Careers service: Identifying and developing employability skills the UPSkill English Programme

Employability & Enterprise

Project Description

The aim of the project is to support English students through a four stage process, a series of sessions will enable students to:

  • Review and assess the employability skills they already have.
  • Identify areas where there are gaps.
  • Address these by setting up work or voluntary experience.
  • Learn how to market themselves to employers.

The Student Employability Profiles and other resources would be used as a basis for reviewing the skills gained by studying an English degree and students would also match their experience against the qualities typically sought by employers.

Students would be given individual support to develop an action plan to address any gaps and identify benefits to be gained from paid or voluntary work.  Purple Door Careers and Recruitment would then help students arrange relevant voluntary or paid work experience building upon the links being made with local employers and organisations.

The next stage would be for students to have the opportunity for individual support in reviewing the experience they have gained and how this transfers to skills that are looked for by employers.

Finally, to be able to put in to practice what they have learned, students would be invited to attend an event hosted by a local employer with information and advice on how to market their skills effectively.

This is one a series of projects. You can read about them all on the main project page.

Project Report

Benefits to English students

The latest Graduate Destinations data for English students at the University of Portsmouth indicates that only 40% are working in graduate occupations.  Students participating in this project will benefit from greater confidence in what they have to offer potential employers, have clear examples of how they have used and developed their skills and learnt how to market themselves effectively.  The project will also offer opportunities to meet employers and gain an insight into what employers are looking for.  Students will also be aware of the support and advice available from Purple Door Careers and Recruitment on an ongoing basis to help them achieve their goals.

In what ways is your project new or innovatory

The University of Portsmouth strongly encourages students to gain work experience but this project would be innovative in helping English students to take a more planned approach. This will include identifying specific objectives and outcomes for their experience and ensuring that they effectively market the skills gained.  The University has a dedicated team of recruitment specialists working with local businesses and organisations to find students and graduates voluntary work, work experience and full time jobs.  The project will provide a closer working relationship between Careers, Recruitment and the Department and demonstrate that such a tailored approach will have a clear impact on English students’ employability and act as a pilot for future initiatives.

Other information

I already have some ideas for the case studies and further help could be sought from colleagues in SICS and The Careers Group.

Contact Details

Julie Bush
University of Portsmouth