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The Employability CETL has hosted conferences with a variety of themes and has attracted delegates from various institutions and external organisations. This area provides all the conference resources produced from each conference.

All resources are available in PDF format unless specified.

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Outputs and Achievements 2005-10 Booklet

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Case Studies

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Jump to: Panel Members | Conference Workshops

The conference will bring together those interested and involved in developing student employability to showcase successful interventions, initiatives and innovations. Specifically the conference will include case studies, research and evaluation and stories of:

interventions/initiatives that have resulted in positive feedback/evidence of employability skills development;

resources that have been developed/used/integrated within learning, teaching and student support that have generated positive feedback;

curriculum design that has produced an increased emphasis upon employability skills;

teaching approaches that have fostered employability skills within a subject setting;

positive feedback from employers and alumni about employability skills development as part of course provision;

developments/impact upon strategy/policy that have enhanced the importance and profile of employability within the institution.

Panel Members

The panel session will discuss the future of employability in Higher Education and the way in which institutions can support the development of student employability within the context of the changing world of work. More details to follow.

Panel members include:

Professor Cliff Allan - Deputy Vice Chancellor, Sheffield Hallam University

Terry Dray - Director of the Graduate Development Centre, Liverpool John Moores University

Lee Strafford - Executive Chairman of TheNetStart and Co-Founder of Plusnet

Caprice Lantz - Senior Academic Coordinator, Higher Education Academy

Danni Beckett - Hallam Union President - Sheffield Hallam University

Dave Laughton - e3i CETL Director - Sheffield Hallam University

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Conference Workshops

The e3i CETL are pleased to announce the range of workshops from internal and external contributors.

Workshop presentations can be viewed or downloaded as PowerPoint files.

Name: Jayne Stevens
Institution: De Montfort University, Leicester (Department of Performance and Digital Arts)
Title: "Employability and Performance Arts: aspirations, realities and implications."

This workshop explores aspects of research undertaken as part of the CETL in Performance Arts at De Montfort University, Leicester.  The research sought to understand and respond to student perceptions of the performing artist's world of work and student career expectations and aspirations.

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Name: Joan Cartledge and Sarah Jeffries
Institution: University of Birmingham (Careers and Employability Centre)
Title: "Developing Employability Skills and Attributes Through Work Based Learning and Activities: four case studies."

This workshop focuses on four initiatives that the Careers and Employability Centre at the University of Birmingham has been engaged in over the past four years, as examples of how we are encouraging and supporting students to use their work or voluntary activities to develop employability skills and attributes.  The initiatives are the Personal Skills Award, the BISEEN Graduate Enterprise project, the Honey Pot Award and the Adept Programme.  They will be presented as case studies and assessed as to how they have enabled students to develop skills, to reflect on their learning and to articulate how the experience has contributed to their employability.

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Name: Lucy Skowron
Institution: Sheffield Hallam University
Title: "The Alchemy Exchange"

The Alchemy Exchange at Sheffield Hallam University employs students to carry out research and consultancy projects for external organisations from a diverse range of industry sectors including marketing agencies, manufacturers, retailers and charities.  Completing projects and exposure at networking events enhances the employability of the students involved by providing them with essential real-world experience which is transferable to their everyday working lives once they graduate from the University.  The workshop will take the form of a presentation by the students about their experiences.

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Name: Jim Hornsby
Institution: University of Bedfordshire (Division of Media Arts and Production)
Title: "The Mediatrain Project: questions of employability and entrepreneurialism."

This workshop will outline and reflect on Mediatrain, a recently completed initiative that aimed to bring vocational education to the heart of the curriculum by embedding a vocational awareness programme within the core curriculum and establishing a work experience elective for final year undergraduates.  It will raise questions about the theoretical underpinning of developing employability and entrepreneurialism within media courses, the relationship between training and education and the challenges and opportunities of working directly with external organisations. Further information about the LAMP Project can be found on

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Name: Anne Conneally, Dave Egan and Mike Mathews
Institution: Sheffield Hallam University (Department of Service Management)
Title: "Enhancing Employability Skills of Hospitality Management Students: a review of the student experience up to and including the supervised work experience."

This workshop reports on the experience of Hospitality students at Sheffield Hallam University in developing their employability skills during the first two taught years and their SWE year.  The research is part of a project to understand how the employability skills developed during a Hospitality degree will influence the career development of our graduates.  The analysis presented will compare the students' perceptions of subject specific skills (e.g. food preparation, wine appreciation) to more generic employability skills.  In addition, we will report on the findings of a qualitative study of SWE supervisors on the student employability skills demonstrated on their placement and their opinions on SWE students and new graduates employability skills.

