Within many colleges there is a perceived culture clash between academia and training. There are those who believe strongly that training is about just making money, whereas academia is about the sharing and fulfilment of knowledge across cultures communities and families. Within FE, I believe this split often has a negative impact where Employer Engagement is concerned.
Getting leads for Employer Engagement – Vocational programmes and full cost income
From personal experience, we can increase enquiries about employer engagement training opportunities at a college, but these “hot” leads can often go “cold” from unreturned phone calls and emails from within the college. In a recent article, we discussed the way colleges can increase full cost / commercial income and what the benefits would be for training providers.
We have established from research, that there are a huge number of challenges between matching the Business Solutions Teams responsiveness and the curriculum leaders tasked with the programme development and delivery i.e. there is no ‘joined up’ approach and opportunities often fall by the way due to poor response times.
Change culture for Employer Engagement
I believe that there needs to be a culture change within colleges or training institutions to engage the curriculum leaders and lecturers with the opportunities presented for employee training. The focus should be on engaging the college in delivering with coaching and training from its core – this will then start to convert the leads, and the college will, in turn, become more successful. Importantly, curriculum also needs to be given the capacity and room to allow them to change. It seems straight forward!
How do colleges close the sale?
What is the best practice? Maybe each college needs to tackle the teams in a different way – identify what the barriers are, then adopt a change management pilot to break these barriers down. Each college will have different challenges and different ways to achieve the end result. The end goal should be a united front for the college or institution to generate as much full cost income as possible.
We would love to hear from colleges about their specific challenges or ways that you have changed your culture to improve full cost income, so please get in touch with your stories.