The 2008 report of the National Council for Educational Excellence recommended that every school and college should have an effective partnership with employers. Without a clear understanding of what is meant by ‘effective’ employer engagement, it will not be possible for the Taskforce, working with partners, to benchmark current practice and assess if new initiatives, campaigns and communications have any measurable impact on the learning outcomes of all young people. This paper sets out the definition that has been developed by the Taskforce, working with partners including Ofsted, DCSF and the members of the Taskforce’s Expert Group on Research. The paper has been endorsed by the Taskforce’s Partnership Board and Board of Trustees.
In short, ‘effective’ engagement is where the cumulative total of partnerships provides an individual school or college with engagement that is broad, impactful, mutually beneficial and relevant to institutional circumstances.
The paper distinguishes between the characteristics of an effective set of partnerships between a single school/college/cluster and a number of employers and those of a partnership between with a single school/college and employer. Ways of capturing data at a national level are explored and areas where data is currently scarce are identified.