Ways to help your students develop employability Ways to help your students develop employability

There is ample evidence that taking employability seriously can enhance good curriculum practices and work within traditional frameworks through relatively small changes to content, delivery and assessment (for example Yorke and Knight 2003).

This is contrary to the belief that incorporating employability involves onerous changes or restructuring of academic programmes. See also LTQ Taught Programme Specifications site for UEA guidelines. Academic Schools have the opportunity to develop a fundamental suite of skills and employment awareness in students and to engage them with self-development throughout their time at UEA. In addition to core skills, most recent reports on employability (for example UK Commission for Employment and Skills report [2009]) agree that developing employability skills from academic study entails additional activities:

  • Experiential action-learning: using skills rather than simply acquiring knowledge, placing emphasis on trial and error, and with a clear focus on the pay-offs for the learner in employment and progression
  • Work experience: a work placement in an actual business, or an authentic classroom simulation based on a real workplace
  • Opportunities for reflection on the above

UKCES (2009) The Employability Challenge. UK Commission for Employment and Skills. Executive Summary (PDF), Case Studies (PDF), Full Report (PDF) Yorke, M. and Knight, P. (2003) Embedding employability into the curriculum. York: Learning and Employability Series 1. York: The Higher Education Academy. Full report (PDF).