Here are the perks in highest demand among further education professionals in 2023:
With the cost-of-living crisis putting strain on everyone, candidates will be drawn to offers that include substantial rewards and benefits. Professional development is a highly popular perk of any role at present, but educational institutions have a unique advantage of offering the use of their own facilities as a benefit.
Offering free qualifications to their workers is a cost-effective way to allow their workforce to grow and become more valuable to them. Opportunities to develop create greater longevity and loyalty among employees. The environment itself is naturally conducive to growth and will heighten employee satisfaction.
2. Funded commute
Many professionals are now looking closer to home for their next role, due to rising fuel and travel costs and recent disruption to public transport. This means, those who are willing to make the journey will expect something in return. For instance, some employers will offer a discounted rail season ticket to their commuting employees.
To make a good impression from the beginning and widen the scope of your search for talent, employers could consider supplementing or covering prospective employees’ travel costs for any interviews taking place in person.
3. Free parking
Parking costs have also risen with inflation and all further education professionals will appreciate the availability of a nearby free or subsidised car park. This is something most institutions will already have, and it’s a wise investment for employers in attracting and retaining staff. Those unable to offer this will need to have other attractive offers to make the travel worth employees’ while.
4. Blended teaching
As the pandemic necessitated home working for a long time, it was proven that courses could be conducted online. While not fundamentally equal to in-person learning, online learning does have huge benefits for everyone.
The energy needed to run some of the larger college campuses – especially for the more practical courses – has put overheads at a much higher price, in many cases reaching £1 million. A solution many institutions are considering is utilising remote technology for one day a week of teaching and implementing a blended learning structure, with only four days of in-person learning. This would minimise commuting costs for employees and overhead costs for colleges.
5. On-site café
Since inflation reached record levels, some employers began offering free food to entice people back into the workplace. Colleges will usually have a cafeteria, which offers employee discounts or allowances – this perk is more desirable than ever before. Having an inviting space for employees to socialise and relax during break times is beneficial to wellbeing and isn’t something all employers can offer.
Since the pandemic has put greater emphasis on wellbeing, flexibility has become a standardised – and employees are now legally allowed to request flexible working options from day one. In further education, students aren’t required to attend back-to-back classes and will have free periods. The same can be allowed for teachers and other support staff to enable people to fit work around their personal lives.
7. Discounted childcare
Free or discounted childcare is something many academic and support professionals are searching for at present. In the current economic climate, working parents are struggling to pay for childcare support, leading to more people leaving their roles to become stay-at-home parents. Where these responsibilities still tend to fall on women, offering discounted childcare support is not only invaluable to many families, but it can also promote gender equality.
To ensure your salaries and benefits are attractive to the best professionals in further education, download our further education salary guide 2024 now or contact your local Reed office.