Embedding employability in the curriculum
Employability is a key element of the University's Learning and Teaching Strategy. There are numerous definitions, approaches and a wide literature on the pedagogy of employability. Drawing on this literature, the Careers Service has created some core principles of employability good practice and some resources to support academic departments to recognise and develop employability within your programmes.
|What is employability?||
One widely cited definition of employability is that developed by Knight and Yorke (2003): “A set of achievements - skills, understandings and personal attributes - that make individuals more likely to gain employment and be successful in their chosen occupations, which benefits themselves, the workforce, the community and the economy”.
Knight and Yorke’s model for delivering employability in the curriculum strongly advocated the relationship between employability and good learning, and stressed that employability results from balancing achievements in four broad and interconnected areas:
Understanding - of subject discipline and how organisations operate.
Dacre, Pool & Sewell (2007), translated the Knight and Yorke approach to a more accessible model for students (and other stakeholders). This CareerEDGE approach recognises that employability relies upon learners attaining confidence, self belief and self esteem through their reflection and evaluation of:
Career development learning
Both of these approaches recognise the central role of learning and teaching to the development of a student’s employability.
The Higher Education Academy’s framework for Defining and Developing your approach to employability (Cole and Tibby, 2013) summarised that employability:
|Core elements of employability good practice for the curriculum||
These core elements provide some starting points to consider when designing and delivering programmes.
Ideally programmes will:
2. Provide opportunities for authentic work related learning or work based placement experience.
3. Actively encourage students to reflect upon the academic and extra-curricular experiences they have undertaken and identify and record the skills and attributes demonstrated.
4. Support students to be actively engaged in reviewing their own personal, academic and employability development and plan their ongoing development through the next stage of their programme/beyond graduation.
5. Provide opportunities for students to explore their future options.
6. Ensure knowledge and skills delivered within the programme are relevant to current and future job market needs.
7. Support students to make well informed decisions throughout their academic journey and to understand the implications of these decisions in relation to future options.
8. Support students to make transitions into placements or graduate outcomes.
9. Ensure academic staff have the knowledge and confidence to signpost to relevant support and know where/how to access university support services.
*NB These core elements are currently in draft format and await approval by the University Student Skills and Employability Group (SSEG).
|Resources to support employability in your programme||
With the above principles in mind, we have created the following resources to help you address employability within the design and development of programmes.
Employability programme review and development toolkit
Signpost sheets for personal tutors and PGR supervisors
Employability themed group tutorial programme
Writing references for students
If you are a member of University staff and have trouble accessing any of the resources, please email the Careers Service.
|Support from the Careers Service||
The Careers Service can provide tailored support on embedding employability in your programmes. We are also keen to receive feedback on the above documents and hear your ideas for future development.