Improving employer engagement and apprentice success

Louise Jones, head of data services at York College, explains how the institution implemented a joined-up approach to employer engagement

We realised that a more effective, streamlined approach from the Business Development Unit (BDU) to employer engagement would help York College secure more contracts, apprenticeships and income from the Apprenticeship Levy, as well as keeping us ahead of local competition. Following conversations with team leaders within the BDU, we started to scope the project to build a new Employer Relationship Management (ERM) system.

Soon, word of mouth spread the good news of the development of a central ERM system. Eventually, every team that touches the work-based learning process was involved with the project. The business sales team were very keen to have the ERM system within their function. Student and employer details were already held within their core UNIT-e MIS, so it seemed like a logical step to extend this to create a system that everyone within the business sales, apprenticeships, work placements and employer engagement teams could use. Operating from one central system means everyone can access the same real-time information to stay informed.

Defining functions

As soon as everyone was onboard and the plan was in place, it took about four months for the first functions to come online, and about six months to go live with the whole ERM system. I felt very confident that we could build the right screens and workflows within UNIT-e to help the BDU teams. All my team leaders control their own screens now, moving and adding their own fields. There’s no reliance on the IT team anymore.

Developing for the future

Employer engagement at York College has increased incredibly with the ERM, but there will always be small tweaks and developments that can be undertaken to make the software even more user-friendly and vital for the running of the college.

Other departments are keen to replicate the success – it’s so easy for people to use that it makes complete sense to unite the other public-facing teams into the same system. The admissions and enrolments teams have created their own screens to create a central CRM to capture, process and monitor all new, prospective students’ data and progress. You don’t need a separate CRM, UNIT-e software can do it all for you, and you’ll have autonomy over the screens you see and fields in use throughout the department and wider college.

To find out more about how York College are using UNIT-e, read the full case study here