Louise Jones, Head of Data Services at York College, explains how their Business Development Unit has implemented a joined-up approach to employer engagement with UNIT-e and Information Interface.
With over 80 vocational programmes on offer, York College has a strong track record with engaging with employers to secure apprenticeship placements and work-based learning. Indeed, York College’s Business Development Unit (BDU) currently works with over 600 employers throughout northern England.
Extending the reach of UNIT-e
We realised that a more effective, streamlined approach from the Business Development Unit (BDU) to employer engagement would help York College secure more contracts, apprenticeships and income from the Apprenticeship Levy, as well as keeping us ahead of local competition. Following conversations with team leaders within the BDU, we started to scope the project to build a new Employer Relationship Management (ERM) system.
Soon, word of mouth spread the good news of the development of a central ERM system. Eventually every team that touches the work-based learning process was involved with the project. The Business Sales team were very keen to have the ERM system within their function. Student and employer details were already held within their core UNIT-e so it seemed like a logical step to extend this to create a system that everyone within the Business Sales, Apprenticeships, Work Placements and Employer Engagement teams could use. By operating from one central system, it means that everyone can access the same real-time information to stay informed.
As soon as everyone was onboard and the plan was put in place, it took about four months for the first functions to come online, and about six months to go live with the whole ERM system. Information Interface really does make it that easy. It’s an excellent product and really speaks for itself. I had used Information Interface (II) along with UNIT-e at another college so had a lot of experience and felt very confident that we could build the right screens and workflows within UNIT-e using II to help the BDU teams. All my team leaders control their own screens now, moving and adding their own fields and screens. There’s no reliance on the IT team anymore.
Developing for the future
Employer engagement at York College has increased incredibly assisted by the ERM but there will always be small tweaks and developments that can be undertaken to make the software even more user-friendly and vital for the running of the college.
Other departments are keen to replicate the success - it’s so easy for people to use that it makes complete sense to unite the other public-facing teams into the same system. The Admissions and Enrolments teams have created their own screens to create a central CRM to capture, process and monitor all new, prospective students’ data and progress. And from September 2018, Marketing will also be coming online with their own bespoke screens, workflows and reports. You don’t need a separate CRM, Capita’s UNIT-e software can do it all for you, and you’ll have autonomy over the screens you see and fields in use throughout the department and wider college.
You can read the full case study with York College here
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