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EMPLOYABILITY-DEVELOPMENT  October 2011

EMPLOYABILITY-DEVELOPMENT October 2011

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Subject:

Re: Employability and enterprise definitions

From:

"Scharlau, Dr Bruce A." <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Scharlau, Dr Bruce A.

Date:

Sun, 23 Oct 2011 10:37:23 +0100

Content-Type:

text/plain

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Arti, 
 
thanks for the link, but is there  way to get the creating communities pdf without going through the library? 
 
cheers, 
 
Bruce 
 
Dr. Bruce Scharlau 
Dept. of Computing Science 
Meston Building, Room 229 
University of Aberdeen 
Aberdeen AB24 3UE 
01224 272193 
http://www.abdn.ac.uk/~csc228 
mailto:[log in to unmask] 
________________________________________ 
From: List for UK HEI employability developers [[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Arti Kumar [[log in to unmask]] 
Sent: Friday, October 21, 2011 10:29 PM 
To: [log in to unmask] 
Subject: Re: Employability and enterprise definitions 
 
Hello all, 
 
Sorry to come into this discussion late, but in all honesty I must admit any attempt to nail down and agree definitions makes my heart sink - we seemed to waste so much time and energy on this when i was leading the CETL at UoB. If we look at this from a practical, student-centred perspective, what is really important is to enable all students to identify, critically appreciate, articulate and demonstrate their unique, composite possession of employability, focusing on 'strengths'. In my experience it invariably enhances their self-esteem and motivation for self-development when they appreciate that their strengths (and of course their development needs) come from a mix of Motivation (interests, values, priorities), Ability (skills, knowledge, 'multiple intelligences') and Personality (preferences and styles of interaction with others and with different environments) - giving them a dynamic personal MAP to find directions and destinations in their journeys through learning, work and life in general. 
 
At a writing retreat last year many academic and professional support staff chose to write about innovative ways in which they were tackling employability within their curricula. In fact one piece is written by a student, who was part of a winning team we took to the annual inter-university Flux competition, which promotes itself as the UK's largest enterprise competition, but concedes it's really looking broadly at employability attributes. Having reviewed these articles I discovered substantive common ground - they were all writing about much more than occupation-specific skills. It made me frame my own definition of employability as " a set of beliefs and dispositions that drive performance and behaviour conducive to finding and engaging with developmental opportunities, testing and implementing aspirations, and demonstrating relevant results." 
 
The book in which our articles are published (if anyone is interested) is available as a PDF at 
www.beds.ac.uk/learning/support/retreat<http://www.beds.ac.uk/learning/support/retreat> 
 
I better stop rambling now and head for bed - good night all, 
Arti 
 
 
 
Arti Kumar MBE 
Honorary Visiting Research Fellow 
and National Teaching Fellow 
 
>>> Liz Coombs 17/10/11 2:27 PM >>> 
Hi 
This is a really good response and I do think that we have to be careful about not getting so bogged down in definitions that, as Alexandra points out, we risk devaluing important work that we are doing. 
 
I wanted to add to the ‘Can enterprise be a career’ question.  Presumably it can be but isn’t a wider point that as part of the employability agenda, we are helping students to be ‘entrepreneurial’ ?  You don’t have to be starting your own business to be entrepreneurial  and the ‘action’ and initiative indicated in the definition of enterprise can be used, and demonstrated, within employment.  If employability is about getting a job, then it is surely those candidates that can demonstrate that they can think independently, can come up with new ideas, can create action from information and generate future opportunities, as well as having self-confidence, self-assurance and self-management that will be successful?  This is true in the not for profit sector as well as in business. 
 
Liz 
 
Liz Coombs 
Director 
Centre for Workplace Learning 
St Mary’s University College 
Waldegrave Road 
Twickenham TW1 4SX 
020 8240 4015 / 4152 / 4252 
www.smuc.ac.uk/cwl 
 
 
From: List for UK HEI employability developers [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Alexandra Hemingway 
Sent: 17 October 2011 14:09 
To: [log in to unmask] 
Subject: Re: Employability and enterprise definitions 
 
Hello Mary (and all), 
 
Thanks for bringing in the Enterprise Report, which I wasn’t familiar with.  It offers a useful and interesting way to distinguish between the two ‘topics’, but I fear that by trying to showcase the differences the writers have allowed an unwanted side effect to occur.  With these definitions, it’s almost as if the objective is to demonstrate the superiority of enterprise (or entrepreneurship – and is there a difference to be found there, I wonder?) over “mere” employability.  I would argue that’s an unhelpful direction.  Certainly, it’s false to maintain that employability (or, more precisely, the process of a person becoming employable or developing their employability to a higher level) is not action oriented, or doesn’t require self-assurance. 
 
