Toolkit

Outreach

Maximise engagement with a wide range of prospective applicants.

Design

Developing

Activities at each level are related, but distinguished by scale, detail or commitment.

Develop a clear overarching strategy for outreach work involving:

  • a strategic plan detailing activities and success measures
  • activity focused on achieving specific outcomes for pupils – e.g. awareness of certain professions; presentation, teamwork and problem-solving skills
  • partnerships with other organisations

Take advantage of the numerous existing mechanisms for outreach to schools – don’t invent it all yourself.

Optimising

Activities at each level are related, but distinguished by scale, detail or commitment.

Involve employees in the design and implementation of the outreach programme.

Target activities at the most suitable young people, including in social mobility cold spots, using publicly available school and college data.

Ensure success measures are overseen by senior colleagues.

Link outcomes for pupils engaged in early outreach to the Gatsby Benchmarks.

Delivery

Developing

Deliver complementary activities – e.g. mentoring and work experience together rather than separately.

Draw on teachers’ views of what will benefit pupils most.

Make outreach participants aware of opportunities to progress into the organisation and expectations about what is required.

Seek to develop sustained relationships with activity participants.

Ensure internships and other work experience opportunities are targeted at a diverse range of applicants.

Ensure these opportunities are publicly advertised and paid.

Optimising

Develop materials and guidance that wider influencers can draw on, including teachers and parents.

Deliver activities in collaboration with other employers and the FE/HE sectors.

Include digital activities to promote scale, access and breadth in engagement.

Provide specific opportunities for participants to maintain engagement:

  • a pipeline of activities, communications and learning
  • genuine pathways into the organisation for those who are interested

Analyse data to examine how participation converts to appointments, and how this varies between groups.

Ringfence internships for applicants from under-represented groups, including by socio-economic background.

Evaluation

Developing

Use your strategic plan to identify key impact metrics and measure against these.

Collect data on participant characteristics to assess whether those engaged meet eligibility criteria.

Gather feedback from participants to understand:

  • whether they feel they have benefited from the outreach
  • if they would recommend it to peers
  • how activities can be improved

Optimising

Use your strategic plan to assess impact of the activities against outcomes identified at all stages in the model.

Validate and refine the strategic plan by tracking key behavioural and destination outcomes for participants, and verifying these against the outcomes highlighted in the model.