Swansea Employability Academy Awards celebrate success

Swansea University Employability Academy recently celebrated its 5th Annual Awards Evening, with over 100 awards presented to students and staff from across the University and to employers who work with the Academy.

The Swansea Employability Academy supports students by creating opportunity to gain experience and develop skills, to boost their job prospects.  It provides a co-ordinating role across the University, linking the career development support offered to our students through their Colleges/Schools, University Departments and our Students’ Union.  

225 x 99Employers who work in partnership with the Academy include: ABMU Health Board, JCP Solicitors, the Office of National Statistics, Wheelies and Tata.  

Led by Dr Jon Howden-Evans, the Swansea Employability Academy (SEA) is making a real difference to students, boosting their employability and their career prospects.

‌An example of this is Carys Chambers, a final year student from the College of Engineering.  Carys was one of last year’s winners of the Sir Terry Matthews’ Canadian Challenge and is now a ‘Swansea University Icon’.  

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Picture: some of the students at the awards, with Academy and University representatives

Speaking at the awards Carys described how the Academy had helped her, saying how far she had travelled from her first work placement to now being about to start on TATA’s graduate scheme.  Illustrating the benefit of the support she has received, she told the audience how her ‘confidence has grown from when I first spoke to a room of 5 people, to find myself addressing 200 guests this evening’.

The theme of the Evening was ‘celebrating success’, including the University’s excellent performance in the field of graduate job prospects.

Senior Pro Vice Chancellor Professor Hilary Lappin-Scott said:

“The Guardian Universities League Tables 2017 records the university at its highest ever position for graduate prospects: 14th out of 119 UK universities– and we are number 1 in Wales”

“We were nominated for the very first time for graduate prospects in the What Uni awards – and we came 4th!   This is a great reflection of our students’ confidence as this award is voted for by them”

Other achievements include:

•    An increase in the number of students achieving the SEA awards, which boost their skills: nearly 1,800 students registered for this Award this year, the majority being our first year students. Just under 500 have already completed one or more of the levels

•    The ‘My Career Journey’ Map, based on the SEA Award, which itself has a new ‘platinum level’ to keep with student demand

•    More work placements than ever, including the Week of Work scheme, Swansea Paid Internship Network (which now includes international opportunities),and growth in the Santander Universities network.

•    Agreements on employability with Tata and Admiral, and more currently in negotiation

The SEA team were themselves presented with an award on the evening by Jill Burgess, member of the University’s Council, “recognising the role they have played in what has been a tremendous year of change".

400 x 336Picture:  student Carys Chambers tells the audience about how SEA has helped her

The team’s own success is putting them in the spotlight as they share their experiences with others.  They have presented to the European Association for International Education on their work with TATA, hosted delegations from across Europe, and spoke recently at the launch of the University of Leiden’s three-year employability project.  

They are also presenting at the Universities UK Conference on improving the employability support for international students.

The evening completed a busy ‘SEA Your Future’ Week – a range of events aimed at improving students’ employability, including:

•    Meet the Employer – Speed Networking where over 30 employers met with students at our Bay Campus to spend an afternoon of networking skills development
•    Graduate Conference – where our current students met graduates of Swansea University to get the answers to all their questions on the taking the next step after their degrees

Find out more about employability at Swansea