These points seem to assume a definition of employability that doesn’t fit at all with mine.  Self-motivation, self-confidence, self-awareness and all the other “self-“ skills are about attitude, as well as abilities and other attributes.  I would suggest that although employability may include or begin with getting and keeping a job, that’s only part of a much broader scheme.  The idea of achieving success – and, indeed, determining for yourself what constitutes success while simultaneously understanding how your (prospective) employer measures it – is fundamental to what we’re trying to do.  Perhaps that degree of sophistication in intent is not directly apparent to each and every one of my students, but that’s what’s at the heart of the matter.  As we try to teach professional development & employability at the undergraduate level, we do have to start somewhere.  In keeping with the practical priorities of our cohort (namely getting a placement) and the wider requirements of their course, our first few sessions are focused on traditional aspects such as identifying your skills, putting together CVs and applications and preparing for interviews.  So far, then point two seems to be true.  However, while delivering these elements, we’re encouraging students to think about the bigger picture and take advantage of resources and opportunities available within their studies to create whatever future is right for them.  No doubt some will be entrepreneurs and others won’t.  We shouldn’t look down on those who choose employment as if they’re second-class citizens! 
 
Nevertheless, in spite of my objections, the third point mentioned below is a really important one that I think could be helpful for setting objectives.  Firstly, in outlining our aims as a function or team (what are we trying to offer) and secondly, in considering how we can present useful, comprehensible and appealing learning outcomes to students that are realistic and achievable.  The challenge is coming up with a programme that offers something for everyone. 
 
A final thought: what’s “a career”?  Can enterprise be a career or is it more a way of creating your career?  Is ‘I’m an entrepreneur’ enough or is further definition needed, e.g.the industry, sector, function or role (singular or plural) to help others understand what’s involved? 
 
Best wishes 
 
 
Alexandra Hemingway 
 
Professional Development and Employability Tutor 
Faculty of Business, Economics and Law 
University of Surrey, GU2 7XH 
Tel: 01483 683080 
Email: [log in to unmask]<mailto:[log in to unmask]> 
Twitter: @AJHemingway 
Blog: www.thecareerslady.wordpress.com<http://www.thecareerslady.wordpress.com> 
 
 
 
From: List for UK HEI employability developers [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Mary Bradley 
Sent: 17 October 2011 13:32 
To: [log in to unmask] 
Subject: Re: Employability and enterprise definitions 
 
Hi Anne 
My contribution is from the HEA Enterprise Report 2005 
 
Employability is just one facet of enterprise/entrepreneurship and is, therefore, not interchangeable with them.  According to the, HEA Enterprise Report 2005 enterprise is in fact distinct in three fundamental ways: 
 
 
·         enterprise requires a deeper quality that is more focused and action oriented.  It has above all stronger resonance with notions of empowerment and a belief in one’s own abilities – not simply the acquisition of a range of employment skills. 
 
 
 
·          employability is about getting a job, and increasingly staying in work, rather than how you make a difference and achieve success in work. 
 
 
 
·         if everyone is employable it benefits the economy but the currency gets devalued from an individual’s perspective.  Enterprise on the other hand is generated of future opportunities and different in that the realisation of ideas offers a level of protection through unique propositions and intellectual property rights. 
 
 
The implications of promoting enterprise through education are quite different in some respects as well.  Young people who choose to pursue enterprise as a career will look to education to fulfil that aspiration not only in terms of skills and know-how but wider support in becoming student entrepreneurs. 
Hope this helps 
Mary 
 
Mary Bradley 
Pennaeth y Ganolfan ar gyfer Dysgu Entrepreneuraidd 
Head of the Centre for Entrepreneurial Learning 
NCGE Fellow 
 Prifysgol Glyndŵr 
Glyndŵr University 
01978 293418 
07595779493 
pp 15, Campws Plas Coch, Ffordd yr Wyddgrug, Wrecsam, LL11 2AW 
A134, PP15, Plas Coch Campus, Mold Road, Wrexham, LL11 2AW 
 
http://www.heacademy.ac.uk/events/detail/2012/26_April_FD_Conference_Glyndwr. 
 
 
From: List for UK HEI employability developers [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Hillary Anne Ms (CCEN) 
Sent: 14 October 2011 08:46 
To: [log in to unmask] 
Subject: Employability and enterprise definitions 
 
Dear All, 
Following on from the extremely interesting definitions of ‘employability’ – is there any evidence of fundamental differences between ‘enterprise’ and ‘employability’ in this context? 
Many thanks, 
Anne 
 
Anne Hillary (formerly Benson) 
Director 
Careers & EmployAbility 
University of East Anglia 
Norwich Research Park 
Norwich NR4 7TJ 
T: +44(0)1603 592828 
F: +44(0)1603 593453 
E: [log in to unmask]<mailto:[log in to unmask]> 
W: http://www.uea.ac.uk/careers/ 
-------------------------------- 
Follow us on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/UEACareersAndEmployability 
 
 
 
Email has been scanned for viruses and spam by Altman Technologies' email management service<http://www.altman.co.uk/emailsystems> 
 
 
 
The University of Aberdeen is a charity registered in Scotland, No SC013683. 

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