Case Study 1: Asset Skills Higher Level Skills projects
Who we worked with
The aims of the project
Asset Skills was the sector skills council for the planning, housing, facilities and asset management and property sectors. We worked with them to deliver two projects designed to bring together university academics and their students with employers in the sectors: The World of Work project and the Student Ambassador Programme. Both projects formed part of an Asset Skills programme funded through the UKCES Employer Investment Fund 2 (EIF2). The programme was designed to enhance employer engagement with the higher education sector to improve mutual understanding of the opportunities for higher level skills employment and increase understanding of graduate skills and HE learning provision.
The steps taken to achieve the aims
These complex projects running over a two year period, involved organising work tasters and experiences for university students to become familiar with career opportunities in the sectors and managing a programme of student research projects.
For our part the projects required careful project management, extensive engagement and communication between university academics and careers/employability adviser, employers and individual students. We used our experience and knowledge of the employment sectors and networks to ensure successful engagement between the parties respecting privacy, confidentiality and ensuring an ethical approach to the project. We developed our own database of contacts and have been able to build on these for future activities.
The World of Work project involved 22 organisations joining forces to provide work experiences for higher education students in the Asset Skills sectors. Students experienced individual work placements or participated in small group activities with employers gaining insight into work of the sectors.
The Student Ambassador programme awarded 52 bursaries to individual higher education students to support their research with businesses and other organisations in selected skills sectors. The outcome was an anthology of research reports shared with the sectors and improved engagement of students with employers enhancing their CVs and employment prospects.
The projects were well-managed and we delivered interim and final reports on time to clients. We were very pleased to be able to enhance relationships between HEIs and employers to support future employability activities in the planning, facilities management, property and housing employment sectors.
“The brokering and supporting role provided ..has been invaluable. It has been excellent – events have been well planned and organised, and there has been regular communication throughout the process”. Without the input it “...would have been much more difficult to organise and would have required a lot more of the academic staff”. (HE lecturer)