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Name: James Corazzo
Institution: Stockport College
Title: "The Thoughtful Six Project: a case study"

The Thoughtful Six project, developed for the BA (Hons) Graphic Design course at Stockport College in collaboration with the design practice Thoughtful, was an attempt to rethink the work placement for graphic design students.  Rather than the students trying to find a work placement in lots of different agencies, the agency would do a placement within the college.  This workshop will explore the key findings to emerge from the project, including how and what was learnt; the efficacy of delivering a "real world experience" within the institution, and crucially the sustainability and transferability of the concept.  It will also explore our proposals for embedding employability, in the broadest sense, right at the heart of the curriculum design.

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Name: Anne Hill, Celia Popovic, Nick Morton, Ruth Lawton and Jenny Eland
Institution: Birmingham City University
Title: "Future-proofing Graduates: learning from an NTF project"

The NTF funded Creating Future-proof Graduates project at Birmingham City University aimed to design, deploy and evaluate methods for engaging a diverse range of students in transformative learning to enhance their skills for employment.  We wished to make available a package of resources that could be used throughout the higher education sector to embed and enhance wider employability skills within the curriculum.  The evaluation strategy for the project enables the project team to point to evidence of good practice and, in so doing, we have provided opportunities for reflective, practice focused learning and a set of resources which provide support towards deeper learning and the development of transferable employability skills.

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Name: Anne Nortcliffe, Elaine Stringer, Peter Cogill, Bridget Winwood and Andrea Kelcher
Institution: Sheffield Hallam University
Title: "Opportunity for Symbiotic Employability and Professional Skills Learning: Nursing IT Experience"

Observations in the Faculty of Arts, Computing, Engineering and Science and the Faculty of Health and Wellbeing have identified weaknesses in core and professional skills in IT and Nursing students.  Nursing IT was created to address these deficiencies and to provide a peer-assisted learning and employability skills developmental experience for both sets of learners.  This workshop aims to provide an insight into their perspectives of Nursing IT.  It is envisaged that representatives from each set of learners will communicate their experience of and personal development through Nursing IT, highlighting the benefits to them personally and their peers, areas for improvement and Nursing IT as an institution supported peer learning initiative.

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The third annual conference of the Sheffield Hallam University Centre for Excellence in Employability (e3i) will focus on student perspectives on employability. Although much has been written and researched in relation to employer and academic staff perspectives on employability, hitherto there has been little research or inquiry into student views. The conference will explore how students understand the notion of employability, to what extent they deem this an important aspect of their higher education studies, the aspects of employability they feel need a greater emphasis and suggestions for programme (re)design. The conference will feature:

A keynote speaker from the National Union of Students Findings from projects at Sheffield Hallam University where academics have been working with students on the employability aspects of their programmes

Workshops by other CETLs which have an employability focus

The launch of the STARs electronic resource, produced by Sheffield Hallam University, the Open University, and the University of Bedfordshire, which helps students transform their experiences into skills and attributes recognised as desirable by employers

The conference will be of interest to students, academics and colleagues involved in supporting student learning and the development of employability skills in a university context.


Conference Resources

Ian Jones - "Reflections on Placement"


An examination of the use (by students) of digital media production in reflective learning. This workshop will look at the tips and traps of using 'filming' projects to capture elements of employability as perceived by Real Estate students from their placement experiences. Extracts from completed projects will be shown.


Presentation Slides

Dr Simon Clark - ''Developing student autonomy and employability skills through the Venture Matrix''

The Venture Matrix workshop consisted of:


1. Direct student reflection on their experiences following involvement in the Venture Matrix


2. Gain an understanding of what Venture Matrix  is and what it does


Discuss how to embed Venture Matrix into any module


Presentation Slides

Pam Holland & Melanie Bryer plus students - ''Inter-professional student's perception of professional employability''

Aim: To demonstrate Inter-professional aspects of undergraduate student employability in HWB.

1. Initial presentation from Project Leads regarding the E3i project, focusing on the rationale behind the project, developments and work in progress.
2. Demonstration of the student's work to date by the students themselves.


Presentation Slides

Ina Maslejova, CETL Communications Officer & Mima Rybanska, CETL Student Liaison Officer University of Bedfordshire - ‘Boost your skills and work experience through arts festival organisation’'

The aim of the workshop is to raise awareness of the CETL supported B:Fest Arts Project that is running at the University of Bedfordshire for a second year and to highlight the benefits of participating in it from the perspective of current students.

As volunteers they help to organise the arts festival in order to get relevant work experience and develop transferable skills for their future careers. The main objective of the workshop is to give conference participants a taste of being a part of the festival organisation team. Also it is aimed to share experience of three B:Fest student volunteers who will bring their perspectives on this employability focused project, what they got out of it, what skills they have learned and why they feel more employable now.

