Employability is vital to students’ success, enabling them to develop the skills, behaviours, experiences and knowledge to achieve their personal, educational and career goals. Higher education institutes (HEIs) have a major role to play in helping nurture students, but their impact is hampered by a narrowed definition of employability that sees them focusing too much on employment. HEIs need to expand the narrative to cover the many reasons why people commit to university study.
Articulating employability so that it challenges the common discourse around work and skills, while emphasising the broad motivations for why people take up academic study and how it benefits them, is a big barrier for HEIs. Their task is made harder by the increasingly competitive business world they operate in and the measures that seemingly shape and constrain creative approaches to employability. How can HEIs respond to these issues? Does widening the narrative better prepare students for the future of work?
On 22 March 2022 The Open University delivered a day of insightful discussion around these important topics and worked together with like-minded professionals to enhance the student experience. We were delighted to collaborate with Nottingham Trent University on this highly successful event. You can view the recordings from the conference on our programme page.