Developing an Institutional Employability Strategy – Supporting Diverse Student Cohorts

McCormick, Mick and Daniels, Leanne (2019). Developing an Institutional Employability Strategy – Supporting Diverse Student Cohorts. In: 9th Pan-Commonwealth Forum on Open Learning - Innovations for Quality Education and Lifelong Learning (PCF9), 9-13 Sep 2019, Edinburgh.



Promoting social justice, empowering people to realise their ambitions and fulfil their potential are pillars of The Open University’s (the OU) mission. It’s the shared responsibility of all at the OU to contribute to these aims and we do this not only by providing life-changing learning, but also by embedding personal development planning, self-reflection, employability and the employer voice throughout the student journey. // Following an institutional review of employability at the OU, a strategic programme – Enhanced Employability and Career Progression (EECP) – was established to review and refresh the OU’s approach to employability. // This paper will describe EECP’s innovative approach to supporting students’ understanding, development and articulation of employability – engaging stakeholders across the University; developing innovative working practices and supporting academic teams to understand employability in relation to their subject area. // In developing a supportive employability narrative across the institution, we have also addressed the diverse nature of OU students – many are already in employment, have a wealth of personal, study and work /experiences, and are looking for study to either enhance their performance in their current roles or to be promoted into new roles in their employing organisations. Additionally, a significant number study for personal reasons and have no associated career intentions. Particularly challenging has been finding innovative ways of engaging with all students, regardless of study motivation and supporting them to ‘bring the outside, in’ as they develop their employability narrative

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