From education to employment

Business and Further Education collaborate to address skills gaps

Working Knowledge has recently partnered with the award winning West of England Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) to deliver a series of five skills forums uniting industry and Further Education.

‘The industry delegates provided Further Education staff with labour intelligence into what skills employers want their workforce to have.’ The West of England Local Enterprise Partnership

The forums aimed to develop dialogue and collaboration between Further Education and employers. Five priority sectors were represented: Advanced Engineering and Aerospace; Banking, Finance and Professional Services; Creative, Low Carbon and Tourism and Leisure. Further Education was represented by Weston College, City of Bristol College, City of Bath College, Norton Radstock College and South Gloucestershire and Stroud College. Both parties collaborated to define how to best prepare young people for the world of work.

‘Working Knowledge delivered an interesting forum that focused on actions and outcomes. I look forward to receiving the employer insights and continuing to work with the partners and this exciting time of change.’ Mike Harris, City of Bristol College

Taking the Skills Challenge

During the forums over 100 business representatives joined 50 Further Education representatives to participate in a series of workshops, aiming to identify and formulate creative solutions to skill challenges identified within each of the priority sectors.  Delegates were invited to:

  • Explore skill gaps and developments in each of the priority sectors

  • Review industry specific trends and plans

  • Co-create employability programmes that directly meet the needs of the sector

  • Discuss how to open dialogue and relationships between peers in education and industry

  • Define how to equip learners with the skills required by industry

  • Plan how to up skill existing employees and college staff

The Outcome

Following the skills forum we have published a series of five employer insights to provide Further Education Colleges with current labour market and industry specific intelligence.  You can view the employer insights here.

Dr James Lott is co-founder and managing director of Working Knowledge, a social enterprise that creates chances for young people to open doors into employment. It offers a range of value-added work experience and employability services to Further Education Colleges that engage employers

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