From education to employment

“Big 15” engages 50 employers for West Herts College!

A ground-breaking initiative has enabled the new ‘Learning Works’ commercial training division of West Herts College to engage with 50 new employers.


Having been successfully trialled last year, ‘Learning Works’ was officially launched as a wholly owned independent subsidiary of the college on 1st February. 

The objective was to offer employers the high quality, professional teaching standards expected from a leading college combined with the flexibility and customer-focused approach normally associated with the private sector. 


Researching employer requirements…


Rather than simply offering existing courses and qualifications, the college also decided that ‘Learning Works’ should provide employers with training that specifically answered their current and future skills shortages. In order to identify these requirements, the college spoke with some 1,500 employers. 


J2Profit, who specialise in providing research and strategic consultancy services to the FE sector, helped WestHertsCollege to develop the focus and methodology for the research. J2Profit then interviewed 500 employers before reporting back to the college. 


Relevant new business courses…


Using the research findings and J2Profit’s recommendations, WestHertsCollege developed ‘The Big 15’, a series of 15 short new business courses. The response received to these courses has been unprecedented and ‘Learning Works’ has already successfully engaged with 50 employers.


Chris Pearson, Director of Marketing and Communications at WestHertsCollege explained "the research undertaken by J2Profit proved invaluable. They worked with us to establish the information we required and then planned the most effective way of obtaining it. Supported by that of our own in-house team, their research revealed that employers typically want to communicate better, improve their leadership skills and work smarter not harder. 


"Our ‘Big 15’ initiative was developed in response and has been extremely well received. Relationships have been established with a number of important new clients ranging from major charities and government departments to smaller local businesses. We are delighted with the results which underline the importance of offering relevant training in response to employer needs". 


Innovation the key to engagement…


Chris Pearson continued: "Employer engagement is now an important component in the business plans of most colleges across the UK. However, the employer training marketplace can be extremely competitive. As such, it is essential for colleges to adopt innovative approaches that differentiate them from other providers in the area.


"The ‘Big 15’ has proven just how effectively employers can be engaged if offered the correct provision."


WestHertsCollege’s Learning Works team can be contacted on 01923 812596 or by emailing [email protected]. Further details on the research and consultancy solutions delivered by J2Profit are available at or by contacting 0870 224 0953.

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