The last 20 years has seen significant growth in Work-Based Learning as a distinct field of activity within universities rather than purely as a mode of learning within disciplinary or professional fields. It has long been acknowledged that high-level learning doesn’t just occur in lecture theatres, classrooms and other physical locations on university campuses, but goes on in many other locations too. This was explicitly recognised in Section B3 of the QAA Quality Code for HE in 2012.
Since 2010 we have seen a change of government and whilst there are different methods for addressing workforce development the general thrust for higher-level work-based learning has endured. The current focus is on the development of Higher Apprenticeships through BIS funding and trailblazer projects and in the Employer Ownership of Skills (BIS, £250m). These initiatives are a threat to our existing provision; consequently we need to evolve our offer to maintain competitiveness and relevance to business.
As a result of the changing external environment for the HE sector it is necessary that Sheffield Hallam University is able to respond to an ever more competitive environment and react to opportunities in an efficient and effective manner. Consequently, we have developed an Institutional Work-Based Learning Framework (WBLF) enabling subject teams to develop accredited provision efficiently and with central support.
This is an interactive session aimed at exploring how YOU can use the WBLF in YOUR subject area. We are particularly interested in exploring the development of institutional resources and expertise to support the following:
credit-rating of employer provision,
negotiated work-based projects,
academic credit from CPD coursesand
preparing students for APEL
This is an opportunity to influence the implementation of the University’s Employer Engagement strategy. We look forward to sharing the experiences of colleagues from a range of disciplines and further developing the Work-Based Learning Framework.
“Embedding employability… will continue to be a key priority of universities…, and employers.” But what exactly does this strategic cornerstone involve? Students need to develop skills not only to gain graduate employment but also to retain it, and to go on to further progress within their career. Whilst there is no definitive recipe for employability, skills such as team working, problem solving, communication and commercial awareness are clearly crucial for most roles.
There is debate about how best to integrate employability within an often “crowded curriculum”.Whilst the Higher Education Academy encourages institutions “to consider a more individualised approach,” whichever teaching, learning and assessment methods are adopted, their common denominator must be the encouragement of student engagement.
The Level 5 law programme is a crucial stage for students because firms often recruit 2 years in advance. This paper analyses and evaluates the development and effectiveness of 2 core modules: Careers Development Learning and Clinical Legal Education. It explores the rationale behind the range of specific skills-based activities which have been included and goes on to consider their effectiveness particularly in light of the student feedback that has been provided. Its aim is to help inform the design of other curricular interventions. In particular we will consider the extent to which the teaching and assessment materials have encouraged student engagement with both PDP and careers.
The aim of this presentation is to share recent experience and best practice in providing a coherent and progressive careers education within the Criminology team at Sheffield Hallam University. This will specifically be informed by the perspective of an MA Student on placement at Sheffield Hallam University as a Careers Guidance Practitioner and Associate Lecturer. The approach within Criminology this academic year has been holistic in the sense that we aimed to provide careers education on a number of different levels – careers management, self-identity, social identity, power, culture and hierarchy in society and in the work place, experiential learning, work-based learning, careers guidance as part of the curriculum, expansion of co-curricular activities, etc. Trying to create and provide opportunities for student engagement has been extensive. Our approach has also been inclusive, developing strong relationships with other specialist teams to promote student accessibility. The challenge continues to be getting ALL students (or at least a majority) interested and engaged. Student engagement and feedback has varied, and the presentation will reflect our achievements, our progress and areas for improvement, which will not only inform our approach going forward but explore how our lessons can be informed and inform other areas. The hope is that we can encourage an open discussion about the different approaches to careers education, learn and reflect on our experience, and promote the development of more coherent and progressive forms of careers education so that we can continue to ensure we provide an excellent student experience.
SHU is committed to making PPDP integral to the learning experience of all it’s students, and is developing a framework and toolkit for staff & students to bring this commitment to life. Being both reflective & forward looking, the PPDP process has a clear relationship with the development of career management and employability skills in students.
Any general provision for career development in students should include the opportunity to join a dynamic and empowering career mentoring scheme, giving access to committed & highly competent professionals in a range of vocational disciplines.
It’s benefits to students include: access to specialist skills; advice; insider’s knowledge; and greater confidence.
The mentoring process itself involves: identifying learning needs; discussing them; setting goals; taking action; and reviewing & reflecting upon the experience.
All of which resonate with the core elements of PPDP.
This session further explores the links between PPDP and career mentoring, considers it’s place a part of the employability toolkit for SHU students and looks at how staff can be effective ‘enablers’.
Annette Baxter, Jeff Waldock and Stef Ashton-Wigman
Through engaging with employers, alumni and professional associations the Careers and Employment Service has recruited professionals from a range of local and national organisations to become volunteer career mentors for students.
Over the past 2 academic years, the Higher Education Academy Psychology Network and the Royal Academy of Engineering/HESTEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) have awarded research funds to the Careers and Employment Service to develop a career mentoring scheme specifically for Psychology, Engineering and Maths students.
Through the scheme the students identify their objectives, negotiate the agenda with the mentor, organise meetings and make notes of the meetings and following up on any action points agreed. By taking this proactive role, students not only gain valuable insights into a job role but develop confidence and take responsibility for developing their personal and professional skills enhancing their capacity to succeed in the graduate employment market.
Within the session there will be opportunity to hear from both mentors and mentees who have taken part in the scheme over the last 2 years. Student mentees can share their experiences and talk about the outcomes, benefits and challenges of the programme and mentors will present how they and their employing organisation have benefited from volunteering on the scheme. Faculty colleagues will also be able to talk about the impact on them and their course from involvement and issues of collaboration.
This session will therefore share the learning outcomes from the past two funded research projects and will explore the issues and considerations for other course team considering working with Careers and Employment Service in order to develop and embed career mentoring within their courses.
Work based and placement learning opportunities have been recognised as a critical importance for future graduate employment, as a third of graduate posts are filled with students who have already worked for the organization, Highfliers (2011). Placements have been a feature of the curriculum design for engineering courses for a number of Higher Education institutions since the 1960s, (Osbourne-Moss, 1968;Silver, 2007) . However, the number of students undertaking placements are declining, Wilson (2012). Equally modern recruitment processes require students to provide evidence of key competencies, though students do successfully develop these key competencies whilst on placement, Hall et al (2009), however in our experience at Sheffield Hallam University in the placement team; large employers are increasingly using techniques similar or the same as their graduate recruitment processes to filter the applications. The employers require the engineering students to demonstrate in their placement applications a level of competency in key technical and employability skills. Therefore any student employability development and feedback in engineering courses needs to provide appropriate support that continues to empower students to self identify, reflect, and articulate their relevant technical and employability skills for placement and graduate roles. Is audio feedback via iPhone the solution to the problem and if yes, how effective is such approach? What is the longitudinal effect of the feedback? Do students continue to use the feedback in their final year? This paper will present an example of an embedding iPhone feedback into computing and engineering courses and will provide critical analysis of the evidence from the qualitative and quantitive studies of the student reflections as to their perceptions of the impact of the audio feedback upon their employability and whether it has had a positive contributing factor in assisting them to secure a placement/graduate opportunity.