Crafting Employability Strategies for HE Students ..
Crafting Employability Strategies for HE Students of Languages in Europe
Start date: Oct 1, 2015,
End date: Sep 30, 2017
The Employability Task Group of the Association of Higher Education Careers Services (AHECS) launched an employability module in June 2014 entitled ‘Crafting the Present for Future Employability’ as a result of an 18-month process of collaborative planning and design with graduate employers, academic staff and students (http://epublications.snap.com.au/ebook/ebook?id=10038255#/0).
The content and process of the curriculum development will be shared by AHECS with partners involved in this project application.
One of the innovative aspects of this module was that it was created in partnership with students, academics and graduate employers in a team-based approach to modular planning and design.
The generic eight workshop module demonstrates a strong integration of career theory and practice and a transparent pedagogic framework to assist careers and teaching professionals in HE how to enhance the employability and career development of their students across years and disciplines. The module has introductions and aims for each workshop, comprehensive facilitator notes, clear methods, activities and timings, easy-to-use materials (e.g. websites, Activity sheets), learning outcomes for each session, assessment strategies linked to learning outcomes, suitable for curriculum and non-curriculum-based delivery. adaptable to the needs of language students.
The project's focus is the employability of language graduates as statistics show that languages skills are quite low in some of the partner countries. Objectives are embedding employability within language teaching and successful collaboration between careers professionals and academics, and employers in relation to languages and employability. The main aim of this project is transferring the generic AHECS Employability module to international European partners and customise for the language sector. Implementation of diverse ways of delivery will also be part of this transfer and supported by P7.
The project partners are from Bulgaria, Germany, Ireland (3 partners), Italy, Poland (2 partners) and UK. AHECS (P2) and SAP (P3) are both based in Ireland and will advise the partnership when working at their intellectual output number one. This will ensure that previous experience when developing this innovative example of best practice is not lost (AHECS) and that the industry's perspective is included when designing the new content (SAP). As the first phase of the needs analysis (what skills are employers looking for when employing language graduates?) is vitally important for the quality of the content of the employability module. P4 will take the lead here. P1, P5, P6, P8 and P9 are all responsible for the transfer of the module and including innovative examples of best practice in the language sector. This also ensures the cooperation between industry (led by P3), language staff and career services in HE.
Project target groups are in the tertiary education sector; focusing on Third Level students, who are the main beneficiaries. The adapted AHECS module will also be disseminated to secondary schools’ career advisers in each partner’s country (e.g. IGC in Ireland) in order to maximise the impact of the materials that are developed. Career advisers and academic staff in third level institutions will take an active role in the adaptation of the AHECS Employability module supported by AHECS staff participating in the project. Language staff in collaboration with local career services will develop, pilot and deliver the new content of the revised module to language students in their institutions.
An adapted AHECS Employability module in different target languages and specified for the country specific language sector. Output number one has various stages: needs analysis of companies and language students in HE; adaptation of the AHECS module to a new context; testing and piloting in order to ensure high quality and the last phase is the implementation of the findings of the testing phase for each partner.
Output no two will ensure that there is a shared communication platform, a project website and online resources available and utilized in order to reach the potential of this project.
Existing resources by GradIreland (Language fair concept, language career guide) will also be made available to the partners in the project as examples of innovation and need to be customized according to the project’s partner’s needs.
Increased employability of language graduates is one of the potential longer term benefits. The continuation of cooperation between students, academics, career services and graduate employers. A lot of EU reports were highlighting the benefits of such cooperation.
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