Why engage?I am going to speak for about 10 minutes. By the end of this presentation you will have an understanding ofthe Leicester Award, and the benefits that engagement with the Award would bring to NEXT. opportunity to discuss the immediate proposal concerning the Retail Management Module.
The Leicester Award has been going for about 7 years, and is one of the most established University extracurricular employability awards offered throughout the country.
The Leicester Award for Employability grew as a response to an increasing number of employers asking this question. The student experience is about so much more than studying, students wanted a way to reflect on the other experiences they were having, and package them up in a way that future employers would be able to quantify. The original Leicester Award course, now known as Experience Employability gave students access to a series of experiential workshops and assessed assignments that encouraged them to reflect on their own part time work or volunteering and use that as a vehicle to develop and refine the key employability skills that employers are looking for.
The award is taken entirely outside of the curriculum. Student opt into the course on a non compulsory basis. At present we have 12 different pathways that students can follow depending on their interest. For example, student who wish to progress onto a advocacy based profession such as law or politics, often opt for the Students leaders Award which will allow them to reflect on their role as a course rep, whereas students who may wish to work in a caring profession will often opt for the Volunteering Award which allows them to reflect on 40 hours volunteering. All courses requires participation in an extracurricular experience such as a placement, project or course. A period of supported reflection, action planning and goal setting. All courses are assessed to a moderated standard and require the submission of both written and oral reports or presentations.
Who are they?Around500 students per year are successful in gaining the Leicester Award for Employability Skills. Students can be from any disciplines or year, although individual programme can impose application procedures. The one thing they all have in common is the motivation and pro-active spirit to engage in a self development programme outside of their studies. Leicester Award students are statistically more likely to have successful careers after they leave University. They are serious about there own self development and are keen to use there time at University to develop skills. Last year Leicester Award students did amazing things, here are some examples. Set up start up companies in variety of different sectorsRan election campaignsWorked as a magistratesWorked in care homes to introduce computer technology to elderly residents.Ran a one day conference for 200 medical professionals. Completed probono law work.Often on top of holding down part time work and completing their degrees.
We asked student why they had chosen to undertake a Leicester Award, and this is what they said. For some students it is the access to an employer view point which makes the experience so unique. All of the courses involve simulations which require teamwork and problem solving, often with local employers facilitating or feeding back. For others, the opportunity to have some support with their own career management is useful and timely. Some students identify the need to develop self reflective skills and the role those skills play in the workplace. One of the most common reasons students give is the feeling that they need to do something to separate themselves from other graduates….they want to do something to improve their C.V……….
…….to make themselves stand out……but this feedback is usually given at the beginning of the programme. ClickBy the end students usually reflect that the skills development that they undertook was in many ways more useful than the additional words that will appear on their transcript.
Weare particularly keen to engaged with NEXT. No direct entry course available at Leicester. A high profile retailer is key to the credibility and content of this module.We believe we have a huge amount of students studying here with the correct mix of skills. University of Leicester courses strike a fantastic middle ground between creating self motivated and creative learners but still maintaining that sound academic development of research and analytical problem solving needed for roles such as merchandiser. As the Official Clothing and Homeware Supplier to the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games we feel the youthful brand will appeal to our students and generate the spark of enthusiasm and interest which will engage students onto this course and hopefully this career.You recruitment material is very inclusive. Using a variety of images from all ethnicities. As a diverse University this is in line with our core values. The location of your head office seems to add to what is already a good fit between the two organisations.
See handoutThe University of Leicester is launching a Retail Management employability skills training programme in the summer/term of 2012. This course will be undertaken by students who have identified that they are looking to pursue a career in Retail. We are seeking to structure, deliver and assess this programme with 2-3 leading Retail employers. NEXT is the first company we have approach directly to run a module with us.This is an opportunity to meet and engage with a group of 50 motivated and interested students who have already gone through a selection process. Getting involved right from the start means you can influence the selection criteria, module content and assessment deliverables. The hope if that by the end of the module we will be able to provide you with an excellent group of soon to be graduates, with an interest at working in at NEXT. Having completed this unit they should all have a good level of understanding of the sector and a sound platform of how to build there commercial awareness.
Discussion points from handout and questions. *** worth having some scrolling images/photos of students from previous cohorts from EE???***
The Leicester Award for Employability Skills<br />Zara Hooley Aimée Harrisonwild<br />Leicester Award Coordinator Employer Liaison Manager<br />
Students told us they wanted to……<br />“.. gain experience about what employers expect from their employees and to polish up skills I have gained through voluntary activities”. <br />“..improve my personal development and promote my career management and to find out what I really want to do in the future”.<br />“….improve my self reflection and interaction with other students and to enhance skills such as teamwork”<br />“… do something that would separate me from the thousands of other graduates, improve my employability skills and quantify them in an accredited award”<br />
“It was an excellent programme, very relevant to me at this stage of life, and it should definitely be an on-going programme”. <br />