3 Masters Courses Environmental Management and Sustainable Development Countryside Management ESF Funding: employability
4 Current employability activity Undergraduates First year 2-week group placements Second year Unit on job selection, recruitment, CVs, interviews etc + 4-week individual placement Sandwich Masters students Dissertation with an outside organisation
5 Why have an Employability Strategy? Drivers: –government policy - Universities UK and Lambert Review –emphasis on quantification of outputs –students and parents –PG and UG reviews
7 Shift in emphasis Within the curriculum –More sandwich – fewer short placements –Broader provision of careers education –Wider range of employability features in the curriculum –More embedding of employability features Outside the curriculum –Encouragement of relevant term-time/vacation experience –Signposting of opportunities
8 Proposals Within the curriculum AimAction To offer challenges to students which will provide evidence of employment-related work Increase the amount of problem based learning in both teaching and learning. Increase the number of projects/dissertations which relate to organisations To help students benefit from employability-related features of their learning Make explicit those parts of the course which demonstrate employability To disseminate information about students knowledge and skills to employers Disseminate information about students knowledge and skills to key employers via Departmental contacts. Provide information for employers when writing job references. To offer of wide range of work experience opportunities Broaden opportunities for placements (short and sandwich) by increasing the number of placement organisations and offering flexibility in the timing of placements. To increase the "value" of work based learning to students. Investigate opportunities for external accreditation of courses/units and in particular the work based learning To encourage reflection about learningTo improve opportunities for feedback and reflection Develop a system for personal development plans (PDPs) within the University framework. To develop students career management skills Careers talk at option/project/dissertation choice time
9 Proposals Outside the curriculum To increase the contribution of extra- curricular activities to student employability Make students aware of the wide range of relevant extra-curricular activities (employment and voluntary) and to emphasise the need to enhance their experience. To help students in making applications for employment Increase information available on the departmental careers web pages. Signpost students to other appropriate sources of help and information To identify current and potential destinations for students Organise current destination information Improve systems for gathering new destination information To monitor long term destinationsDevelop an alumni association and website To disseminate information on career opportunities to students Provide more detailed information to students on career opportunities, To develop new innovative ways to encourage student employability Stimulate discussion about encouraging student employability. Have a Learning and Teaching session devoted to student employability
10 Progress: within curriculum Problem based reports in some units. Context case studies to be incorporated in first year unit. Work related projects to be included in project titles list. Asked employers what they want from graduates. Make employability explicit in units. Disseminate information about students knowledge and skills Database of contacts improved. Number of organisations increased. Joined a professional networking organisation. First year placement now earlier. Considering City and Guilds accreditation and accreditation for certain activities undertaken on placement. PDPs - new proposals developed for UG review. Careers talk at option/project/dissertation choice time.
11 Progress: outside curriculum Information about good quality, relevant employment distributed to students at induction. Increased information available on the departmental careers web pages. Faculty-funded project to organise current destination information and improved software, over 600 students emailed. Develop an alumni association and website. Still trying! Weekly careers email about fairs, vacancies, talks etc Faculty L&T event June 2004 – employability a key topic.
12 Conclusion Strategy has led to a significant shift in employability provision within the courses. Some progress to date; some planned in the reviews. Attempts at monitoring destinations. Some staff remain unconvinced. Still needs resources eg for alumni association. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~