AIM Higher, encouraging further educational study to 16 year olds




Based on our previous successful campaigns within the educational sector for Education Action Zones and Education Authorities, GDA were approached by AimHigher to improve engagement in the education and skills sectors within the West Midlands, UK.


GDA were asked to focus on two key areas:

Post 16 year old student engagement

Statistics had identified a growing tendency for post 16 year old school leavers to forgo further study and take up manual work.  After a 12-month period of ‘cash-in-hand’ casual labour they were then replaced with new school leavers, which left them in a disadvantaged position and classified socially as ‘Not in Education, Employment or Training’ (NEET). This rapidly led to low aspiration and social mobility.

GDA were asked to provide a method of communicating the advantages of Further Education to this young and often cynical group.

Promotion of churn within the Health & Social Care sectors within the NHS

For some time, those involved with the provision of health and social care within the UK had been acutely aware of the need to up-skill the NHS workforce to address the increasing needs of a rapidly growing elderly population.  Seen as a ‘job-for-life’ it was felt that awareness of training and career progression opportunities was low leading to stagnation in the workplace.


Post 16 year old engagement

A fast-paced dynamic DVD was created using a range of peer models to directly address the negative bias of the target audience toward continued education. The interviewees were seen as accessible role models to the target audience demographic in terms of age, prior qualification levels and ethnicity.

A series of career fairs, presented as road shows were staged at local sporting venues due to their popularity and accessibility.

Local school children were taken to the fair as a school based excursion where they were shown the DVD and could peruse the options available.  Sample independent role models were on-site to reinforce the benefits of continued educational progression.

NHS Health & Social Care

A series of three careers events were promoted to NHS staff.

These were the subject of a targeted local radio campaign and media coverage backed up with direct mail and poster campaigns in local NHS Trust areas.

The events featured a large range of local training providers from local Centre of Vocational Excellence (COVE) providers as well as private practitioners. There were guest speakers and breakout rooms available with a series of valuable workshops for delegates.

Research was undertaken in the form of a circulated questionnaire and follow up focus groups.


Post 16 year old engagement

Feedback from the vast number of local students who attended the three events was very positive with a high percentage stating that the event and video sequence had changed their viewpoint to a level where they would openly consider college as an viable option.

NHS Health & Social Care

The event was a success with higher than anticipated levels of attendance.

GDA compiled a report based on research conducted at the event and from the post event focus groups, providing AimHigher with valuable qualitative and quantitate data and a valuable insight into the current attitudes and levels of aspiration within the Health & Social Care sector on which to base future interventions.

Consult Create Educate Visit old website