Recommendations for developing a socio-economic strategy. Activities at each level are related, but distinguished by scale, detail or commitment.
Commit the organisation to broadening its recruitment pool by reaching out to a wide set of education providers (e.g. FE colleges as well as schools).
Devise a strategy to ‘open doors’ for a new, fresh and diverse intake that might otherwise have been missed.
Appoint ‘ambassadors’ to inspire and inform a new generation of potential employees whose circumstances might otherwise have excluded them from your profession.
See this as a form of marketing as well as a more enlightened recruitment policy.
Develop a clear overarching strategy for outreach work involving:
- a strategic plan setting out clear and measurable targets that benefit the target audience
- activity focused on achieving specific outcomes for pupils (e.g. awareness of certain roles/professions, presentation, teamwork and problem-solving skills)
- partnerships with other organisations that seek to improve skills such as English and maths, as well as softer skills (e.g. skills builder or Gatsby framework)
Use different methods of delivery to widen your organisations reach (e.g. virtual and face-to-face).
Ensure that outreach activities are joined up across different teams in the organisation.
Take advantage of the numerous existing mechanisms for outreach to non-fee paying schools or comprehensive schools – don’t invent it all yourself (see organisation directory).
Provide training to staff on how to interact with students in a way that means when students visit the workplace, they feel welcomed, valued, secure and confident. The aim is to provide opportunities and remove barriers rather than purely building aspirations.
Create a pre- and post-evaluation survey to monitor impact.
Recommendations for optimising your approach. Activities at each level are related, but distinguished by scale, detail or commitment.
Involve employees, particularly those from diverse backgrounds, in the design and implementation of the outreach programme.
Target activities at young people with ‘potential, not polish’, including in social mobility coldspots and at schools and further education colleges with high rates of free school meals, using publicly available school and college data.1
Draw on teachers’ views of what will benefit pupils most through surveys, questionnaires and career fairs to help feed into your plan.
Ensure success measures are overseen and owned by senior colleagues.
Link outcomes for pupils engaged in early outreach to the Gatsby Benchmarks.
1 For more on social mobility coldspots, view the Social Mobility Commission’s report: State of the Nation, 2017