From education to employment

The Government Partnership Inquiry ‘Recognition and Responsibility’

Scott Parkin

Governments and stakeholders inquiring about the IEP’s partners and collaborators can be a valuable opportunity to showcase contributions and the calibre of entities it has attracted. However, the implications of such disclosures extend beyond mere transparency.

In today’s increasingly interconnected world, where partnerships and collaborations are often seen as indicators of vibrancy and forward-thinking nature, being asked by governments and other stakeholders to disclose our partners and collaborators can be seen both as an endorsement and a challenge. Such inquiries suggest that The Institute of Employability Professionals (IEP) work is recognised as influential and transformative. However, this can also create a dilemma for the IEP that values inclusivity and opportunity for all potential partners, regardless of their current status or visibility within the Institute.

When governments inquire about an organisation’s partnership status with the IEP, it often means that the organisation is perceived as playing a pivotal role in shaping industry standards and practices. This recognition is not just an accolade; it carries a weight of responsibility. It underscores the organisation’s influence in driving significant change, potentially affecting policy decisions and strategic directions in a variety of ways.

These inquiries are not just about who is currently engaged but also signal a broader interest in the ecosystem and potential of the Institute’s network. For the IEP, this can be a valuable opportunity to showcase its contributions and the calibre of entities it has attracted. However, the implications of such disclosures extend beyond mere transparency.

The main challenge for the IEP when asked to list their partners is the inadvertent side lining of potential future collaborators. Those not currently on the list may feel excluded or discouraged, which can be counterproductive to fostering an open, inclusive environment where new partnerships can flourish.

The IEP must navigate these inquiries carefully. It needs to manage the list of partners in a way that highlights current relationships while also communicating an openness to new collaborations. This involves not just a static disclosure but a narrative that emphasises ongoing growth and receptivity to new ideas and contributors.

A strategic response to government inquiries about partnerships involves several key components:

  1. A need to acknowledge and showcase existing partners. This includes not just listing entities but also describing the nature of these collaborative partnerships and their impacts. Such descriptions should illustrate the strategic alignments and achievements resulting from these partnerships.
  2. To stress that whilst the current list of partners is indicative of our reach and influence, it is by no means exhaustive. We should always articulate our ongoing commitment to exploring new collaborations and our openness to partners with entities that share our vision and dedication to quality and innovation.
  3. To mitigate any perception of exclusivity, the IEP should clearly outline the criteria and process for becoming a partner. This transparency helps demystify the process and encourages interested parties to initiate contact. 
  4. To discuss our vision for the future and the roles that new partnerships could play in achieving our goals. We should highlight areas of anticipated expansion and innovation, setting the stage for potential collaborators to see where they might contribute.
  5. Share case studies or testimonials that illustrate successful partnerships and their outcomes. These narratives can serve as powerful testimonials to the benefits of collaboration with the IEP.

Strategic opportunity in these government inquiries to influence policy and industry standards

Beyond immediate responses, there’s a strategic opportunity in these government inquiries to influence policy and industry standards. By engaging with government departments, the IEP can advocate for policies that foster a more inclusive, innovative, and collaborative practicing and contracting environment, one that centres around the professionalism and capability of those people that work in the employability sector, at all levels and in all environments, around the world.

Being asked to disclose our partners by government is both an acknowledgment of our important role in the employability sector and a call to manage our partnerships strategically. The response to such inquiries should not only comply with transparency norms but also strategically reinforce our commitment to inclusivity and continual growth. In doing so, the IEP will not only respond effectively to the inquiries but also shape the ecosystem in which we operate, making it more conducive to innovation and collaboration.

Scott Parkin FIEP, Group Chief Executive, Institute of Employability Professionals (IEP)

Scott Parkin is Group CEO of the Institute of Employability Professionals (IEP), the international membership body for employability professionals. The IEP is dedicated to supporting the people who support others gain work, progress in work and retain work. Scott is passionate about the development of people across the public services sector and has spent nearly 30 years in the Employment, Skills, Social Care, Housing, Justice and Health-related service sectors within a number of private, public and voluntary sector organisations, from large national employers to SMEs.

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