Swansea Employability Academy Awards celebrate success

The College of Human and Health Sciences celebrated success at the 5th Annual Swansea Employability Academy Awards Evening, with awards presented to both students and staff from across the college.

Professor Michelle Lee, Dr Claire Williams, Dr Laura Wilkinson and Dr Alex Jones from the Department of Psychology and Dr Ashley Frawley from the Department of Public Health, Policy and Social Sciences were all recognised with awards for their work in developing employability opportunities for students within the College.

27 students from the College of Human and Health Sciences collected their Gold and Platinum SEA awards, with many others achieving their Bronze and Silver awards.

Psychology student, Aimee Ehrenzeller received the Platinum Award. She said: "The SEA dinner was a lovely evening with great company. The employability academy has played a pivotal role in my university experience: I have attended workshops, had careers advice, mock interviews and attended careers fairs. I even had the opportunity to experience a graduate-level work placement with ABMU health board. I would encourage all Swansea students to check out the employability academy and to take advantage of their work placement schemes and also complete the employability award."

Professor Michelle Lee, who is Deputy Head of College for Learning and Teaching, said: "It was lovely that the Psychology team was recognized at the SEA awards dinner as embedding the Swansea Employability Award within the undergraduate programme really does require a team effort. It was also extremely gratifying to see how many of our students go on to complete the gold and platinum awards and I know that this will ensure they are well placed to be competitive in a very tough graduate job market."

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. 

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 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".

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