1 Teaching and Learning Conference 2011 Evidencing Employability Skills: Introduction Dr Jessica Jung, Careers Service [email protected] Context • Employability (and skills development) – a University KPI of increasing importance to students, parents, staff throughout this institution, the media… • We are currently 15th for ‘Graduate Prospects’ in Times Good University Guide (based on DHLE data – percentage of student in grad-level employment/further study) • “Academic study gets your foot in the door; employability skills push it open to a far wider range of activities” (Head of Strategy and Talent at PWC, see here for further information) • Newcastle University Graduate Skills Framework rationalises key abilities employers value and presents these in a way that students (and staff) can easily understand and apply to their teaching/learning 2 Embedding Employability Skills • Students can (and do!) develop skills in a variety of contexts (internships/placements; club/society roles, course rep roles, volunteering, part-time work); as well as within their course • They may lack reflective ability to identify the skills they have developed/ are developing however, to link experiences and achievements and present these in different contexts • This key ability can be encouraged/embedded within teaching and module design as well as through other areas of the University (personal tutoring system, Careers Service, eportfolios etc) 3 4 Self Awareness and Reflection • ‘Recognise own knowledge, values, qualities and skills in order to inform and guide personal development’ • Benefits for academic study and beyond – making career choices and throughout the application process and when adjusting to the world of work • Valuable as part of modules/courses with a skills or employability component. • Can be encouraged through use of portfolios, group work, interactions with tutor, etc • Can be assessed using written work (reflective diary or portfolio, longer essay) or other formats – presentations, interviews, professional conversations can form part of assessment and can help prepare students for the workplace 5 Evidencing Skills and Attributes • Students need to able to identify when, where and how they have demonstrated the skills and experience employers are looking for in order to succeed at all stages of the application process. • Eportfolios– students/courses can opt into the University’s eportfolio system (plans to roll this out tied into personal tutoring system as part of 2012 ‘offer’), these allow students to record what they have done (whether as part of their course or through extracurricular activities) and link these to skills. • Allow students to build up a ‘bank’ of examples of their skills and abilities which can be accessed to help with applications, interviews, etc. Work Experience for Academic Credit • Career Development module owned/run by Careers Service - students from majority of academic schools can opt to take this 20 credit (year-long) module, demand for places is increasing year-on-year • Collaboration with schools to promote the benefits of the module to students, as well as offering consultation and support to schools/programmes setting up their own work-relating learning modules (differing levels of input and support) • Work-related modules have been set up in, for example, Geography, Environmental Science, Combined Honours, English (all subjects that don’t traditionally include a placement or ‘sandwich’ year) 6 7 • "It's crucial to ensure that our degree comprises more than just acquisition of academic knowledge if our graduates are to succeed in today's highly competitive job market. Involvement with the Career Development module has enabled many of our students to get invaluable practical work experience." Dr Val Tuck, School of Psychology • Video case studies of academic staff and students here • Opportunities for collaboration and for staff to become involved with the Career Development module by acting as second markers for our innovative assessed interviews – great way of learning more about the module.