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Session 2B


Beyond a CV workshop - What does employability in the curriculum look like?

Neela Nawathe - Careers Consultant | Careers Service

Emma O'Brien - Careers Consultant | Careers Service

One of the key reasons students engage in Higher Education is the prospect of having improved employment outcomes upon graduation.(DofE Planning for Success 2017) However, there appears to be a disconnect between how a student perceives the role of the university  in bridging the gap between studying and employment, according to the 2018 “What Graduates do”  report, students quite rightly do not see the university as a broker of graduate roles,(HESCU,What graduates do 2018) yet we still see a large number of students only engaging with the concept of employability at the compete stage, when they want to construct a CV or prepare for interview

With TEF results relying on satisfactory employment outcomes for our graduates, City has a clear KPI in the institutions vision and strategy expressing that we should be enabling our graduates to be competitive in the labour market. In order to make this vision a reality, everyone should be confident and engaged in communicating and delivering the vision, and understand that developing employability skills is about more than a CV check.

This session aims to show attendees practical examples of activities that we use in group work across a range of curriculums and in stand-alone workshops that help students to think about the variety of factors that influence career choice. We will demonstrate how we can build on this understanding to develops self-efficacy in the individual, hopefully leading to students having a clear career plan as they approach graduation, something which the DofE outlined as being key to success in the graduate labour market. .(DofE Planning for Success 2017)

We will demonstrate how City Careers use career development theories to underpin the design of employability sessions within the curriculum and how we aim to take a student-centred approach to developing career readiness, meeting the students where they are.

The employability modules that City Careers has been developed from the DOTS model (Law, 2009), which in turn feeds from an array of theories that explain career development as a result of personality types (Holland, 1973), life span (Super, 1980), and social learning (Krumboltz, 1996). We also increasingly utilise the work of Paton and McMahon whose Systems theory approach allows us to be facilitators of career development as opposed to directors or guides. (Paton and McMahon, 2014)

After the workshop, attendees should be able to:

  • Discuss the importance of employability, its relevance in City’s strategy and how its outcomes influence the success of City.
  • Explain successful models of curriculum-embedded employability and stand alone workshops and activities.
  • Identify actions that you can take to embed employability in your teaching


  • Department for Education (March 2017 ) “Planning for success: Graduates’ career planning and its effect on graduate outcomes"
  • Holland, J (1973). Making Vocational Choices: a theory of careers. Englewood Cliffs, N.J.: Prentice-Hall Prentice-Hall
  • Law, B. (2009) Building on what we know: community-interaction and its importance for contemporary careers-work,
  • Mitchell, L.K. & Krumboltz, J.D. (1996) Krumboltz’s learning theory of career choice and counseling, in D. Brown, L. Brooks and Associates (eds) Career choice and development (3rd edition), San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.
  • Patton, W. & McMahon, M. (2014) Career development and systems theory: connecting theory and practice (3rd edition) Rotterdam, Netherlands: Sense.
  • Super, D. E.  (1980) “A Life-span, Life-space Approach to Career Development.” Journal of Vocational Behaviour 16:282-298.