Practice Transfer Partnership for Careers
PTP Lead Averil MacDonald, Southampton University
The Careers PTP is a partnership between Derby University, Sheffield Hallam University and Reading University. Each partner is contributing one element of a three pronged approach to increasing the impact of embedding careers education within undergraduate STEM degrees.
Derby University will produce a guide to encouraging undergraduates to take responsibility for their own careers management from the beginning of their undergraduate studies – explaining what it is that persuades undergraduates in STEM areas to engage with careers services, how they view activities designed to develop employability skills and their attitude to workplacements etc. This is to help academics towards a better understanding of the mind set of undergraduates, many of whom are known to be of the opinion that employability just happens ! As a result of this work academics will be better prepared to inspire students to take employability seriously.
Sheffield Hallam University will develop a self-assessment tool that academics can use to assess their own knowledge and understanding of modern careers opportunities in and from STEM and their awareness of the tools and resources available to them to enhance their own knowledge and for inclusion in their degree programmes. Sheffield Hallam is also putting together a complete list of resources and the tool will signpost academics to those resources that will plug any gaps.
Reading University will develop an additional resource which will be available for all STEM academics to use as part of their careers courses. This resource comprises a set of work that introduces students to the concept of Chartered Status within their chosen field and requires them to research the requirements of achieving Chartered Status. Experience has shown that students are keen to acquire recognition and ‘letters after their name’ and that the concept of being chartered appeals to them. They are therefore often quite keen to know what they will have to do to become chartered. The value of this is that students then begin to recognise that those skills which employers require and value, and which are recognised as part of the chartered status process, are the same as those which tend to be defined as ‘employability skills’. This has the added value that students then begin to take seriously the advice that academics give about the value of work experience and other activities that develop these transferable skills.
The Careers PTP resources will be developed during the winter and a series of dissemination events will be held across the country for anyone who wants so know more about how to use the resources to enhance their own careers teaching. These events will be free to attend and will be advertised on www.hestem.ac.uk