Year 13 students worked on set with industry professionals to produce this official Pepsi advert below
Employer Engagement strategy - Aldirgdeutc@mediacity
Like all colleges in the country, we aspire to meet the eight Gatsby Benchmarks which form the new standards for excellence in careers provision in schools. However, AldridgeUTC@MediaCity seeks the support of its Employer Engagers to go far beyond that. We aim to work closely with partners to provide the work force they need whilst collaborating with them as we learn together how best to achieve that. We have built a curriculum that invites employers in and asks for their help to educate young people about being professionals in our specialisms, we are supporting our staff as they learn about high quality Employer Engagement and we have constructed a building that gives us professional spaces in which to connect with fellow professionals.
We are ambitious. We believe that we can be a beacon to others, showing education, business and industry how we can make things happen in communities to benefit everyone. We want to be part of a national conversation about ways to “Do School Differently”. It starts with the UTC concept but it needs to become a national movement for change.
What is "Employer Engagement"?
Employer Engagement involves building strong and sustainable relationships with businesses and organisations within the area to utilise professional expertise, giving our students a ‘competitive advantage’ in an ever increasing competitive and global job market.
Why is employer engagement key to the success of AldridgeUTC@Mediacity?
Employer Engagement is essentially about ‘bridging the gap’ between college life and the world of work. We believe young people deserve the most from their education and allowing them to have regular direct access to a wide range of creative industries enables them to fully explore the variety of career options available.
As part of our UTC development, we have introduced 3 Pathways. These are technical specialisms with built in opportunities for Employer Engagement. They have a central qualification around which we “wrap” the learning needed to be a professional in that specialism. They are listed below with the names of the Pathway Leads responsible for that specialism:
Film & TV – Lauren Entwistle
Games Design – Alex Kelly
Digital Design – Jonathan Irwin
Employer Engagement development
In order to bring these Pathways to life, we work with our Employer Engagement. These Partner organisations help our young people in a variety of ways: -
- Project Briefs
- Site Visits
- Student Mentoring
- Curriculum Consultation
- Work Placements
- Business Briefings
- Local Networking
- Annual Awards support
- Special Event engagement
We recognise that some organisations will have the size and scope to be able to support us across all of these areas and potentially across several pathways. Other organisations will only have the capacity to support us in individual areas. We recognise that some of our Pathways will already be well-supported by a well-developed employer cohort, while we will need to grow the support for other pathways. We will endeavour to source Employer Engagers from our local community. Where this is not possible or does not provide the level of support our young people need, then we will look regionally and nationally to expand and develop the connections we need to deliver our strategy.
- . During the course of this strategy, we want to develop, sustain and grow our Employer Engagement database.
- . As part of our Employer Engagement strategy we will also seek to develop our Alumni, who can provide a wealth of rich and varied career stories. This will form a strong connection with the young people studying with us and will help to enhance the choices available to them for future careers and help clarify potential routes to get there.
- . In an ever-increasing digital world, digital innovation has been an important aspect of AldridgeUTC@MediaCity. Twitter and Facebook are the main social media platforms and together with the Instagram and Tik Tok, we are working hard at building a strong online presence. We have found these to be successful platforms for effective communication, enabling interactions with employers and the community to further strengthen our links and keep informed of local events. Using these, we will promote good news stories, case studies, products and services through a planned and coherent marketing plan for Employer Engagement
Mainstreaming careers activity
In order to make our strategy sustainable and to get engagement from all of our key internal stakeholders, we need to ensure that we increase ownership of the strategy across our college community.
- We need to work hand-in-hand with our Pathway Leads, developing their connections and networks and ensuring that we communicate effectively with our Employer Engagers.
- We need to ensure that our Employment Engagement Lead is not seen as the sole solution to the Employer Engagement challenge. Instead they must be seen as a facilitator for the development and implementation of the strategy.
- We need to develop a robust Employer Engagement Calendar, where we develop a set of core events at key points in the year. This will help us to plan effectively and also help our Partners to plan ahead also. We will review and reflect on this activity to ensure that we are meeting the needs of all parties.
- As an SLT, we need to plan together to develop a curriculum which is diverse, empowering and exciting.
Use of campuses and estates
- Optimise the use of our campus, to support business development in our region and to generate commercial income from our existing resources.
- Promote our campus as a regional resource for events and business activity to meet the needs of our local economy and community.
Measuring our effectiveness
Any strategy can only be assessed on the impact it has in reality. This strategy will be supported by a detailed implementation plan.
We need to ensure that our strategy is working to meet the expectations of our employers and our young people. We will use the Gatsby Benchmarks and the Careers Compass Tool to measure progress against national standards and we will collaborate and review with our students and our Employer Engagers to ensure the strategy is impactful.
Our strategy has four key elements:
- Sustain – Strengthen our existing Employer Engagement collaboration
- Grow – Grow our Employer Engagement in new areas, grow ownership across AldridgeUTC@MediaCity
- Monitor – Assess the efficacy of our strategy and plan
- Review and Refresh – Keep improving and developing our approach
Follow this link to listen to an interview we had with jasper hopkins
Our Employer engagement partners: