College ramps up perks

The Colchester Institute is updating its benefits structure in a bid to rival private sector employers for specialist staff.

The higher education college is bringing in private medical insurance, childcare vouchers, tax-free bike loans and a home computing scheme.

HR manager Julie Breed said: "We want to become more like a private employer in the way that we provide benefits for staff. We are a vocational college and offer subjects like media, hairdressing, engineering and business. In order to do that we have to be able to attract people from those industries to teach the most up-to-date concepts."

She said the new perks will enable the institution to reach the best quality candidates. "Not all colleges are offering that kind of thing," she added.

The organisation’s 700 staff will also be able to access a new employee assistance programme (EAP) from HSA. Breed said: "It will help us to meet our health and safety obligations."