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Employability strategy

Employability Strategy

Employability Strategy

Facilitating graduate success: a strategic approach

2015 – 2020

Vision

1. Our vision is for our students (undergraduate, taught and research postgraduate) to be successful in their future lives and careers.

This is consistent with the University’s strategic goal: To provide an outstanding education which will attract, excite and retain high-quality students from diverse backgrounds, and equip them to succeed in a competitive global employment market and to make a difference.

Background

2. The Employability Strategy is supported by an Employability Framework, developed with students, which can be used to underpin discussions about careers and employability, and which students can use to navigate their way through university and beyond.

3. Employability is a core thread within the Leeds Curriculum for undergraduate students and this is complimented by a vibrant co-curriculum, brought together under the banner of Leeds for Life. Together, these should equip students with the skills and attributes to forge successful careers and make a difference. The provision is made possible through partnership working between academic staff, and the professional staff of the Student Education Service and the partnership with LUU.

4. The success of our approach is critically dependent upon the involvement of employers and alumni, who should help to shape our curricula, contribute to its delivery and provide our students with opportunities in the form of, for example, placements and mentoring, in a symbiotic partnership.

Principles

5. There are four simple underpinning principles, which inform future priorities:

a. The University should provide all students (undergraduate, taught postgraduate and research postgraduate) with opportunities to develop and broaden their experience in preparation for their future lives and careers.

b. With the aim of enhancing life and career prospects, all students should have the opportunity to: (a) develop high level skills and qualities which includes those defined by the University as the attributes of Leeds graduates (b) develop professional relationships and networks within and beyond the University community; (c) apply their new knowledge and skills in real-world environments and therefore obtain higher level work-related experience commensurate with the expectations of graduate outcomes. This may take a variety of forms including internships, enterprise opportunities (e.g. business start-up support and Year in Enterprise) and volunteering.

c. The core curriculum/research student training should provide for all of these, in the form of a series of touch points, which link with further opportunities for enrichment within the co-curriculum.

d. These opportunities should be offered within a framework of high quality careers information, advice and guidance, mediated through a combination of personal and professional development tutors and appropriately trained guidance professionals. Employers and alumni can and do play an important part in this IAG provision

Priorities

6. There are four priorities for action, which are set out below. These inform the Student Opportunity Action Plan.

a. Expand significantly the number and range of opportunities available for students to pursue an extended period of higher-level work-related experience, international study or research experience as part of their degree programme.

b. Pursue actively the development of the Leeds Curriculum, engaging employers actively in curriculum planning and delivery, to ensure that the development of the skills and qualities associated with employability is embedded effectively and distinctively within the curricula for all students.

c. Ensure that students have access to high quality information, advice and guidance, through a combination of the professional services, staff involved in the delivery of personal and professional development to students and external mentors.

d. Develop metrics, which allow us to monitor more effectively the impact of our work.

Leadership, assurance and operational delivery

7. The Director of Student Opportunity is accountable to the DVC Student Education for the implementation of this strategic framework.

8. The Chair of the Employability Strategy Group is responsible for providing academic leadership and assurance.

9. There are eight Faculty Employability Working Groups (FEGs), which are responsible for operationalising the strategic framework. Each year FEGs will produce an Action Plan which will set out how they will contribute to Institutional employability KPIs and which will define priorities and KPIs at a local level. This work will be led by the Head of Student Careers and Chairs of FEGs supported by the Student Careers Cluster Leads for each Faculty.