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Networking – Powerful Partnerships in Action HEA Annual Conference 2013. Christine Fountain Senior Fellow HEA. Employability and the Austerity Decade (Gunn and Kafman 2011).

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networking powerful partnerships in action hea annual conference 2013

Networking – Powerful Partnerships in ActionHEA Annual Conference 2013

Christine Fountain

Senior Fellow HEA

December 05

employability and the austerity decade gunn and kafman 2011
Employability and the Austerity Decade (Gunn and Kafman 2011)
  • managing the impact of closer relationships between employers, the private sector in general, and academics to build on the enhancements to teaching we have already made through employer engagement and approaches to skills development.
networking powerful partnerships in action
Networking – Powerful Partnerships in Action
  • Aim:
      • To demonstrate the powerful partnerships that have evolved from an employer network created at the university.
  • A strong link to the theme of this conference –Powerful partnerships: defining the learning experience - this network has enhanced employability skills/opportunities - we have gained insight as to the specific skills demanded by employers, live briefs, placements, module design, validation support, focus group members, research opportunities, work based learning, guest speakers, and a visiting Fellow.
  • This Project is still in progress and continues to develop.
  • My journey in creating/leading this network (originally HEIF Pump Priming now funded and supported by Dean in response to the success the network). I also used this Networking experience as the basis for a case study for my successful Senior Fellow HEA submission.

December 05

the beginning
The Beginning!
  • Two Years ago:
    • Awarded £2,500 of HEIF Pump Priming funding to undertake the creation of a HRM professionals Network for local companies.
    • £2500 - to buy time and support from staff, publicity materials, catering, potentially conference facilities and incidental costs during the project.
    • Now……….it works well, is tried and tested and the Dean of Faculty pays for refreshments!

December 05

bid premise
Bid Premise
  • Outcome:
  • Strengthened relationships.
  • Enhances our brand reputation.
  • Many of these people are in the driving seat for the development of others (training, courses etc) - therefore the outcomes will be of benefit to the wider professional portfolio and indeed potentially SEC. Putting SSU at the forefront of the mind of these professionals for many different learning/development interventions. This must provide a potential to pilot short courses, CPD or training for employers and also to consider developing materials for short courses, CPD or training (including blended)
  • Publicity in that I would seek reporting in the local business papers and an opportunity to good to miss to develop promotional materials for FBSE website.
  • Work placements for both HRM subject groups and others would benefit as, again, HR tend to drive and organise such activities.

December 05

network with the gatekeepers
Network with the Gatekeepers!
  • HR are often the gatekeepers to the rest of the organisation.
  • Placements, internships, recommendations for guest speakers, live briefs all of these activities are often highlighted and enabled by learning and development specialists.
  • Access to the Accounts, Marketing, Research, Quality departments is often through that first introduction via HR.

December 05

started small
Started Small
  • Employment Law update – Moore BlatchSolictors.
      • References and testimonials
      • Agency workers
      • Social Networking
      • Tribunal consultation
    • So we undertook the organising, and provided the venue and the refreshments .
    • Others undertook the actual content and the session planning and delivery.

December 05


“This was a well organised event which brought together like minded people for the benefit of promoting understanding and discussion on issues of common interest. This was a wonderful opportunity to make new acquaintances and forge new relationships.”

Carol Bedford, Legal Counsel, Advanced Resource Managers, Havant

December 05


At first my thoughts were unfortunately negative, it was after work, going into the evening and taking my time, it would be a chore I would be with people I did not know and it would be a bore “preaching to the converted” hearing the same old HR PR stories, I was 1000% wrong It was exciting, vibrant and full of very interesting people, I learnt something and made some good business contacts, a total win/win.

When I arrived it was already “buzzing” (probably something to do with the bountiful buffet and liquid refreshment) I was invited to a table and made really welcome. It was easy to integrate and everyone had a good knowledge. The speakers presented very well. I learnt from 3 of the 4 subjects covered.

This was an excellent presentation, in some ways it was obvious what we should be doing but it did spell out how important it is to be frank and honest whilst preserving the full duty of care to all parties……

Michael S FarrellFInstAM (Adv Dip), MBCS

C2 MSF, SO2 Whole Life Development – British Army

  • Sessions have included:
      • Law,
      • Crisis Management
      • Equality and Diversity Workshop
      • Local Entrepreneur sharing his journey of Change.
      • The value of internships.
      • A joint session with the law department and law topics.
      • The formation of Marketing and Law networks.

December 05

southampton solent business school blog
Southampton Solent Business School Blog
  • Crisis! What Crisis?

December 05

how the student experience benefits from powerful partnerships
How the student experience benefits from powerful partnerships:
  • Industry professionals for validation events (BA validation & MA revalidation).
  • Work placements through contacts made at events.
  • Link work placements for transitions students L6- MA – this summer.
  • Contribution to development and design of two modules.
  • Appointment of Visiting Fellow.
  • A number of entries in the Business School Blog (Crisis Fairy saw biggest ever number of hits).
  • Focus group of professionals relatively easy to bring together for course design and validation.
  • An associate lecturer – working in the ‘real world’ of HR.
  • Guest speakers on the MA HRM and BA Business Management.
  • Focus group ‘What Employers Really Want’
  • Profile and reputation.
  • Internal reputation/networking.
  • Formation of a LinkedIn group.
  • Time
  • Commitment
  • Resources
  • Costs
  • Data maintenance
  • Support
  • Speakers
looking forward
Looking Forward
  • A full years’ plan of events – promoted/marketed in advance.
  • An approach from a very large local recruitment company who already have their own network has approached me with a view to a joint event.
  • The creation of ‘a day in the life of’.
  • The innovation of a Retail Network.
  • A more substantial event (day through to evening) on aspects of an ageing workforce.
  • A more balanced approach to the inclusion of students (L6, PG) for the networking opportunities.
your questions
Your Questions?
  • The highs?
  • The lows?