Why is employer engagement important?
In the new world of apprenticeships, the employers are in charge.
Employers now play a major role in every stage of the new apprenticeships. They pay the levy, design the standards, support apprentices and guide them through the gateway. Without input from the employer, apprenticeships can't get off the ground, so it's really important that training providers keep employers engaged.
The good thing is that employers want to be engaged. 76% of businesses see 'shortage of skills' as the biggest barrier to their growth, and want to being involved in developing the skills they need in-house. So, keeping employers engaged shouldn't be too hard – but to help you out, we’ve compiled 5 top tactics:
1. Take a personal approach
Employers have more control over apprenticeships than ever before. They don't have to follow a set standard, and can change aspects of the apprenticeship so it aligns with their needs. Employers will be much more engaged if they're involved in the delivery from day one, so be flexible and take a personal approach throughout the programme.
2. Get talking
The new world of apprenticeships is all about collaboration, so make sure you maintain clear communication with employers to keep them engaged. Using an eportfolio with an offline app will help you stay in contact with the employer and apprentice throughout the day. With an eportfolio, you can send online messages and instant feedback, or arrange a Skype meeting.
3. Variety is key
Keeping your delivery flexible is key to keeping employers engaged. All businesses work differently, so you'll need to adapt to different management styles and work around them. Show the employer you're willing to mould to their needs and make the process easy to manage.
4. Show value
Whether they pay the apprenticeship levy or not, employers want to know what value they're getting from your apprenticeships. If you show them what impact you've had on their staff and bottom-line, they'll be more engaged in the training as a whole. This is especially important when it comes to the 20% off-the-job training requirement, as some employers struggle to see the value in training hosted outside the workplace. However, if they're already on board with the project, it'll be much easier to manage in the long run.
5. Connect with your community
Building partnerships will other people in your community will strengthen your offering, and keep employers engaged. They'll be able to see the impact you're having for other local organisations, and want to take a more active role in the local learning community. Making connections is great news for apprentices too, as they can start building business contacts while they train.
Using an eportfolio to communicate with employers helps increase employer engagement – but not all eportfolios are born equal. OneFile is the most popular eportfolio with both employers and training providers, with loads of built-in features to keep employers engaged. To find out all the ways OneFile increases employer engagement, download our free guide.