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Preparing for effective outreach

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

You may have employees who are

  • Parents
  • Governors
  • Community and youth group leaders for example, religious groups, guiding, sports clubs, science clubs, or youth clubs.
  • STEM ambassadors
These are FREE resources: members of your team who are already working with young people and can help.

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 that:

Schools 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.
  • 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 International Women in Engineering Day, National Apprenticeship week or International Women’s Day.
Do consider forward planning for next year at the same time. Schools like to plan events well in advance and could programme you in for the following year.
  • 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?
Everyone loves a freebie so consider give-aways such as pens or other free gifts!
Next Checklist: Establishing contact with schools

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