Using your Employability Team

1. Purpose 

The Employability Team facilitates the transition of Nottingham Trent University students to a range of employment and other opportunities as part of the lifelong learning process.

2. Aims

  • Provide an employability education programme to all schools.
  • Provide comprehensive information on occupational areas, employers, employment trends, further study, voluntary work and other work-based learning opportunities.
  • Maintain and develop new links with international, national and local employers including SMEs, training agencies and organisations facilitating self-employment.
  • Raise awareness, through partnership with academic staff and other professional services, of key/transferable skills and encourage students to take responsibility for their own career development to facilitate their employability.
  • Provide guidance to individual students and promote their skills to potential employers.
  • Provide information on the career pathways of Nottingham Trent University graduates through its Destination of Leavers in Higher Education Survey (DLHE).
  • Provide a service which is free from unlawful and unfair discrimination and welcomes diversity.

3. Structure

The Head of the Employability Team reports to Francesca Fowler, Director of Organisational Developments and Business Improvements.

Careers Consultants currently link with specific Schools to provide a tailor-made service to individual departments and when requested to courses. This ensures informed advice is available to staff and students on the special requirements of particular professions as well as feedback on general issues such as employment trends.

There are information resources at the City Campus, Clifton Campus and Brackenhurst Campus. 

The Employability Team also works closely with central support services e.g. Centre for Academic Development and Quality and Student Support Services to provide complementary services to employers and academic staff.

4. Staffing

  • 1 Head of Employability Service
  • 5 Careers Consultants (FTE)
  • 1 Employer Events and Operations Manager
  • 1.05 Employer Events and Operations Administrator
  • 0.8 Clifton Centre Coordinator
  • 1.2 Receptionist (two part-time members of staff based at Clifton and City)
  • 1 Employability Systems and New Technologies Co-ordinator

5. Accommodation

The Employability Team's accommodation is based at Student Services Centre, Newton/Arkwright (City), the Employability Centre, George Eliot, adjacent to the Refectory on Clifton Campus and in the Bramley building on the Brackenhurst Campus.

6. Monitoring and evaluation

The Employability Team publishes an annual review covering all its activities and services. Feedback on the effectiveness of the service is conducted in a number of ways including questionnaires, suggestion cards and focus groups.

There is also an annual Staff Development Day and Planning Day to evaluate progress and set targets for the forthcoming academic year for the team. These are complemented by visits to other University Employability Teams to provide a benchmark for good practice. Performance is continually monitored through annual staff appraisal interviews, assessment of individual training needs and weekly team meetings. There is a separate reporting process for the annual Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education (DLHE) for the Senior Management Team and other academic colleagues.

The Employability Team, previously known as the Careers Service, achieved the Guidance Council Matrix Award in May 2003 which is due for renewal in May 2009. The service achieved the Investors in People Award (IiP) in May 2003 and June 2006.

7. Service details

7.1. Employability education programme

  • The student group includes: undergraduates, postgraduates, part-time students, professional students, international students and potential discontinuing students.
  • To provide a comprehensive information provision in a variety of written and electronic formats.
  • To advise and guide students with their career choices, through group and individual consultations, and using a wide range of media including computerised careers guidance systems.
  • To enable students to explore the options available to them after graduation in order to provide a firm foundation for their subsequent career pathways.
  • To assist students to define and develop the relevant transferable and self reliance skills required of graduates in the 21st century, in order to enhance their employability.

7.2. Information provision

  • The three main client groups for information are students and graduates of Nottingham Trent University, employers and academic staff at NTU.
  • To provide a wide range of information to Nottingham Trent University students, to assist them in their transition from the University to their chosen graduate destination.
  • To ensure this information is fully comprehensive and covers the widest possible range of occupational, employer, postgraduate and other information relating to options such as voluntary work, time-out, self-employment.
  • To maintain and develop the information provision of the Service not only in written form, but also through the Internet and comprehensive events programme.
  • To broaden the awareness of students of the range of employment and employer opportunities (particularly SMEs).
  • To provide information on funding for further study and other activities.

7.3. Partnership with Academic staff and other Departments

The Employability Team endeavours to foster partnerships with Schools by providing relevant career and employment information. This is achieved by:

  • Providing statistical analysis of the destinations of final year students (DLHE) and the presentation of this information at School meetings.
  • Advising academic staff on developments and trends in the graduate employment market.
  • Being pro-active in organising specific employability events and presentations for individual School needs.
  • Exchanging information on the destination of graduates through final year tutors, placement officers and admissions staff.
  • Developing in-house careers education within Schools.
  • Membership of the ePortfolio working group.

