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Developing a framework for employability – our experience at Birmingham City University Mary Carswell Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Academic)

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Presentation on theme: "Developing a framework for employability – our experience at Birmingham City University Mary Carswell Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Academic)"— Presentation transcript:

1 Developing a framework for employability – our experience at Birmingham City University Mary Carswell Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Academic)

2 Where did it start? University which is strongly rooted in practice-oriented education to meet the needs of students and employers –Started in 1843 with Birmingham Government School of Design - part of a government initiative to link art practice with design for industry in order to promote trade and the economy

3 Why focus on employability now? High level of competition for graduate jobs Rising graduate unemployment nationally –10% of full-time students in 2009 up from 8% in 2008 (DLHE 2008-09) Our own Birmingham City graduates finding it harder –87.4% in 2009 down from 92% in 2007

4 Why focus on employability now? Increased fees leading to more awareness and questioning of return on investment Publication of Key Information Set (KIS) will include DLHE results and graduate salaries by course Commitment to our students to help them build successful futures (including self-employment)

5 Links to University vision Provides an educational experience of the highest quality with a strong commitment to employability and to flexible and practice-based learning Is an exemplar for engagement with business, the professions and the community

6 Links to Learning & Teaching Strategy Develop highly employable students who are aware of their responsibilities to their profession and to society –Incorporate work-based and/or practice-based learning in the student experience. –Liaise with employers and professional bodies to ensure that Birmingham City University graduates possess the necessary knowledge, skills and attitudes to ensure success in their chosen workplace.

7 Redesign of Learning Experience (RoLEx) has played a key role In its third year - based on alignment to L&T Strategy Started with complete redesign of UG provision followed by PG Positive impacts include improved student progression Significant increase in student involvement in curriculum development Now theme-based –2010-11: Assessment & Employability –2011-12: Individual approaches to learning

8 Links to Employer Engagement Strategy Created in 2010 by University-wide strategy group Evidence-based - supported by background information which reviewed history & context and looked at good practice in-house and elsewhere Three themes –Workforce/Continuing Professional Development –Research and innovation –Student journey

9 Employer engagement and the student journey Professional Accreditation Assessment Employability Skills Entrepreneur- ship EmploymentAlumni Recruitment Curriculum Design Course Delivery Sponsorship Experience of Work Placements / Internships Mentoring

10 Some key actions Exemplar status agreed as target for each aspect of student journey As part of RoLEx each course is addressing: –How well do we equip our students, through each element of the student journey, to gain jobs or to become self-employed? What more can we do? –How can we use assessment as a driver for development of employability skills and attitudes? Employer Engagement Steering Group including senior level leadership and membership Three new posts created including extra support for curriculum design

11 What do we currently do? Maximise professional body accreditations – currently more than 120 courses Student/graduate entrepreneurship projects Careers advice, coaching, job search and application support Mentoring schemes Placement and internship support Recruitment and employer networking events Raising the profile of the DLHE to increase response rates and to increase staff awareness and understanding of results Employability Skills & Attitudes Framework Employer-based and/or specified projects Volunteering

12 What do we currently do? HEFCE-funded Creating Future Proof Graduates Employability skills research Staff development including, as part of the MEd for academic staff, a new module Embedding Employability in the Curriculum Student Academic Partners (SAPs) – joint project with Students Union to employ our own students as equal partners with staff on projects to enhance learning and teaching (THE Award for Outstanding Support for Students) Working with Students Union on commitment to employ more of our own students Student Employability Award being piloted – working with Students Union

13 What do we currently do? RoLEx development workshops with joint course staff and student teams focused on assessment and employability Embed employability in curriculum and assessment (supported by RoLEx) Just launched BEE (Birmingham City University Employability and Entrepreneurship) including BEE Awards for staff and students – 5Es –Employability skills –Entrepreneurship practice –Enterprise experience –Experience of work –Employment outcomes

14 Evidence of success through news stories – 8 April Birmingham City University takes on the BBC –Students nominated for a Sony Radio Award for a documentary they produced Funding gives gallery space to grow –Gallery space set up by the School of Art in 2008 gets £375k Arts Council funding Harvard collaboration offers hope to death row prisoners –Law students are working with Harvard Law School to give death row defence lawyers in the USA access to vital legal information which could save defendants lives.

15 Evidence of success through news stories – 7 April Designs take interiors into the future –Designs generated by Birmingham Institute of Art & Design students were fabricated into a range of tangible products by leading furniture manufacturers and used to predict trends Students work on Madame Tussauds of the future –Students on the Theatre, Performance and Event Design course were set a project by Merlin Entertainments, owners of Madame Tussauds, to create a vision of what the visitor attraction may look like in the future

16 Some key learning points Employability is not an add-on – it must be seen as an integral and influential aspect in the design of the entire student learning experience Employers who get involved feel the benefits Students want to get involved – and have a huge amount to offer Staff have been enthused by the commitment of and the contributions made by students

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