Working closely with employers is essential for providers in order for them to understand the skills which are in demand and to maximise opportunities for unemployed people. Incentives for employers to work with providers include support with recruitment procedures and practices, the potential to bring in individuals that closely match employer needs, and even to have new recruits trained specifically in their requirements. Keen not only to fill vacancies but to also grow their businesses, employers also work with some ESF providers to ensure their employees are well-equipped to adapt to future pressures.
The Work Programme, with its payment structure focused on sustained employment, places further emphasis on good working relationships with employers to understand their needs and to prepare people sufficiently to ensure positive job outcomes. Lessons can be learned from the substantial experience that ESF projects have of engaging with employers including in:
- In-work support
- Workforce and business development
- Enhancing the sector