Janice Simpson, Vicky Barton and Claire McMahon, Careers Education Advice and Guidance
After a thought provoking start to the conference with Tom Banham, Director of Employability and Careers at the University of York, it was a timely transition to host and participate in this inspiring workshop. After an overview of key context, Janice, Vicky and Claire outlined three unique case studies which sought to engage students and develop employability, responding to differing programme needs.
Each activity was characterised by the forging of effective partnerships between academic and careers staff, promoting dialogue and designing activities tailored to individual student communities.
The three diverse examples included skills reflection in Theatre, Film and Television (TFTV), the development of a flood defence care study in Environment and embedding an exploration of careers within a social research methods module in Sociology. The benefits and challenges of each case were highlighted in reflective summaries. Each articulated the dynamic and evolving nature of the activities undertaken, identifying clear motivations and suggestions for improvements, such as the refinement and timing of objectives and activities.
Lively group discussion followed. Facilitated by careers staff, delegates were challenged to consider:
* What are you doing well in terms of embedding employability in your department?
* What could be improved?
* How could you overcome any challenges?
Our concluding thoughts included the following:
- Introducing employability at a very early stage – e.g. via engagement with employers and including a focus from student recruitment days onwards
- Embedding employability in programme learning outcomes
- Increasing engagement between academic and careers staff
- Challenging and enabling academic staff to creatively ‘free up’ parts of the syllabus to engage in employability-related activities
- Considering the value of formal credit-bearing activities which enhance employability within programmes
Helen Bedford, Health Sciences, University of York