarises key findings from the initial data gathered from self-assessments. It focuses on a sample of 342 employers who had completed the Standards by the end of September 2023.

We have also used two other data sources to provide comparative analysis:

  • Pupil feedback from the Future Skills Questionnaire (FSQ) – completed by over 100,000 school aged young people last academic year (2022/23).
  • Business insight data from employers completed as part of the initial Standards self-assessment, enabling links to be made between standard achievement and reported outcomes.

Read the full findings

Employer Standards is a new framework and tool developed by The ţƵ & Enterprise Company to help raise the quality of business outreach with education at scale.

Read the report