5 things that make a brilliant 16-19 employability programme

Sponsored

We’re keen to work with like minded organisations to help learners boost their skills, confidence and go the distance – read more

  1. Employer engagement

A brilliant 16-19 employability programme should start with the end in mind: which jobs are learners intending to get when they complete?

Involve employers in curriculum design 

Employers welcome the chance to contribute to curriculum content.  This way, they know that what’s being delivered will be relevant to their business.  Don’t worry if your curriculum is heavily influenced by just one employer; learners who can showcase specific, practical skills for one, prove that they are capable of doing it for others. 

Employer interviews

Ask employer representatives to come along and interview your learners, and not just at the end of their course.  Unfamiliar faces wearing uniforms or suits don’t help learners perform at their best.  Exposing learners to interviews from strangers, just like the strangers who will be interviewing them for a real job, will help them to relax and give their best at the right time.

Employer sponsorship

A large local employer may provide enough job opportunities every year to recruit significant numbers of learners.  An excellent employability programme acts as a pipeline of talent for employers and, as such, they may be willing to ‘sponsor’ a course. 

  1. Competitions

Generating a healthy and balanced sense of competition among peers can improve learning.  Entering learners into organised competitions is an obvious benefit and looks great on a CV.  However, using Worldskills UK to drive the content of a curriculum can provide learners with the edge over their counterparts. Set up competitions with local providers or intra-provider competitions.  It could be vocationally-relevant or applicable to a whole cohort – the sense of achievement young people gain simply from taking part, enhances their studies and employability. 

 

  1. Enrichment

A recent article by David Hughes, AoC CEO, talked about the fact that, in any learning activity, we often learn as much about ourselves as we do about our qualifications.  It is as important to focus on these aspects as it is on exams and assessments.  And employers know this; David’s article points to the fact that employers look as much at behaviours and attitudes when it comes to recruitment as they do at qualifications.  Ofsted also recognises this and split the previously single headline judgement of personal development, behaviour and welfare into two: personal development, and; behaviour and attitudes.

  1. Teaching and learning

The success of any course depends on the quality of learning.  If teaching is excellent, learners are more likely to stay on the course, be engaged, achieve, and secure a job.  Professional development is key and we’d advise a focus on two central facets:

Industry experience:

This is relevant for teachers as well as learners – the specific provision that employers have helped to design is further enhanced with specific professional development. Engaged employers will readily support placements for teachers. 

  1. Peer observation

Peer observation is non-judgemental, aids self-reflection, builds trust and allows greater collaboration between colleagues.  Teachers delivering on employability programmes may be teaching only part of that programme – it is important to link learning support staff very closely with vocational teaching to help improve learners’ job outcomes.

  1. Careers education, information, advice and guidance

Weaving careers support into employability curriculum, in addition to scheduled 1:1 careers guidance sessions, is a great way of adding tailored provision that will differentiate your employability programme from generic offerings.  For example, ask careers advisors to take over lessons on your timetables. It’s an excellent way of meeting Gatsby benchmark 4 – there are resources to help with this from a number of sources, including the Gatsby website. Many providers have Enterprise Advisers, industry professionals linked with the providers to support with careers guidance.  Enterprise Advisers are ideally placed to support you to make links with industry and to use those links effectively to support employability. 

NCFE’s ‘go the distance’ bundles will help you quickly build and deliver brilliant, outcome-focused 16-19 employability programmes, deploying these initiatives.

We’re keen to work with like minded organisations to help learners boost their skills, confidence and go the distance – read more

More from this theme

Sponsored post

Curriculum planning to meet skills needs

In recent months, the UK Government made a big push towards matching colleges’ provision with that of the Local...

Advertorial
Sponsored post

Could you be the next NCG Leader?

I am extremely proud to lead NCG, and right now we have five rare and exciting opportunities to join...

Advertorial
Apprenticeships, Sponsored post

Countdown to milestone 10th Annual Apprenticeship Conference

Organisers have announced keynotes from apprenticeship minister Robert Halfon MP, shadow minister Seema Malhotra MP and His Majesty’s Chief...

Advertorial
Sponsored post

Improve apprenticeship outcomes with City & Guilds: Supporting you for success

Join the City & Guilds team at the Annual Apprenticeship Conference (AAC) 2024 to learn how we can help...

Advertorial
Sponsored post

Enter your fabulous FE colleagues into the Pearson National Teaching Awards  

The 1st of March entry deadline is fast approaching for the 2024 Pearson National Teaching Awards - and we...

Advertorial
Sponsored post

Navigating the Future of Education: A Glimpse into The World Education Summit

The WES 2024 line-up is mouth-watering. With over 450 sessions led by professors, futurists, and practitioners, featuring the most...

Advertorial

Your thoughts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *