Local Approaches to Employer Engagement
In late 2013 representatives from a range of Local Authorities,
Skills Development Scotland and DWP came together to identify ways
in which the public sector could develop a better coordinated
approach to employer engagement. From these initial discussions is
was clear that all parties recognised there were a number of
examples of 'good practice' across the country, but that building a
shared perspective around collective coordination would constitute
a significant improvement.
Issues cited by delivery partners can be grouped under key
headings as follows:
- Complication - system complexity, lack of
understanding amongst employers about what support is available and
where to go for it.
- Competition - between, and even within,
delivery organisations - often as a result of the way in which
services are funded to deliver specific outcomes
- Co-ordination - some efforts have been made in
relation to co-location and coordination of services, but further
work is required to make these more effective
- Communication - confusion around who does
what, roles and responsibilities and disconnect between services,
particularly national and local delivery.
Discussion then followed around the appropriate objectives of a
more coordinated approach. All attendees present agreed that these
- Better cooperation, coordination and communication, and sharing
- Agreement of a common purpose, which is more than co-location
- Better understanding of who does what and where the potential
overlaps and gaps lie
- Combined public sector effort, to make engagement easier for
- Understanding the employer perspective around issues such as
business growth and sustainability
Current good practice
Discussion followed around what had been cited as example of
good practice across Scotland, but in all the key elements of 'good
practice' seemed to be around the level of coordination and
partnership when working with employers. Employers have fed back
that they simply want one person or a single place with which to
engage on employability matters.
It was agreed that, for different communities of interest, good
practice could mean different things e.g:
- For employer-facing organisations = supporting business
development and growing the jobs base
- For employability organisations = bringing in as many vacancies
- For unemployed people = doing better for job seekers,
particularly those more disadvantaged
…but it was also recognised the balance of these could well be
different in different areas.
In response to this discussion a number of areas agreed to map
out their existing activity across Local Authorities, DWP and SDS
with a view to tackling some of the issues outlined above.
case studies still to be uploaded - please check back
You will see from each of these short reports that by February
each area had approached and completed this mapping work in a
similar fashion, with three of the four keen to work towards an
'any door' or one stop shop approach.