7.4. Career Destination of Graduates

Nottingham Trent University is required by HESA (Higher Education Statistics Agency) to report annually on the career destinations of all full and part-time EU graduates.

The Employability Team is responsible for this process which involves:

  • Two mail shots to the cohort.
  • Telephone follow-up of all non responding graduates.
  • Entering individual information into a database (Banner).
  • Collating and compiling statistics for internal (e.g. Subject Reviews) and external use (DLHE Annual Report).
  • Interpreting and reporting findings to the Pro Vice Chancellors, Deans of Schools, Programme Leaders and other interested parties.
  • Destinations of other graduates, not specifically requested by HESA are also surveyed.
  • Support to the Longitudinal sample Survey of NTU graduates conducted by the Alumni office.

7.5. Employer Partnerships

To maintain and develop partnerships and collaboration with a wide range of employers and other agencies.

These partnerships offer the opportunity to:

  • Provide updated information on a wide range of employers and their recruitment requirements and selection procedures, and extend student accessibility to employer information via the Internet.
  • Advertise current and future vacancy information.
  • Organise and publicise employer events, e.g. Annual Graduate Recruitment Fair, Property, Design and Construction Recruitment Fair, for the purposes of recruitment, publicity and information.
  • Involve employers in careers education activities run by the Employability Team and within the academic curriculum.
  • Advise employers of the changes within higher education and the implications for their recruitment.
  • Seek employer sponsorship to extend the Employability Team's activities and publications.

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Appendix I

Employability provision for undergraduates

First year students should:

  • Be informed of services and locations and whom they can contact for advice at the Employability Team.
  • Be made aware of the importance of ‘transferable' and ‘technical' skills to employers, and how these can be developed whilst at NTU.
  • Receive details of the employability website and the information available to them with regard to CV's, applications, vacation work etc.
  • Have support available if reassessing the relevance of their course to their career aspirations.

Second year students should:

  • Be made aware of the career options for students in their discipline.
  • Have access to advice and guidance in preparing for placements where appropriate.
  • Be informed of relevant vacation/voluntary work appropriate to their course or chosen career area e.g. STEP scheme, Progression Partnership, community volunteering etc.
  • Be invited to the annual recruitment fairs and other employability workshops/events to inform them of potential opportunities.

Final year students should:

  • Have access to advice and guidance on updating and preparing CV's, completing application forms and interview skills.
  • Receive information regarding timetables/deadlines for employer applications and postgraduate study opportunities.
  • Be informed of the programme of careers related events including employer presentations, skills workshops, ‘Career Choice' programme etc.
  • Have made available to them, key publications related to job search and post graduate study (e.g. Finalist Guide, Prospects Directory, GET and Target publications).

Student Timetable for Employability Action

In your first year:

  • Get involved in activities outside of your studies, remember future employers are as interested in hearing about what you have done outside of your course as they are about the course itself!
  • You could think about part time employment or volunteering opportunities to help you develop people skills. Your Employability Team can help with contacts.
  • Do an audit of your key skills (you may have an opportunity to do this as part of your course). Identify any gaps and think about how you can fill them e.g. IT training.

In your second year:

  • Think about updating your CV or putting one together, the Employability Team website has information to help you compile your CV.
  • If you are not sure about a career path, use the Employability Team to start researching different occupations.
  • You could use Prospects Planner available online at to help you generate a list of career options and explore the requirements of occupations in depth.
  • If you know the area you want to get into is competitive, try and arrange work experience now rather than leaving it to your final year.
  • Get organised! Keep all your contacts, career research, CV updates and employer references in an easily accessible careers file. You never know when you will need them!

In your final year:

  • Start narrowing the field if you haven't done so already, the Career Choice employer talks organised by the Employability Team may help you here, as will further research of career areas and possible work shadowing or placement experience.
  • Update your CV and familiarise yourself with employer application forms. The Employability Team has a wealth of material to help you.
  • Make sure you attend any careers talks organised for your course.
  • Use Graduate Employer Directories, available at the Employability Team to identify key recruiters and closing dates for applications.
  • If interested in postgraduate study, identify specific courses and application procedures.
    Continually review your progress through your final year, don't panic! The Employability Team are here to help you.

May 2011