Increasing Employer Engagement

Small and medium sized horticultural enterprises throughout Suffolk across all horticultural sectors; edibles, viticulture, landscaping, nursery stock and amenity gardening

About the project

What is the project about?

On 03/11/21 we held a stakeholder event at Suffolk Rural which was attended by 16 delegates representing 12 Suffolk horticultural enterprises. The purpose of the event was to inform these companies as to the developments at Suffolk Rural in the provision of horticultural education but also to engage with these stakeholders to identify, 1) how as a sector we can encourage more young people to consider a horticultural career and 2) how we can, as a college, engage with a wider range of horticultural businesses throughout Suffolk.

It was obvious from the meeting that those attending welcomed the opportunity to connect with us, but they also wanted us to develop closer links with their individual organisations as they felt that they could provide work experience placements, internships etc for students. The positive feedback from these 16 stakeholders has given me the confidence that a greater number of businesses could engage with the college and this project would enable that to happen.

Aims and desirable outcomes

The aims will be:

  • Greater engagement from those companies that already have a relationship with the college
  • Connecting with a significant number of new companies and encouraging their engagement with the college

The outcomes will be:

  • A greater awareness of the educational provision provided by Suffolk Rural
  • The provision of practical assistance from horticultural companies e.g., free plants, seeds etc
  • Increased work experience opportunities for Suffolk Rural students
  • Local employers committing time to talk to come to Suffolk Rural to talk to students about career opportunities
  • Local horticultural experts committing to guest lecturing to students
  • Local employers committing to hosting educational visits at their enterprise

How is the impact of the project being measured?

Neville Stein on what is being measured

  • Measuring the annual number of hours of direct face to face engagement with students at Suffolk Rural
  • Measuring the annual number of weeks of work placement / work experience provided by local employers
  • Measuring the number of days students engage with industry visits
Skip to content