Graduate employability is of critical concern to graduates, HEIs, Industry & Commerce and the Government. There are a number of ways in which HEIs can work to develop the employability skills of their graduates. Options include working closely with employers to contribute to degree programmes; embedding experiential learning within degree programmes; helping students recognise and gain skills employers are looking for; and supporting students in the articulation of their employability skills to employers.
The Wales Spoke supported HEIs to enhance graduate skills in a number of different ways. For example, the project Developing Enterprising STEM graduates at Cardiff University developed a 10 credit accredited module which encompasses enterprise skills and commercial awareness. The module is tailor made to fit each STEM school at Cardiff in terms of mode of delivery.
One of the principal reasons for students deciding to study at University relates to their enhanced career prospects. Achieving good quality work placements whilst at University is one way for STEM students to gain the valuable skills that employers are looking for. A Placement Toolkit has been developed by Cardiff University as a guide for any STEM academic school to use in order to manage all aspects of the placement year and work experience.
A project delivered by Bangor University via the Enterprise by Design project offered STEM students an opportunity to work in multidisciplinary teams to develop a product using a brief established by employers. The project importantly provided a flexible framework for delivering credit bearing multidisciplinary modules.
Embedded Employability: A guide to enhancing the university curriculum was produced by WIMCS and the Smith Institute to assist senior management in HEIs to enhance the approach to improving the employability skills of their students.
The case studies relating to graduate skills projects may be downloaded from links below:
Cardiff Control of Computer Parameters