Central Sussex College (now Crawley College) sits at the heart of the Gatwick Diamond with campuses across central Sussex, and is one of the education partners in the Gatwick Diamond Initiative; an economic development group representing the business interests and skill requirements of employers across the sub-region, which crosses the Surrey/Sussex border. It has a high profile within the local community and amongst local/sub-regional employers and is active in many educational and business forums. The College employs around 800 staff.
Central Sussex College approached The Telemarketing Company to run a campaign focused on an Organisational Needs Analysis (ONA) approach, with the primary aim of securing face to face or telephone appointments with employers to discuss their training needs and the funding opportunities available to them.
The Telemarketing Company was trained in a number of products, for which businesses may have a need. Specifically:
- Apprenticeships and work-based learning
- IT skills training including MS Office programs and Adobe
- Health and safety, including first aid, food hygiene, alcohol retailing and personal licensees
- Business skills including leadership and management and a variety of soft skills
- Higher level skills training and professional qualifications
- Industrial updating in construction/building services engineering i.e. electrical installation, gas, oil, plumbing, and renewables (solar thermal, solar PV, heat pumps, water harvesting)
The key messages for this campaign were as follows:
- The college offers a wide range of professional qualifications and skills development training complemented by an experienced Employer Services team that is committed to meeting business-training needs. The college works with businesses to help them identify training needs and to source a high-quality, cost-effective solution to these needs.
- The college is an established and experienced local training provider, and delivers training for over 2,000 businesses each year, ranging from accredited programmes and courses for employees through to tailored solutions delivered in-company. They are able to develop tailored solutions, if none of the ‘off the shelf’ courses fit the bill. It could be through a one-off seminar or longer-term vocational training.
- The college is able to access, through various Government schemes, funding for work-based learning and Apprenticeship frameworks, the Age 16-24 grant for new apprentices (£1500 per apprentice with eligibility now increased) and can advise employers on suitable training to meet the needs of their business.
- The college has a Job Shop that can help companies to advertise and recruit to vacancies - often apprenticeships - from a local and national pool, providing advice and support throughout the selection process.
- The college can work with employers to provide organisational and/or training needs analysis and to plan and source the training required to meet these needs, including through third parties where necessary.
- Central Sussex College has a dedicated professional training venue in Horsham (Horsham Training Centre) currently focused on delivering short IT, business, and health and safety training, in addition to a wide range of longer professional courses such as CIPD, CIPS, CMI etc.
- Central Sussex College has a dedicated, high quality University Centre facility at its Crawley campus, a National Skills Academy in Environmental Technologies and a comprehensive, competitively priced portfolio of specialist short courses, with a particular recognised strength in the Construction/Building Services Engineering sector.
Project execution and results
The campaign began by focusing on the Health and Social Care and Education sectors with the callers working on Central Sussex’s own CRM system and managing the Skills Advisors’ diaries.
The callers were trained in two different approaches:
- The first, for new prospects, was the ONA (Organisational Needs Analysis) approach.
- The second was for those identified as existing customers of the College who would be likely to already have an ONA in place. This focus was on Training works, the increased eligibility for the apprenticeship Age 16-24 grant and the portfolio of short courses on special offer.
Once this sector was successfully bedded in, the campaign moved on to the Hospitality and Hair and Beauty Service Industry sectors.
The campaign required a good deal of flexibility and the ability to think on one’s feet, as the decision makers varied according to the size of the company. For small and medium businesses it was likely to be the Managing Director or Owner, although for some at the larger end of the SME bracket, training fell under Human Resources. Larger companies were more likely to have Learning & Development or Training Managers who were the decision makers for staff development.
To date The Telemarketing Company has produced one Appointment in every 6.2 hours of calling plus one Telephone Appointment in every 7.9 hours of calling, which equates to one result in every 3.49 hours of calling. The quality has been good and conversion strong.