We have identified 6 steps to help sell collaboration between VET Provider and employer
In order to achieve successful collaboration, it is important to identify what the employer’s current challenges are within their workplace. These will be of paramount importance to an employer and if collaboration will help to address these issues. It may be that there are issues of staff or skills shortages or that the college timetable does not suit the company needs. By finding out more about the employer needs will help to identify a solution.
By demonstrating the benefits of collaboration will help to convince an employer to be more supportive of collaboration. There are several benefits including:
- An opportunity to influence curriculum content to make it closer to the needs of the business
- Creating a sustainable and future proof workforce
- Provide Social responsibility to the local and national perspective
- Improved reputation and standing in the community (social and business)
- Promotes ethical values
- Exposure to Innovation and open to new ideas
- Positive impact on business production/ turnover – Return on investment
It is important to build positive relationships in a collaborative partnership. In this way, collaboration will be built on trust and respect across all stakeholders (internal – SMT, managers, supervisors and external – representatives, local government, municipality)
Effective communication involves honesty and integrity, listening and seeking the opinions of others, accepting constructive criticism and being open minded to accept change. It is also important to respect everyone’s time as employers are busy people and you need to come across as credible and professional.
To get the most out of collaboration, it must work for all parties. You should be prepared to adapt your approach to seek common ground and flexible to each other’s needs.
In all situations, be prepared and ensure you have all the information at hand to agree positive outcomes for successful collaboration. Use examples of other collaborations to highlight what success looks like.
Where there is a new collaboration and relationships to build, be prepared to start with small steps to demonstrate the effectiveness of collaboration. It is important at the outset to be clear on the expectations and agree actions that can be achieved successfully in the relationship. It may not be everything you want in a collaboration, but it is the starting point to building bridges and the respect of everyone involved.
In a collaborative relationship, you are looking for a long term successful commitment – you should ensure that you are available and approachable to discuss and address any issues that arise. It’s important to agree what is the best communication approach (channel, time, protocols etc). It may even use a range of hybrid techniques such as remote and face to face contact. Above all, ensure that it is regular and reliable.