Emphasis will be given to how such a project can:


help to raise students employability – work experience while studying


exhibit and celebrate their talents, studies and academic work


enhance their PDP, transferable skills & friendships through team working


make them creative, ambitious and self-motivated


Presentation Slides

BFest Programme Leaflet

STARS Project Presentation - Drawing blood from a stone: The challenge of articulating student skills!


Presented by: Ellen Cocking,

The Open University. Damien Fitzgerald and Nick Nunnington, Sheffield Hallam University. Arti Kumar, University of Bedfordshire.


STARS project logo

STARS is an online tool for students and recent graduates to help them unpack their experiences and articulate the skills gained.


STARS includes audiovisual clips, examples and guidelines that support students in:

Creating their own records to articulate skills

Valuing extra-curricular experiences Indentifying situations that have developed skills

Understanding what employers want in applications and interviews


Presentation Slides

Link to STARS

Robert Wilson & Fiona Phoenix- ''Students and the workplace - what skills do they really need?''

Sport needs to be considered as a serious and important industry for the United Kingdom. Consequently the calls for a skilled and qualified workforce by the sport and leisure industry are as significant as that from any other employer. The question is do our graduates possess the necessary transferable skills to work in the management sector?

This session will explore three student led projects which considered the skills required by employers, the skills students felt they had and the skills that we, as academics, believe we are equipping them with. As a participant you will have the opportunity to speak directly with the students involved with the project and will be shown their outputs which range from multimedia resources to formal research reports. This will be a great opportunity to see what our students are capable of achieving with the right support and how you, as module leaders, might wish to explore alternative ways of embedding employability in your curriculum design.


Presentation Slides

Emma Heron and Jon Inns - '' Hub Associates and Hub Consultants: Increasing student understanding of employability through the Learning Hubs''

The workshop aims to share with the audience the experiences of 3 Level 5 students who have participated in Learning Hub activity as part of their work experience module.  Two Hub Associates have worked in generating materials for dissemination about the Learning Hubs whilst the Hub Consultant has created a ‘talking heads’ video about student perceptions of employability.  We hope to have these students with us to talk through their projects and experiences, as well as their views about employability – be that their own or fellow students.  The workshop will talk through some of the challenges we’ve faced in embedding this type of work experience into a module, as well as where we want to take this idea in the future.  We hope to be able to display the work done by the students for the audience to see.


Presentation Slides

Andrew Jobling - "Exploring Student Perspectives on the Employability Aspects of Human Geography"

The workshop reflects on an ongoing process of consultation with geography students at SHU with a view to engaging them in enhancing the employability aspects of their courses. It is particularly concerned with exploring how to most effectively embed employability within a discipline that, while of relevance to a wide range of possible future careers, may not be considered immediately vocational.


Presentation Slides

Ann Nortcliffe with students, Craig Machon, James McHugh, Jonathan Pankethman and  Jon Townend - ''Student Perspectives of Employability skills: aligned or mismatch with employers requirements''
This presentation will present the results of investigation of the student perceptions of what employers want, and provide comparison with what the employers 'really' want - as determined from data collected last academic year from placement employers.  The presentation identify match or mismatch between student perceptions and employers requirements, and where we need to target our efforts in future academic years to increase alignment of the two and strengthen the students employability skills in these areas and future employability.  


Presentation Slides


Karen O'Rourke - ''I keep hearing voices....I hope I'm MAD!''
Karen is the Academic Developer for the Institute for Enterprise, a Leeds Met Centre for
Excellence in Teaching and Learning.  She has a track record in supporting enterprise and employability through the curriculum, and is a specialist in integrated, enquiry-based learning approaches.  She has championed the engagement of students in curriculum design, staff development and as peer mentors and network leaders.  In this workshop we will explore the principles and processes of EBL and discuss its efficacy as a vehicle to develop enterprise skills, behaviours and attitudes in our students.  This participatory session will be structured
around recurrent themes emerging from student feedback and will be informed by the student voice throughout. 


Presentation Slides


Employability For the Future: Employer, Student and Academic Perspectives, 7th May 2008

Keynote Presentation:

Presentation Slides by Carl Gilleard, Chief Executive of the AGR.

Academic sessions:

Anna Lowe - Enhancing employability of unemployed Physiotherapy graduates in Sheffield
Presentation Slides

Jon Inns - Digital Fluency
Presentation Slides

Nick Nunnington - The European Challange
Presentation Slides (Please note: Large file attached, may take a while to download)

Employer sessions:

Mike Simpson - Mott MacDonald
Presentation Slides

Ann Lyon/John Hornby - SIG plc
Presentation Slides

Mike Stapleton - Compass Group
Presentation Slides

Student Sessions:

The Venture Matrix
Presentation Slides by Simon Brown

Presentation slides by students

The Formula Student Challenge
Presentation Slides

For more information and resources from the HEA Evidence-Based Practice hosted by Sheffield Hallam University on the 12/5/10 please click on the following link

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