EVALUATING THE IMPACT OF FIELD READY: A NEW MODEL OF EMPLOYABILITY FOR STATE INSTITUTIONS IN THE DEVELOPING WORLD
1White Loop Limited (UNITED KINGDOM)
2Field Ready Limited (UNITED KINGDOM)
Field Ready programmes bridge the gap between education and employment by producing individuals who are ready to work in the industrial sector. Universities, colleges and institutes are licensed to run Field Ready programmes that are validated by an Alliance of companies. These programmes help companies who finance scholarships to access safe, motivated and loyal new employees from a sustainable local source. The term ‘Field Ready’ describes a person who is highly employable and ready to be deployed in their field of work.
Field Ready was established in 2015 and now operates in Mozambique and Ghana with plans to launch in Senegal and Nigeria later in 2019. This paper sets out the approach that Field Ready has developed to address the gap between the outputs of state-run education institutions and the requirements of employers. The model is based on a combination of applied technical skills, applied personal skills, health, safety and environment training (HSE) and field experience. The involvement of employers is key – the participating companies influence the curriculum that is taught, oversee the delivery of the programme and validate students as ‘field ready’ once they have completed their studies.
Having presented the model, we provide a case study of the first programme run in Ghana. Using mixed method research based on surveys and interviews, we look at the students from the first cohort in Ghana who were sponsored – and then employed – with a particular focus on five students who were sponsored by a global oilfield services company. We look at the quality of student experience and then consider the impact of the programme on the employability of those students from an employer perspective.
The study demonstrates that by placing employers at the heart of the education model you can increase the quality of the student experience and ensure that the outcomes of the programme lead to a greater level of employability than is typical with state-funded vocational training programmes. This provides evidence that the Field Ready model can be transformative in building locally-led employability programmes that ensure a legacy of talented graduates, a strengthened talent pool and act as a driver for economic growth.