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IfL and 157 Group publish paper on building partnerships with employers

Partnerships between further education providers and employers are generators of economic growth that offer multiple benefits for learners, their teachers and trainers, local businesses and industries and communities, a new report shows.
Improved learner outcomes and employment opportunities, enhanced teaching practice and professional development, and business growth for further education providers and local employers are just some of the benefits of partnership outlined in a report published by the Institute for Learning (IfL) and the 157 Group this week.

Leading partnerships with employers and building collaborative professionalism is the third paper in a series produced jointly by IfL, the 157 Group and the Institute of Education (IOE), following two seminars they hosted in November 2012 and January 2013. Its purpose is to help leaders, managers, teachers, trainers, employers and other partners promote and think anew about partnerships between colleges or training providers and employers.

The report also informed the Commission for Adult Vocational Teaching and Learning (CAVTL), chaired by Frank McLoughlin, and sharing the conceptual framework developed and findings is a contribution to taking forward CAVTL’s recommendations.

IfL’s chief executive, Toni Fazaeli, said, “We are finding that drawing on research evidence and collaborative discussions between teachers and trainers, leaders and managers, with leading academics in education, bring new perspectives that offer real value to the sector. In our most recent seminars, particular attention was paid to how provider-employer partnerships can benefit teachers by sparking new curriculum innovations, energising teachers’ continuing professional development (CPD) and helping to ensure access to the latest industry-standard processes, techniques and thinking – and all for the benefit of learners and success.

“Based on the seminar discussions and research evidence, this paper concludes that productive and lasting partnerships between providers and employers improve the quality of teaching and learning and multiply the benefits of further education to learners, communities and the economy.”

Lynne Sedgmore, executive director of the 157 Group, said, “The concept of local learning ecologies, developed by Professors Ann Hodgson and Ken Spours at the IOE and presented by Professor Hodgson at one of the seminars, has deepened our understanding of the nature and potential of the local communities in which FE and training organisations, and their learners, are based.

“This paper draws on academic thinking and teachers’ and trainers’ professional practice to debate workable ideas and provide concrete examples of professional behaviours and practices by which providers can build and maintain productive partnerships with employers. Our special thanks go to representatives from Cornwall College, Eagit Training, Hadlow College and North East Lincolnshire for bringing the concept of local learning ecologies to life, with practical examples, and for sharing the valuable lessons they have learned in developing beneficial partnerships with employers.

“We thank the Learning and Skills Improvement Service (LSIS) for funds to support this work.”


Click here to download Leading partnerships with employers and building collaborative professionalism in PDF format (1.5MB).

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