You are no doubt aware of the Government’s drive to increase apprenticeship starts to over 3 million by 2020. As college’s and private training providers refocus on how they can hit these targets, so the demand for effective data and relationship management of employers is becoming more and more critical.
This significant switch in funding priority, along with the introduction of the new employer levy, requires all providers to develop clear and integrated solutions which allow them to manage and effectively communicate the relationships with both existing and new employers and stakeholders. It therefore becomes critical that the left arm knows what the right arm is doing across the entire organisation. Employers will not only be looking for the curriculum offer that best meets the needs of its workforce, but will also be looking to invest in those providers whose approach delivers both value for money and clear lines of joined up communication.
Another big challenge for providers is effective data collection and in particular, destination data. This data is useful as it enables you to see where your students are going once they have finished their studies, as well as providing a critical evidence base to Ofsted that you are enriching learner career prospects and future opportunities. This data can also be used to demonstrate to existing and potential employer investors, the real value that your curriculum offer delivers.
However, collecting destination data is a challenge. The time and work involved mean that it is often an afterthought as schools and colleges understandably want to focus on their current and incoming students. This issue is then exacerbated by continued funding pressures in the sector, leaving you with fewer resources to devote to non-core tasks.
At the same time, education institutions are having to become more commercial in order to make up for funding cuts and to compete for an ever-growing student population. Innovative providers are creating new ways of bringing in funding, for example targeting employers and encouraging them to send their employees on courses.
This is where customer relationship management (CRM) technology comes in. Advanced’s ProSuite CRM solution is designed specifically for further education and training providers, enabling your staff to gain access to the tools they need to effectively manage data, and coordinate and track sales and marketing efforts.
There are many CRM solutions available, but the key strength of ProEngage is that it has been developed by the FE sector for the FE sector. This means that it has been developed to do those very specific FE functions as standard, whether this is recording training needs analysis, managing apprenticeship vacancies, collecting (and populating to ILR) learner destinations data or simply managing the latest marketing campaign – all of these functions can be incorporated into the ProEngage system.
With a CRM system, data is taken from different systems and then presented in one place, making it easier to access information such as student contact details. Our ProEngage solution also features a new student destinations manager function which enables you to email or text students with a link to quickly and easily enter their destination.
Without specialist CRM technology, collecting destination data and generating new revenue streams is time-consuming and difficult to do. Further education providers need to embrace technology and new ways of working if they are to improve their use of data and enhance their careers advice provision – and keep Ofsted happy.
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