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Enhancing Student Employability Co-ordination Team. The state of play, September 2003. ESECT people. David Baume, independent evaluator Val Butcher, LTSN Generic Centre Carl Gilleard, Association of Graduate Recruiters Margaret Dane, Association of Graduate Careers Advisory Services

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Enhancing student employability co ordination team l.jpg

Enhancing Student Employability Co-ordination Team

The state of play, September 2003


Esect people l.jpg
ESECT people

  • David Baume, independent evaluator

  • Val Butcher, LTSN Generic Centre

  • Carl Gilleard, Association of Graduate Recruiters

  • Margaret Dane, Association of Graduate Careers Advisory Services

  • David Gosling, National Co-ordination Team

  • Lee Harvey, Sheffield Hallam University

  • Sophie Holmes, National Union of Students

  • Peter Knight, Open University

  • Brenda Little, Open University

  • Rob Ward, Centre for Recording Achievement

  • Mantz Yorke, Liverpool John Moores University


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ESECT problem #1

  • ‘Where’s the problem?’

    • All our students get jobs.

    • Widening participation is the priority, along with…

    • … foundation degrees.

  • It’s easier to argue that there is a problem since the lead story in the THES, 9 May 2003.

    • It provided data suggesting that significant numbers of some institutions’ graduates were going into ‘non-graduate’ jobs.


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ESECT problem #2

  • ‘We’re OK because we’ve up-rated Careers provision and have skills certification.’

  • One of our problems is helping colleagues to appreciate that this is not enough.

    • Employers are looking for more.

    • Higher education can do more.


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The ESECT view of employability

  • Research-based.

  • All client groups


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The ESECT mission

  • Challenge the idea that it is employability versus education: rather, “employability is enhanced by good learning. The complex achievements employers value sit well with good learning in higher education” (THES, 2/8/02).

  • Promote integrated approaches to employability.

  • Help employers to recruit well from the diversity of talent.

  • Help students know what this means for them.

  • Pass a strong legacy to the HE Academy in 2005.


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A. Allay academics’ fears

  • A fear: ‘employability’ is toxic to academic values.

  • Our achievement will be to:

    • Show teachers in HE, through evidence and academic concepts, that synergies are possible. The Learning and Employability series does this.

    • Set out principles for programme design that can reconcile the two.

    • Provide tools to help them.


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B. Encourage integrated approaches

  • We will show HEIs and partner organisations ways of supporting employability:

    • Throughout programmes of study and the student life-cycle.

    • By getting students to reflect on and document in- and out-of-class achievements ─ Personal Development Planning is going to be important here.


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C. Help employers

  • The Association of Graduate Recruiters will work with its 600+ members to encourage equity and diversity in recruitment.

  • We work with CRAC, STEP and Shell LiveWire to reach SMEs.

  • Regional activities are important ways of helping higher education institutions to imagine ways of influencing recruitment practices.


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D. Help students

  • The National Union of Students will raise student unions’ capacity to contribute to employability.

  • We are sensitive to the Access to What? project’s findings on combating patterns of disadvantage.

  • We will raise students’ capacity to represent their achievements through:

    • Promoting effective PDP practice.

    • Helping departments and institutions create ‘knowing students’.


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E. A living legacy

  • We will link employability with key themes occupying HEIs ─ PDP, teaching and learning, widening participation, e-learning, assessment.

  • We are doing a lot of capacity-building with LTSN subject centres, the HE Academy and institutional change agents.

  • We will leave behind a slew of briefings and toolkits on ‘what works’.


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ESECT’s work: five phases

  • Phase 1. What is known? The Perspectives series.

  • Phase 2. Briefings for eight client groups.

  • Phase 3. Dissemination activities, including regional conferences.

  • Phase 4. Development of materials designed to help the eight sets of clients to make a difference.

  • Phase 5. Training in using, customising and disseminating these materials.


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Client groups

  • LTSN subject centres.

  • Heads of department.

  • Careers services.

  • Student Unions.

  • Employers.

  • Pro Vice-Chancellors.

  • Curriculum and other development projects.

  • Educational developers.


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Making a difference

  • Our fourth set of ‘deliverables’.

    • Originally described as ‘toolkits.’

  • They could contain:

    • Audit tools.

    • Examples of practice elsewhere.

    • Suggestions and prompt lists.

    • Access to an enhanced resource data-base.

    • And …

      • Help and suggestions welcome.


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Learning more

  • Contact Peter Knight by email ([email protected])

  • Contact Val Butcher by email ([email protected])

  • Visit the LTSN Generic Centre/ESECT website www.ltsn.ac.uk/genericcentre/ESECT


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