At Go Higher West Yorkshire we respond to the local need for higher-level skills by developing and implementing activity that supports improved access to, success in and progression from higher education for the local population and under-represented groups in particular.
We work closely with local stakeholders, including employers and local authorities in the region, to ensure that our activity responds to economic and social need.
The benefits of employing students and graduates
We’ve all read plenty in the press in recent years claiming graduates can’t find work; they aren’t ready for full time employment; their skills do not match employer needs; or they all want to move to London. Despite what the media reports, the reality is very different and there has never been a better time for businesses in West Yorkshire to embrace new graduate talent!
Partners going higher with Channel 4
Go Higher West Yorkshire’s partners are well prepared to support the growth of a skilled workforce to Channel 4, which recently announced it will be opening its new national HQ in Leeds.
Leeds College of Building success at national BTEC awards
Leeds College of Building has been named BTEC Apprenticeship Provider of the Year, Three of its higher apprentices have also taken home awards.
Degree Apprenticeships on the rise in West Yorkshire
Partners are gearing up to deliver an increased number of degree apprenticeships across our region. This has been made possible through the highly innovative and fruitful ‘Driving Social Mobility through Degree Apprenticeships’ project.
How to Successfully Deliver Degree Apprenticeships and Vocational Education
UVAC NATIONAL CONFERENCE 2018: for Practitioners led by Practitioners
When:Thursday, 22 November 2018
Plenary sessions include where next for degree apprenticeships; and what 16-19 qualifications reform and T-levels means for HEI, admissions, widening access and outreach.
Delivered by the University Vocational Awards Council.
A Flying Start study at Huddersfield University
GHWY partner University of Huddersfield has been involved in an award-winning project to support the transition and retention of new students. The OfS-funded Catalyst-Funded collaboration between the Universities of Huddersfield, Lincoln, Coventry and Manchester Metropolitan 'Intervention for Success' scooped both the Guardian HE Award for Curriculum and Course Design 2018, and the Social Justice Prize at the 2018 SCUTREA conference.
Help leading experts shape policy on degree apprenticeships for social justice in higher education and employment
Following on from GHWYs collaborative project developing degree apprenticeships (DADF2) the seminar is a real opportunity to help leading experts shape this area of policy.
Attend this event and contribute to the debate on how we can ensure that degree apprenticeships are widely accessible to individuals from lower socio-economic backgrounds and that they lead to equal graduate outcomes.
Education the answer to future skills challenges
Employers, educators and policymakers need to collaborate more closely to address skills needs, according to a new Universities UK report.
In order to meet the rapid pace of change driven by factors such as technological advances it will be necessary for them to adopt more flexible partnerships, different modes of delivery, quicker responses, and new combinations of skills and experience.
‘Solving Future Skills Challenges’ also highlights the need for greater work experience provision and calls for more flexibility within the student funding system. Read the full report.
The Impact of Family Estrangement
Work by the GHWY partnership to develop a collaborative Stand Alone pledge has been backed-up by a new research paper.
Estranged young people (18-24 year olds studying without the support and approval of a family network) have been highlighted as a vulnerable group.
Unstable housing, financial difficulties, and an inability to prioritise their course of study have a negative impact on the chances of estranged young people succeeding in higher education.
The report concludes that poverty is the prime reason for such students to discontinue their education, and urges institutions to think innovatively about how to offer better support.
Recommendations include Higher Education institutions becoming part of the corporate parenting structure for estranged young people, and introducing a specific bursary to help them afford accommodation over the summer period. GHWY partners are responding to the needs of this group of young people through pledging whatever support they can offer in key areas. Read the full paper in Widening Participation and Lifelong Learning.
Next month its Estranged Students Solidarity Week
and we'll be raising awareness across the partnership.
University of Bradford Summer Experience Awards: We are all winners!
It is 5pm on the day of the University of Bradford’s Summer Experience Awards & Networking Evening. Speakers are booked, the buffet laid out, name badges await collection, the photographer is ready and waiting, and balloons reach for the ceiling tugging at their weights. Everything is in place for a fabulous celebration of the work students have produced for their internship hosts.
The event is the culmination of the 2018 Summer Experience programme, an intense project with over 250 students competing for approximately 65 vacancies involving three months of ardent activity by the team to identify opportunities, process CVs and organise interviews.
Besides the administration of the selection process there is the task of engaging students, supporting them to produce effective CVs and preparing them for their first ever employment interviews. A few months later, the annual Awards & Networking Evening is when we get to showcase the fantastic talent that they have demonstrated in the workplace.
Students and employers start to arrive, and the room fills quickly. Excited chatter rises as many of the interns see their internship providers for the first time since the last day of their placement. Guest speakers - Bradford Council’s Strategy Manager for Employment & Skills, our DVC Academic, a participating employer and a student - arrive and mingle with the students and employers involved in this year’s programme.
Soon we move to the Auditorium for the presentation of awards. Our speakers are appreciative of both sponsoring organisations’ support for the programme and students’ efforts, reminding us of the importance of graduates to the local economy, and themselves what it was like for them at earlier stages in their own careers.
As we move into the awards ceremony, anticipation silences the room. Winners and highly commended are announced for each award - the result of long deliberations by the judges over nominations from employers and students. As winners are invited on stage to collect their award from our DVC, a pen picture of their achievements is read out to their fellow students and colleagues gathered in the audience - all are remarkable and many have far excelled the expectations of their hosts. Some make massive savings to their host business or devise new ways of working, others perform research tasks that are beyond our comprehension. Students who have never worked before blossom and become valued contributors to the business. All of them have learnt so much about themselves. The Awards provide the final feel good factor for all involved and build a sense of achievement in participating students as they move into their new academic year.
Over the past four years, through the Summer Experience programme, almost 300 students have benefited from paid work experience during the summer enabling them to develop valuable employability skills. A number of these students have continued with their summer internship provider as part-time members of staff or returned to work in the organisation full-time upon graduation, such is the impact they made as an intern. Overall analysis shows that the graduate employment rate of students who have undertaken internships as part of the Summer Experience programme is significantly higher than the overall University statistic. This is a programme where truly everyone is a winner.
Alison Hedley, Employer & Placement Services Manager, University of Bradford
Go Higher in West Yorkshire
No-one should be limited from accessing and succeeding in higher education because of their background.
This shared ethos underpins the work of Go Higher West Yorkshire, a group of 12 higher education providers. And working collaboratively means our voice is stronger and our reach wider in West Yorkshire and beyond.
Our collaborative approach has helped us to achieve many shared goals. These include:
Securing funding for innovative bids, such as the National Collaborative Outreach programme, and the Degree Apprenticeship Development project.
Sharing good ideas and best practice, via our sub groups and through a series of Good Practice Programme events.
Giving partners a stronger voice with the Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership (LEP) and Chambers of Commerce.
The successful launch of the collaborative Care Leaver Covenant, helping to access a previously hard to reach group of young people.
Regional representation on varied groups including the Skills Network.
Collaborating on the delivery of OfS requirements, such as collaborative Access Agreements and Access and Participation Plan targets.
We’ll keep you up to date on our work via our website and newsletter.