December 2015
Employer Engagement in the light of developments in Professional, Technical and Vocational Education

The nature of work has changed as employers engage with the opportunities and challenges posed by digital technology, globalisation and economic developments, resulting in new occupations and business processes that demand new skills.


More than 40 employer-education and training provider partnerships have been supported by the Education and Training Foundation to respond creatively to this challenge. A distinctive feature of this response has been leaders from business and education and training providers identifying ways to work together to enhance productivity and employment opportunities in the local, regional and ultimately national economy (Two-Way Street Leadership Exchange).

In addition, industry specialists and curriculum managers have co-designed and co-delivered professional, technical and vocational education and training (Teach Too). These collaborative activities have often shown evidence of innovation, capacity building and improved use of local resources.


Partnership working overtime will enable professional, technical and vocational education to keep pace with changes in business and work processes, but it will also act as a seed-bed for innovation across both organisations.


Furthermore 16-19 Study Programmes and the movement from Apprenticeships based on Frameworks to Apprenticeships based on Standards further require all providers to engage with employers in new and innovative ways to ensure meaningful work-related and work-based learning.

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Spotlight history

Teach Too

Teach Too was first proposed in the report of the Commission on Adult Vocational Teaching and Learning (CAVTL), and is an approach to supporting industry specialists and vocational teachers to co-design and deliver innovative vocational programmes that have a clear line of sight to work. Over 30 Teach Too projects have informed the development of principles and examples of practice, designed to develop the ‘know how’ for more employers, colleges and providers to co-create vocational programmes fit for the future. An enabling framework with examples and short videos early is currently in publication and will be available early in the new year.

Two-Way Street Leadership Exchanges

The Two Way Street Leadership Exchange programme, sought to build constructive collaboration between employers and Vocational Education and Training (VET) providers in the UK. The programme comprised nine regional Leadership Exchanges between employers and VET providers, to the end of furthering understanding of the leadership challenges of adopting a Two Way Street approach to working collaboratively across organisations to design and deliver innovative and responsive vocational and technical education programmes.

Work Experience for 16-19 Study Programmes

A quality work placement should be an integral part of most students Study Programme and in particular for students choosing to enter a particular occupation or profession or those taking a vocational route to achieve their career aims. Work experience needs to meet the individual requirements of all students and these will vary depending on the type of qualifications and employment sector they choose. Also see the Association of College’s website Study Programme Central.

Study Programme Central

For more information and resources from Study Programme Central.

Future Apprenticeships

Within the context of the apprenticeship reforms and the government’s target to deliver 3 million apprentices by 2020, the Future Apprenticeships Support Programme will help managers, teachers, trainers, leaders and those involved in governance to make the transition from Apprenticeship frameworks to delivery of the new trailblazer standards. It builds on the success of the Apprenticeship Staff Support Programme (ASSP). Funded by the Education and Training Foundation the ASSP website provides a wealth of resources focused on securing and further developing employer involvement in Apprenticeship delivery as well as further improving curriculum development, and teaching, learning and assessment on Apprenticeship programmes.

Apprenticeship Staff Support Programme

For more information and resources from the Apprenticeship Staff Support Programme (ASSP).

Apprenticeship standards

The Skills Funding Agency regularly reports, via www.gov.uk on developments in Apprenticeship standards as well as related assessment plans.