The introduction of the Swansea Employability Academy has helped in raising the profile and importance of employability not just for our students but equally with our professional and academic staff. The Academy has provided the vehicle to give students a visible, accessible presence to actively engage with. For example, the Journey Map, a placement portal, the careers fair, careers lectures, employers talks and the introduction of the SEA Award means our students receive a seamless message regarding how highly we place employability within a student’s journey here at Swansea.
Academic staff now view employability as vital and not an add-on as it may have been perceived before SEA. This has been achieved through the employability strategy in various ways:
- The SEA Management Board (PVC-led) operates across all Schools and Colleges ensuring all employability initiatives are co-ordinated and delivered and best practice shared.
- Each College/School has a dedicated academic Director of Employability (members of the SEA Management Board) responsible for embedding, contextualising and developing employability initiatives across all subject areas.
- SEA has provided the Colleges/Schools with the framework to address employability at senior management levels through the introduction of SLA’s and creation of College-level employability committees, attended by Programme Directors from each subject area. This has helped to further embed employability initiatives within all our modules.
- Employability is a standing item on our Learning and Teaching committees and Student/Staff forums.
- The development of embedded placements in more degree programmes as well as working with academics to utilise their networks to establish new placement opportunities for students.
- The University has been active in embedding the SEA Award into credit bearing modules. “This further underpins the value we hold regarding employability; without SEA this would have not been possible.” Stuart Toomey Director of Employability, the College of Science.
SEA works in partnership with academic staff to provide the Swansea Employability Award (SEA Award) for both undergraduate and postgraduate students. The Award helps students to explore who they are, what skills and experience they may need to acquire to help them achieve their chosen career – this professional development is recorded on their Higher Education Achievement Report (HEAR). The SEA Award has made a difference to 1,772 students. A DLHE analysis for our Psychology students found that each graduate was twice as likely to be working and/or studying upon completion of the Bronze level SEA award.