From education to employment

Connecting local businesses with colleges

In this article the author focuses on the importance of businesses partnering with local colleges. These partnerships can be mutually beneficial. By offering real -world experience and tapping into fresh talent, local businesses can identify potential future employees while universities can promote experiential learning and better graduate prospects.

Connecting local businesses with colleges

It is common knowledge that we are right in the middle of an employment crisis, with companies across all sectors struggling to find the right people to join their businesses. Employees since the pandemic are being careful with what careers they pursue, and we have seen in recent times retail really being affected. An example is what has happened with Wilko, meaning employees are being really careful with their career choices, and this is leading to staff shortages across a whole range of sectors, but in some sectors, this is even more severe, such as truck drivers, which has been further affected by Brexit.

 On the other hand, research suggests that young people looking to take on their first roles are really struggling to find meaningful roles that fulfil their ambitions.

This is where colleges come in; they are very good at attracting students and delivering world-class training and offer many routes for students to get educated either in the classroom or through schemes like apprenticeships, higher learning, T-Levels, and so much more. What’s even better is that local businesses can really benefit from these schemes.

Attracting talents

In our experience, having spoken to and worked with colleges across the UK, colleges struggle at finding, attracting, and even prospecting very local businesses that are desperate for the talented individuals the colleges produce.

Colleges also offer a whole host of other services, such as business advice, business centres where rooms can be hired, and even high-quality equipment. The hard truth here is that most local businesses are not even aware of all these services that are offered.

Building awareness for the services offered 

What can you do to connect with your local businesses and start to build awareness of all the services that you offer?

In our experience, the first stage is looking at how far students can realistically travel for work and to college. This is important specifically for schemes such as apprenticeships, where there is work placement and college placement, and the apprentice often will be travelling via public transport. In our experience, this is usually within 15 miles of your campuses.

Once this is agreed upon, it’s worth working with a company like ours to understand the make-up of all the businesses in your local area, i.e., what business sectors are they in and what are the sizes of the businesses. We would then advocate that the college look at their internal CRM to see how much data they hold, when it was last updated, and how compliant your data is under both GDPR and PECR. Then I would look to see what businesses you are missing.

 Being compliant

This is a simple process of matching your data against our data and seeing what the difference is, as well as an opportunity to ensure that the data you hold is valid, updated, and compliant.

 Colleges, in general, don’t have a compliant mechanism to communicate with local businesses via email due to the complexities of GDPR and PECR. This is where we can help. All the data we hold is from corporate subscribers, meaning as long as there is a genuine potential legitimate interest, we can help colleges engage with local businesses via email.

What they say about Go Live Data

 Halesowen College said this about us after trialling us at first:

“The test campaign ran from January to March and delivered around 150 opportunities for the college, for which we have seen amazing conversion rates of around 60–70%. We are now looking to use Go Live Data as a long-term partner to help the college continue to achieve our apprenticeship targets for many years to come.

Engaging with the local business community

While the above is centred around apprentice programmes, data should be segmented to really focus on what the college might be able to offer the business. By engaging with the local business community, colleges can really build an engaged audience of businesses that will start to take advantage of the skilled students that colleges produce, not only leading to a stronger local economy, but as discussed in this article, the college can also help in so many other ways too.

By Adam Herbert, Co-Founder & CEO, Go Live Data

FE News on the go…

Welcome to FE News on the go, the podcast that delivers exclusive articles from the world of further education straight to your ears.

We are experimenting with Artificial Intelligence to make our exclusive articles even more accessible while also automating the process for our team of project managers.

In each episode, our thought leaders and sector influencers will delve into the most pressing issues facing the FE sector, offering their insights and analysis on the latest news, trends, and developments.

With over two decades experience of working in the data and marketing industry with a particular focus on email marketing, Go Live Data’s CEO, Adam Herbert, has spanned a career of working and supporting several market leaders. Across this time, Adam has helped leaders and their organisations with market sizing, supporting the growth of the alternative lending and fin tech space to guide data driven marketing and client acquisition results in 100s of millions of businesses looking to secure finance. He now runs his own businesses to really drive change in what is seen as a stagnated industry.

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