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What businesses really want from further education

The Further Education Reputation Strategy Group (FERSG) today launches ten simple ways further education (FE) can improve its reputation with businesses.


These ten strategies have been identified from recent research commissioned by FERSG into the reputation of FE with businesses.


Employers said that FE colleges and training providers would enhance their reputation by showcasing their impressive state-of-the art teaching facilities and communicating in a way relevant to businesses at all levels.  


During tough economic times FE was found to have an important role in helping businesses plan for the future. Employers want FE leaders to be highly visible in the business community and make their knowledge and valuable teaching expertise heard.


FE also needs to invest in working with businesses for the long term rather than focusing on quick sales. By listening to businesses and understanding the demands they face, FE providers will be able to raise their profile with employers. FE providers should invest in building long-term relationships with employers and provide consistently high customer service at all levels of the business.


FERSG's chair Dr Alison Birkinshaw said that, “This research provides useful information in understanding how FE is perceived by local businesses, what current relationships are like, and what influences employers. Every organisation involved in training will find something here they can use to build their reputation with their local businesses in the long term.”


The FERSG guide to ‘What businesses really want’ can be downloaded by visiting www.feworks.org

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