Harrogate College Employers’ Network event outlines future support for local businesses

24 October, 2022 4:43 pm

Harrogate College recently hosted its annual Employers’ Network meeting.

The event, held on 20 October, gave businesses in Harrogate district an opportunity to reflect on the achievements of the last year and suggest how the college could further support the needs of local industries.

Existing and prospective members also heard more about what benefits the employer network offers, and how they can get involved in shaping the skills and training of the future workforce.

The event also offered employers a first-look at the proposed Pathway to Employment Programme, which, among other things, would support the costs and challenges relating to recruitment and employee retention.

Employer networks allow education providers to take an employer responsive approach when it comes to preparing students for future employment. 

They provide employers with the opportunity to influence the education being delivered in their local area and, therefore, the future workforce.

Through the network, businesses also gain access to a pool of potential students, which supports industries by fulfilling their staffing needs, and our students, who will accrue invaluable work experience.

Danny Wild, Principal at Harrogate College, said: “We were delighted once again to welcome local employers to the college to discuss ways in which we can support their training and recruitment needs.

“Our Employers’ Network has had considerable success so far, with a number of employers taking on students as apprentices to support in areas where there have been staffing shortages.

“By listening to employers we have been able to develop our courses to meet the needs of businesses including Harrogate Borough Council, where we have begun to offer horticulture apprenticeships to support their parks and gardens teams.

“The college has also been working with industry experts to adapt our curriculum to better reflect the current demands on workforces in various sectors.

“As a result of conversations with some of the network’s members, we’ve started to include basic catering training in our health and social care courses to address a significant skills shortage in that industry.

“Our annual event has given us the opportunity to both celebrate some of these successes and explore further ways of supporting local employers.”

Attendees are also invited to give feedback on proposed plans and outline what they would like to see from the college, the network and the new curriculums that are being developed.

Tracey Hopkinson, HR Manager at Springfield Healthcare, said: “There are so many opportunities for young people to access jobs and skills in the healthcare sector.

“By working with Harrogate College, we hope that we can showcase to students the options that are available in the industry and work collaboratively to give a more well-rounded learning experience.”

To become a member of the Harrogate College Employers’ Network, please contact danny.wild@harrogate.ac.uk.