Working with local employers

There are many factors that may influence your choice of who to approach to collaborate with curriculum-linked careers learning.

Engaging with different employers will have associated benefits and limitations. It may seem obvious to go straight to the large scale industries, such as a car manufacturer or large construction company, after all they probably have more capacity to support, a specific outreach team, more career opportunities for young people and a greater range of jobs roles. However there are potential limitations to consider:

  • Engagement opportunities may be fixed and predetermined. Are the larger employers able to offer what you want or is it a case of taking what is available? Does their offer/programme meet your curriculum needs? Your timetable? Your students?
  • Career opportunities with larger employers may be highly competitive. For example, small numbers of highly competitive apprenticeships, recruitment through an Industry Academy or approved provider only.
  • Geographic considerations. Consider whether you and your students are able to easily access these opportunities with larger employers.

Rather than working with larger employers, you may be able to work with their supply chains often composed of a range of small and medium sized enterprises.

Forming partnerships with smaller local industries and businesses can be beneficial for them as it opens an avenue to influence, shape and source their future talent pipeline and develop their existing staff. Local businesses are often keen to support local projects, they may have ‘Corporate Social Responsibility’ goals to meet and could have personal reasons to engage with their local schools.

If you work in a rural school or college, STEM Ambassador Hubs may be able to connect you with employers and larger industries further afield. Consider how you could draw upon employers remotely, for example by pre-recorded or live online meetings (for example using Skype, Google Meet or FaceTime).

Investigate

Spend 15-20 minutes looking at the local industries close to your school. What companies are based near by who may employ people working in a STEM career?

Create a short list of contacts for your own reference (don’t share contact details here). This is a useful list that you might wish to work with your careers leader to develop opportunities.

In the comments below, briefly summarise the different industry/company sectors you could draw upon.

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This article is from the free online course:

Linking Curriculum Learning to STEM Careers

National STEM Learning Centre