Employer Related Strategy
In the busy, pressured environment of a jobshop, careers service or placements office, it is often easier to deal with the merely urgent, rather than the important things. How do you know the difference?
If you don’t have a strategy then you will always tend to be working in reactive way – reacting to the latest email or phone call or suggestion – rather than an active (or pro-active) manner with goals which you wish to achieve for your service.
A strategy will help you decide whether to respond to the latest initiative and how to adapt to changing circumstances – such as a reduction in resources – and will give you a better basis on which to make your case for protecting or increasing your resources.
Of course, your service’s strategy has to be aligned with that of your university if it is to attract support from the powers-that-be and to stand a good chance of success.
Find out if your service has an employer related strategy. This might be a separate document or it might form part of an overall service strategy. It is possible that a strategy existed in the past but is no longer in force. Gather any information you can find in preparation for the assignment.
The DIUS report ‘Higher Education at Work’ section 5.8 states ‘We want to see all universities treating student employability as a core part of their mission’
Section 6.16ff of the report also makes the point that to achieve a greater degree of interaction between employers and universities ‘institutions must provide a different service than their traditional business model’ It goes on to say that universities need to be more flexible and to face the challenges associated with funding, quality assurance and cultural change.
The DIUS report ‘Higher Education at Work’ section Question 5.9 (3) says ‘We believe it is reasonable to expect universities to take responsibility for how their students are prepared for the world of work.
What support and incentives would help universities offer access to the workplace for all their students?
How would you answer this question for your university?
What Does a Strategy Look Like?
Strategy is about what you want to achieve. It is generally about medium to long term aims, with an implicit understanding that long term benefits may require short term sacrifices. It is important not to produce a strategy which it is impossible to implement, so the strategy should acknowledge implications for resources or constraints imposed by resource or other factors beyond your control. However the strategy should inform day to day operations rather than describe them in great detail. Where a strategy is concerned with a single focus it is necessary to make sure that it is consistent with existing strategies, or that where a change is needed that there is a good chance that this change will be accepted.
This template has been developed from a strategy document originally prepared by a health authority. Your institution may well already have a template for documents of this kind and if so then you should make use of it. However if there is nothing available from your university then this template can be used to kickstart your thinking.
Please note that you are under no obligation to use this template in your assignment.
In preparation for your assignment, find out what strategies already exist within your institution which will inform or constrain your employer relations strategy.