Preparing for effective outreach
We have developed links with schools and community groups through local and educational partnerships
We work with other companies to develop a network and share resources to support diversity
Working with other companies, as part of networks can make more efficient and effective use of your resources and provide a great way to share best practice and learnings.
- WISE Hub
- Chamber of commerce networks
- Local business networks
- Semta, ICE and other Professional Bodies
We use our employees existing links with local schools and community groups.
You may have employees who are
- Community and youth group leaders for example, religious groups, guiding, sports clubs, science clubs, or youth clubs.
- STEM ambassadors
We have a clear target for what we wish to achieve through our outreach activities
Identify the target group for your activities:
- Cultural groups.
Is this to be a recruitment campaign or an awareness raising activity?
Do you have specific targets for this activity?
For example, number of schools, students, number of applications for work experience, abilities of students?Be clear, what are your aims? Are you trying to increase participation in your apprenticeship scheme as a whole, and decrease any obstacles to young girls applying at the same time, or are you only reaching out to girls?
We have ensured schools are well informed as to the positive outcomes of apprenticeships.
Your outreach activity could:
- Support careers guidance within the school
- Support a particular part of the curriculum
- promote post 16 participation with STEM subjects. You could check the schools achievement data.
- Activities which support the curriculum or achievement targets will be more successful in engaging the teachers.
- Fee paying schools may not want to support apprenticeships, you may need to explain about graduate programmes as well as higher apprenticeships to ensure the school considers that this is relevant to their students.
Do consider thatSchools may worry they could be losing their most able students at 16 to an apprenticeship. Do emphasise your encouragement for students to stay on and study maths and sciences post 16.
We have identified suitable dates to deliver our activities considering academic timetables
- The beginning of the academic year is not a good time for schools contact or events. You can find school term times on local council websites and school websites.
- Exam periods should be excluded for outreach work.
- If schools are having a careers week or preparing students to choose options you may be made more welcome.
- Ask the school for a list of careers events and open evenings that you may be able to support.
- You may need to be patient and to fit in with their calendar.
- Schools will need some time to give notice and seek approval from parents if a visit outside school is involved. This can be up to 6 weeks.
- Select a national event to tie in with your activity like National Women in Engineering Day, National Apprenticeship week or International Women’s Day.
We have identified what we can offer and allocated the resources needed.
- What would you be able to offer- a talk, a workshop?
- Who would be the best person with the skills, and expertise, to deliver the outreach activity?
- Would they benefit from some training in advance of the event?
- Are there other employees who can support this?
- What resources will they need to do this?
- Would you need the school to do any preparation or provide anything?
We have identified follow on activities.
For the outreach to be effective it must be part of a sustained strategy – not a ‘one off intervention’. Research by STEMNet suggests that engaging with an ambassador more than four times has a greater positive impact on students than those who only see an ambassador between one and three times.Offer follow on activities, for example, a visit to your organisation or offering work placements etc.
We have identified schools that we would like to work with.
- Decide on a suitable radius for your outreach work.
- If schools are coming to you, consider transport practicalities and timings – students will need lunch provided or to get back in time for buses or lifts.
- Consider transport issues for young people who may consider apprenticeships at your locations. Are you recruiting from an area with good transport links to your locations?
- Compile a list of local schools in your area.