Employer Engagement in Higher Education

Edufair 2012
Employer Engagement In Higher Education
Pam Crawford
Lesley Grayburn
Elaine Watson
Russell Whyte
Employer engagement overview
Policy context and issues associated with
engaging with employers
(Pam Crawford)
CDC and employer engagement
(Lesley Grayburn)
Case Studies
Partnership Modules (Elaine Watson)
Making the Most of Masters (Russell Whyte)
Policy context
• Scottish Government Economic Strategy
• Putting learners at the centre
• Scottish Government emphasis on employability and employer
HE drivers:
• Quality agenda
• Enhancement themes
• Reputational issues and external scrutiny of graduate destinations
and the student experience
• Demonstrating economic and societal impact
National & Local Policy Context
“We have brought a focus to skills and
employability – helping to improve
employability and students’ contribution
to the economy and society”
Mark Batho, SFC Chief Executive, Corporate Plan 2012
“Our target is to increase the
proportion of our graduates entering
graduate level jobs to 85%”
University of Stirling, Strategic Plan 2011 – 2016
What does employer engagement mean in HE?
• formal and informal
• Strategic or reactive
• employer-HEI partnerships can be
people-dependant rather than
system-dependant, Lowden (2011)
Forms include: attending events and fair; posting
vacancies; sitting on relevant steering groups
and advisory boards; providing work experience,
both stand alone and course related; mentoring;
providing projects, both accredited and nonaccredited; supporting employability
forms of engagement
and roles
Hogarth (2007 p.8) describes HEIs as
offering employers, “a number of products,
services and ‘outputs’, ranging from
graduates, the facilitation of workplace
learning and professional development,
through to research and consultancy“
Learning and Skills Development Agency
(LSDA) developed a typology for employer
engagement which describes employers as
stakeholders, strategic partners and/or
Diagram 2: How forms and typologies of engagement relate to the continuum of
LSDA typology
Passive engagement
Recruitment Careers Fairs
Influential engagement
Work experience independent
Advisory boards
Work experience linked to courses
Forms of engagement
Hogarth (2007).
Strategic partner
Issues around employer engagement for HE
• Capacity and framework – who does what and when?
• Strategic approach – proactive rather than reactive
• Fit – how does it fit with the learning profile?
• Timelines; resources; pathways into the institution.
• Employer perspectives; enhanced practice; leads to more
engagement; employability outputs; relevance of theory to practice.
Employers View
A third of graduate positions in 2012 will be
filled by graduates who have already worked
in the organisation – either through industrial
placements, vacation work or sponsorships
– and therefore are not open to other
students from the ‘Class of 2012’
(High Fliers: The Graduate Market in 2012 (2012))
CDC & Employer Engagement
Recruitment - Stirling
 Part time/seasonal vacancies through the Job Shop
 Graduate vacancies
 Internships and work experience opportunities
 Relationship management & development
 SMEs to multinationals
Recruitment – Scotland & Beyond
 Scottish Shared Vacancies system
 Third Sector Internship Programme/e-placements
 Virtual Careers Fair
CDC & Employer Engagement
Student Projects
 Active Learning in the Community Modules
 International Summer School Internship Module
 Work experience Partnership Modules
 Work based projects for Masters students
In the Curriculum
 Run or take part in workshops in Schools
 Business simulation
 Link to academic colleagues
CDC & Employer Engagement
Careers Events
 Workfest
This is Your Life
Volunteering Fair – joint event with Volunteer Development
Scotland and the Student Union
CDC & Employer Engagement
Student Enterprise and Self-employment
 Business Gateway drop in sessions
 Links to PSYBT
 Links to student enterprise
Links with Alumni
 Alumni Career Ambassadors/mentors
 Career profiles and case studies/contacts
Employer Engagement in
Higher Education
Accredited Approaches to Work
Related Learning
Elaine Watson
Background to our modules
“There is now an increasing emphasis on placement
forming a component of an undergraduate
education. Central to effective placement
experience is the provision of well-organised,
meaningful placements that enlist formal reflection
on what has been learned and, where possible,
how this relates to what the student is learning in
the context of their degree studies.”
Graduates for 21st Century
Integrating the Enhancement Themes
Accredited WRL
CDC offer two 22 credit (level 8)
Active Learning in the Community
Generic (PDM9AL)
Active Learning in the Community
Social Work (PDM9AW)
Active Learning in the Community
Background to the module (s)
 Developed by CDC in 2002
 Provide a mix of academic study with
a practical work based placement
 Enables students to volunteer in the
Voluntary / Charitable sector
 Facilitates links with the university
and local community
Active Learning in the Community
Social Work
Open to all students
Open to all year
Placements in a
variety of settings
mainly in the
charitable / voluntary
All 1st Year SW
Mandatory module
Placements in a
variety of Social
Work related
Module Structure
Students undertake:
 30 Hour placement over 10 week term
 4 x 2hr Classroom based learning
 5 On-line Reflective Logs (every 2 weeks)
 7 minute Presentation
 Final Report 1500 words
Value of WRL
“The maximum work-related learning
occurs when it is built into the
students' degree programmes, with
appropriate pre-placement advice
and preparation, reflection on the
learning after it has occurred and
appropriate linkages made between
the work environment and the
academic programme.”
Assessment , Learning & Teaching
Value of WRL
Work-related learning allows students to
improve their employability by:
 Increasing their knowledge of the world
of work
 Exploring links between theory and
 Developing self-confidence
 Aiding career and personal development
 Providing an impressive addition to the
Academic Feedback
‘This module is an essential part of
the SW degree preparing students
at an early point for professional
and ethical dilemmas of becoming a
social worker. It has proved
consistently useful in meeting the
regulatory body’s fitness to practise
Judy Kerr
Teaching Fellow, Social Work
Employer Feedback
"I enjoyed the experience of working with our
volunteer. It was useful for the organisation and it
was a real pleasure to see the presentations at
the end of the module, and to see how much the
students had gained from their experiences".
"The student presentations were of value for us as
an organization in terms of getting students’
feedback and their objective view/perceptions of
our service delivery".
“I feel that its beneficial to the staff team to have
students on placement”
Student feedback
 “Both modules are so beneficial in helping you gain
essential skills and develop as an individual and
ultimately know how to apply those learned skills to
make you more employable when the time comes to
“Reflective journals really helped me to understand my
“The presentation and journals were a different way of
working and learning”
“It’s an excellent module which is a lot different from any
other. The course is interactive and fun”
New Developments
CDC currently working to develop new
partnership module (s)
New Modules confirmed for Spring 2013
with School of Sport and School of Law
Discussions currently underway with:
Maths, Biology, Film & Media and the
School of Arts and Humanities.
Looking Ahead
CDC would be pleased to speak to staff
from any subject area that may have an
interest in developing work placement
Please contact:
[email protected]
Key Topics For Discussion
Current level of employer engagement:
• Does your school/dept. encourage employer
engagement – if so, how?
• How do we approach employers?
• How we respond to incoming employer queries?
Future engagement:
• How can we better engage with employers?
• What are the key barriers to employer