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Employer Engagement: An Institutional Approach. Dr Joy Perkins, Employability Development Adviser. Peter Fantom, Head of Careers Service. Workshop Outline. What are the key employer engagement drivers at the University of Aberdeen? What is happening in practice?

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employer engagement an institutional approach

Employer Engagement: An Institutional Approach

Dr Joy Perkins, Employability Development Adviser

Peter Fantom, Head of Careers Service

workshop outline
Workshop Outline
  • What are the key employer engagement drivers at the University of Aberdeen?
  • What is happening in practice?
  • What are the key issues and challenges in delivering on employer engagement?
strategic context
Strategic Context
  • University Strategic Plan 2011-15, Engagement & Partnership Beyond our Walls
  • Curriculum Reform Project directive:

“In part to assist with employer engagement and the development of graduate attributes and the co-curriculum, each programme or group of cognate programmes should have an advisory group with external representation from alumni, employers and community stakeholders, as appropriate.”

what did the careers service do
What did the Careers Service do?
  • Reviewed existing employer engagement activities.
  • Ensured the Vice-Principal (T & L) championed our employer engagement approach.
  • Discussed with academic staff the variability in engagement with employers across the University.
  • Agreed the membership and a minimum remit for each Programme Advisory Board (PAB) with academic staff.
university of aberdeen programme advisory board pab structure

Careers Service

Careers Education, Information & Guidance

Career Mentoring

Work Placements


Enterprise & Entrepreneurship

STAR Award

Aberdeen Graduate Attributes

Alumni Relations Office

Employer Contacts,

Career Mentoring

  • College of Life Sciences & Medicine PABs
  • School of Biological Sciences Employer
  • Liaison Group
  • School of Medical Sciences PAB
  • Psychology External Liaison Committee


  • College of Arts & Social Sciences PABs
  • MA Programme Board
  • School of Education Partnership Forum
  • School of Law: Employers Liaison
  • Committee

Career Service Employer Board

University Committee on Teaching & Learning

School/Discipline Teaching & Learning Committees

  • College of Physical Sciences PABs
  • Mathematics PAB
  • Physics PAB
  • Computing Science Industrial Advisory
  • Board
  • Petroleum & Engineering Advisory Boards

Centre for Learning & Teaching

Aberdeen Graduate Attributes, Teaching, Learning & Assessment Employability, Curriculum Design

Senior Management

VP Learning & Teaching, Academic Registrar

what are the results so far
What are the results so far?

In 2011/12 the main focus of activity has been establishing the new PABs and aligning existing Employer Liaison Groups with the Curriculum Reform requirements.

Specific activities of these new and existing groups include:

  • Reviewing and commenting on the latest available graduate destinations data, and discussing the employment and further study prospects for current undergraduates.
  • Interpreting the broad Aberdeen Graduate Attribute statements within each academic discipline.
  • Working in partnership with School Directors of Teaching to devise short/medium term employability action plans.
today s task
Today’s Task
  • Discuss in a small group the challenges (identified on the cards) of establishing a comprehensive set of Programme Advisory Boards (PABs) across the University of Aberdeen.
    • What do you consider the greatest challenge associated with establishing a coherent set of PABs?
    • Are you able to rank the identified challenges? (1 being the most challenging)
    • Is the Group’s perception based on personal experience or just guided by today’s discussions?
  • Take 15 minutes as a group to discuss and rank the challenges on the sticky board, making a note of your ranking justification.
aberdeen s rankings
Aberdeen’s Rankings
  • 1. Measuring the impact and quality of PAB engagement.
    • Ensuring an efficient PAB reporting structure to facilitate communication channels.
    • Agreeing the Programme Advisory Boards (PAB) remit and membership with academic Schools.
    • Incorporating existing employer groups within the Programme Advisory Board (PAB) structure.

5. Obtaining academic staff buy-in to establish Programme Advisory Boards (PABs).