Session Title
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Karen Barnard, Director, UCL Careers, UCL (CONFIRMED)

  • Exploring how the Access and Participation Plans seek to make progress on tackling disparities in degree attainment and employment outcomes by improving equality for opportunity through providers having to implement change
  • Outlining details and funding for the first ‘Challenge Competition’ designed to support students in the transition to highly skilled employment and improve outcomes for graduates looking to work in their home region

Dr Brooke Storer-Church, Senior Adviser Skills, Office for Students (OfS) (CONFIRMED)

  • Understanding how the HEA framework for embedding employability provides the opportunities for graduates to successfully transition into employment
  • Outlining the cyclical process that is key to embedding employability through defining employability, auditing and mapping, prioritising actions and measuring impact
  • Using the framework to enhance student success by applying the principles in practice through inclusivity, collaboration and engagement
  • Ensuring employability is at the forefront of institutional policy and embedded in the curriculum, teaching and culture of the institution

Stuart Norton, Senior Adviser (Learning and Teaching), Advance HE (CONFIRMED)

  • Analysing the results and latest trends from the ISE Development Survey 2018 and the key areas for universities to work on, such as being more strategic and reviewing methods of improving graduate performance
  • Outlining essential improvements that universities can make to tackle the ongoing skills gap, so that students receive essential training before starting employment
  • Improving work experience opportunities through employer partnerships, higher and degree apprenticeships and placements to ensure students are prepared for work, perform better and stay in jobs for longer
  • Discussing the key skills universities should embed in their students which are becoming increasingly desirable among employers such as resilience, management and leadership skills

Stephen Isherwood, Chief Executive, Institute of Student Employers (CONFIRMED)

  • Supporting the delivery of the Graduate Outcomes Survey and sharing the progress so far
  • Analysing the implementation of the first survey of graduates from December 2018, the student response rate and feedback
  • Discussing how universities can support the implementation of the survey as it enters its first year of application
  • Discussing how institutions can offer more long-term support for graduates to coincide with the 15month survey term

Neha Agarwal, Head of Research and Insight, HESA (CONFIRMED)

  • Analysing findings from the What Happens Next 2018 report on the first destinations of disabled graduates and how to create more employment opportunities for disabled students
  • Ensuring successful progression and high-quality outcomes for non-traditional and disadvantaged students through targeted evidence-based initiatives, as outlined in the AGCAS Graduate Labour Market Survey
  • Outlining strategies that universities can implement to tackle the notable difference experienced by graduates with a social/autism spectrum disorder condition
  • Exploring how employers can ensure equality of opportunity and identify high potential candidates from non-traditional and diverse backgrounds

Dr Bob Gilworth, President, AGCAS (CONFIRMED)

  • Exploring student, graduate and employer views of graduate skills – what we do well and what we could do better, as found in two current studies.
  • Discussing how we can ensure graduates across subject areas develop appropriate digital skills.
  • Reflecting on ways of enabling all students (irrespective of background or characteristics) to access the full range of skills development opportunities.

Debra Macfarlane, Quality Enhancement Manager, QAA (CONFIRMED)

  • Sharing the NTU approach in creating and developing the infrastructure and processes needed to deliver at scale
  • Ensuring alignment with the University strategic priorities, which included ‘Success For All’ and ‘Personalisation’ of the student experience
  • Theory to practice – Exploring how to develop an effective model for embedding employability in the curriculum
  • Outlining the future strategic direction for NTU Employability, building on these essential foundations and continuing to build a comprehensive institution wide approach

David Eade, Director of Employability, Nottingham Trent University (CONFIRMED)
Doug Cole, Deputy Director of Employability, Nottingham Trent University (CONFIRMED)

  • Ensuring retention of local students through partnerships and using a coordinated approach between universities in the East Midlands
  • Sharing the success and impact of the pilot joint regional networking event and ideas for future networking events such as the regional ‘roadshow’
  • Collaborating with employers to shape events and address key skills development issues in the region so that events are beneficial to both employers and students
  • Building resilience and confidence among graduates by providing networking opportunities with prospective employers at a networking BBQ in a relaxed environment

Richard Bowden, Employer Relationships Manager, De Monfort University (CONFIRMED)
Matthew Vincent, Business Development Officer, University of Nottingham (CONFIRMED)

Analyse with sector leaders how to develop practical and measurable solutions to advance the employability of students and how to design a successful employability strategy

  • Analysing how to develop strategies utilising a whole-institution approach to support the success of students and graduates
  • Discussing what new strategies need to be implemented to support graduates for longer, throughout the duration of the New Graduate Outcomes Survey
  • Evaluating strategies for engaging underrepresented and widening participation students through career development initiatives
  • Sharing examples of best practice which have transformed employability strategies and created more career opportunities for students

Stuart Johnson, Director of Careers Service, University of Bristol (CONFIRMED)
Dr Andrea Kreideweiss, Director Careers and Employability University of Reading (CONFIRMED)
Lisa Taylor, Associate Dean of Employability, University of East Anglia (CONFIRMED)
John Craven, CEO, upReach (invited)

  • Offering students additional employability skills and opportunities through completing the Leicester Award, a personal development programme helping students to identify transferable skills from academic studies for use in employment
  • Working in partnership between the University of Leicester and FDM Group to help students understand their motivations, interests, personal values and strengths
  • Encouraging students to undertake the Leicester Award Gold, a professional development programme, giving students the opportunity to achieve an extra significant experience such as an internship with FDM Group
  • Improving student employability skills in collaboration with FDM, resulting in an increase of 367% of University of Leicester students starting at FDM in 2018 compared to 2015

Winners of ‘Best Collaboration Between University and Employer’ Award at National Undergraduate Employability Awards 2018

Paul Phillips, Employer Engagement Manager, University of Leicester (CONFIRMED)
Katherine Brewster, Regional University Relationship Manager, FDM Group (CONFIRMED)

  • Supporting unrepresented groups through the ‘Momentum Mentoring Programme’, allowing students to be mentored throughout the academic year by an employer or academic to develop the skills needed for graduate employment
  • Providing a tailored careers programme specifically for under-represented groups including, BAME students, carers, students with disabilities and those from lower income backgrounds
  • Developing partnerships with local employers and university alumni to provide mentors and connections for students
  • Sharing how a small-scale scheme can be upscaled to become a major part of a university’s employability and retention strategy

Beth Thomas Hancock, Volunteering Manager and Mentoring Manager, University of Brighton (CONFIRMED)
John Lynch, Mentor, University of Brighton (CONFIRMED)

*Programme subject to change