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Reflections upon an employability initiative at an English post-92 business school

Rattenbury, JN, Rennison, Y, McEwen, F and Holmes, H (2018) Reflections upon an employability initiative at an English post-92 business school. Widening Participation and Lifelong Learning, 20 (1). pp. 179-186. ISSN 1466-6529

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Abstract

This innovative practice paper describes and reflects upon an intervention aiming to improve the employability outcomes of business school students. Final year students from the Accounting & Economics department of a post-921 university in north-west England were invited to join an employability initiative. The paper’s findings include that the take-up of this voluntary scheme was small relative to the department cohort’s size. This volunteer group was self-selecting and therefore subsequent attendance was generally good. The scheme was however unsuccessful in engaging with ‘harder to reach’ students i.e. those most in need of support. We argue that employability teaching could be embedded within the curriculum through more ‘real world’ contexts or through a compulsory credit-bearing unit. Delivering similar courses would require substantial resource to scale up delivery. A number of practical lessons were learned from our experiences. This paper will interest those considering implementing employability curricula in higher education.

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