Denton, Paul, Brown, R. S. A. and Morgan, E. (2012) The Development of a Sustainable Approach to Learner-Employer Engagament. In: National HE STEM Programme Conference, 4-6 September 2012, Birmingham, UK.

In today’s competitive workplace, it is vital that graduates are equipped with the professional skills to succeed in industry. Yet, it is commonly acknowledged that undergraduate learners often lack the competencies necessary to make a smooth transition into industry. Indeed, the Lambert Review exposed the difficult interface between academia and industry, with this being particularly relevant to Yorkshire & Humberside (Y&H), where only six per cent of employers have any contact with higher education. In response, this project aims to address these issues by designing, developing and piloting a professional learner/employer engagement approach and impact evaluation model, which includes industrial mentor training. The model was constructed upon a capability maturity foundation and built from employer engagement and learner Information, Advice and Guidance (IAG) research. From analysis of this research, a focused range of sustainable, short courses were developed and embedded into existing curriculum to enhance learner’s industrial readiness and employability. In parallel, an integrated partnership of academic institutions, specialist training providers and professional bodies, supported the increased provision of student placements and initiated the development of an accredited, industrial mentors course to further improve collaboration depth. This paper initially examines research findings from the work, prior to the presentation and evaluation of results attained from the pilot implementation of the model.

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