Developing employability skills
Through the HE curriculum and the services provided by the college, we are able to offer a range of support for employability and transition into employment.
Career planning and employment
The careers team provide a drop-in facility and tailored graduate employability sessions, covering topics such as CV and letter writing, job searching, interviews and using recruitment agencies. A student job shop and an autumn event are held to help students find temporary work, along with schemes such as the student ambassadors, which encourages students to gain work experience, boost their CV, undertake voluntary work, get involved with the Students’ Union and/or HE student newsletter.
Opportunities for work experience and placements
All our HE courses offer opportunities for work-related learning, with some courses including specific credit bearing work-related modules. Work-related activities range from projects in a student’s place of employment and live or simulated briefs, to work placements, which are all fully supported by tutors and, where possible, workplace mentors. We offer training and support to all new workplace mentors.
Where modules are specifically work-related, assessment design reflects the nature of the student cohort and the subject. Part-time students usually choose a project within their own organisation, while full-time students with little work experience may be assessed using a live brief provided by an employer. If students are made redundant, or have specific needs, the college can help find a suitable work placement.
Foundation degrees are written in collaboration with local employers to ensure that content and skills development meet industry standards and expectations. Employers are also involved in the formal validation process.
Some provision is employer-driven, such as the new modules on one of our ‘top-up’ degrees, and a foundation degree in the service sector.
Support for the development of employability within courses
All HE teaching, learning and assessment is designed to develop key employability skills such as team-working, problem-solving, communication, research, decision-making, evaluating options, independent learning and self-management. Where possible, guest speakers and site visits are part of the curriculum.
One very successful initiative has been the Employer Showcase, where employers view and discuss projects with students and provide invaluable feedback from a professional perspective. Some students receive employment offers and future students benefit from the event as the college receives more live briefs and/or placements from employers who are impressed by what they see.
Other annual events include the HE Activity Week, which includes an employability event and graduate employability workshops, and the end of year arts show, where interactive media and fashion students can promote their skills to potential employers.
Opportunities for personal and professional development
The college has a personal and professional development entitlement for all HE students, designed to underpin its HE courses and develop transferable skills. Students are encouraged to reflect on their progress against their personal objectives through the tutorial process and, where practicable, this is written into formal assessment.