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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:

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

  • 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


Back to Conference 2010

For the 2008 e3i conference "Employability For the Future: Employer, Student and Academic Perspectives' please click here