Employability Skills course proves a success

Almost 100 unemployed graduates have been able to benefit from the Employability Skills programme that the Centre for Lifelong Learning has been running in partnership with the Careers Service over the last 6 months.

Recent figures show graduate unemployment at its highest level for over a decade. However, the High fliers Survey of January 2010 (based on the Times Top 100 graduate recruiters) provides a more positive view for the future, with 13 out of 14 key industries expecting a rise in graduate recruitment for 2011.

A key message from the survey was that, along with commercial awareness and work experience, employability skills such as communication skills, teamworking, analytical and problem solving skills are vitally important for success in the current job market.  Candidates also needed to give evidence of where they have developed these skills – for example study, societies, work experience, hobbies and interests.

To help delegates develop and evidence these skills, a free 3 day programme, fully funded via the Economic Support Initiative, was developed to enable them to:

  • Market themselves effectively
  • Identify their personal preferences, strengths and skills
  • Implement research strategies to anticipate the needs of employers
  • Gain access to the ‘hidden’ employment market
  • Produce effective CVs and application forms
  • Evidence and sell their unique qualities at an interview
  • Create a realistic plan for their continuing search for employment
  • Develop the key skills that employers are looking for

As part of the ESI funded programme, all graduates were also eligible for free careers advice and support from the Graduate Employment Advice Centre based in the Career Service. This provides additional help with career planning, job search, and applications, as well as the opportunity to book mock interviews. Former delegates could also book a careers consultation with a specialist in their field.   In addition graduates could benefit from 75% funding on further courses to help them develop key skills.

The highly interactive programme has already produced some great success stories.  50% of those who have responded to follow up enquiries have already obtained a job following attendance on the programme, and many attribute this success to skills they learnt on the course: “It was very helpful and undoubtedly aided me in securing this position”, “I strongly feel that the interview advice I gained whilst on the course, and the assistance of the Careers Service, helped me to secure the job”.

Delegates also reported an increase in their confidence and motivation:  “It was great to meet others in similar situations, especially ones in more interesting sectors” stated one delegate. “I am fed up with all the sales and recruitment jobs which fill the employment pages; it was inspiring to meet people with varied and fulfilling ambitions. This really helped me to remain focused on my chosen fields, rather than lose confidence, direction and passion.”   This view was echoed by others on the course: “Feel totally motivated, and ready to search for and find my dream job – A great experience!”, “I really enjoyed meeting such a diverse crowd with different backgrounds, yet in a similar situation to myself”.

Commenting on the success of the course, Les Rees, Director of the Careers Service, stated:  “Cardiff University recognises its role as a catalyst for enhancing the economic and social development of Wales and the UK.  It is also committed to helping to build the skills that graduates will need so that they are able to contribute positively and add value in employment.  The Employability Skills programme has contributed to both of these objectives:  it has been successful from a local and regional perspective and, in terms of the many graduates assisted, from a more personal perspective.”

New Memorial Prize awarded to Cardiff student

New Memorial Prize awarded to Cardiff student Amanda Rouse

The Cardiff Centre for Lifelong Learning awarded the Patricia Clark Memorial Prize at its annual award ceremony last Friday.

The prize has been founded through the generosity of staff, family and friends as a testament to Patricia Clarks’ work at the Centre. It will be awarded annually to a Humanities student who has either made outstanding progress throughout the year, or written an exceptional essay, or other assignment, on a topic connected to their course theme.

Dr Nick Jones, Humanities Co-ordinating Lecturer said: “Pat’s energy and generosity of spirit touched everyone with whom she came into contact, and the prize will ensure that her very special personal and professional qualities will be remembered for many years to come.”

Dr Dave Wyatt, who worked closely with Patricia Clark, wrote “that she was an unsung hero, someone who stood up for open access to higher education”.

Amanda Rouse was the first student to receive Patricia Clark Memorial Prize for her excellent essay entitled ‘Seeing Beauty in Degas’ Women’.

At the Award Ceremony, Amanda said: “I am thrilled and very honoured to be the first recipient of the Patricia Clark Memorial Prize. The course on French Impressionist Art was really enjoyable, and to win this prize was a lovely and unexpected bonus.”

Other awards handed out that evening included Foundation Certificate, Certificate of Higher Education, Certificate of Advanced Study, Diploma of Higher Education as well as the DE Evans Prize, the Elise Pritchard Prize and the Diplôme d’Etudes en Langue Française.

Note to editors

1. Cardiff Centre for Lifelong Learning

Cardiff University is the largest provider of adult education in Wales.  The Centre provides around 400 Lifelong Learning Courses a year. Continuing Professional Development (CPD) provides short courses for business, public sector employers and the individual. The Centre also provides business language training at all levels, including translation services and interpreters.

2. Cardiff University

Cardiff University is recognised in independent government assessments as one of Britain’s leading teaching and research universities. Founded by Royal Charter in 1883, the University today combines impressive modern facilities and a dynamic approach to teaching and research. The University’s breadth of expertise in research and research-led teaching encompasses: the humanities; the natural, physical, health, life and social sciences; engineering and technology; preparation for a wide range of professions; and a longstanding commitment to lifelong learning. Cardiff is a member of the Russell Group of Britain’s leading research universities.

 

Employability Skills programme proves a success

Almost 100 unemployed graduates have been able to benefit from the Employability Skills programme that the Centre for Lifelong Learning has been running in partnership with the Careers Service over the last 6 months.

Recent figures show graduate unemployment at its highest level for over a decade. However, the High fliers Survey of January 2010 (based on the Times Top 100 graduate recruiters) provides a more positive view for the future, with 13 out of 14 key industries expecting a rise in graduate recruitment for 2011. 

A key message from the survey was that, along with commercial awareness and work experience, employability skills such as communication skills, teamworking, analytical and problem solving skills are vitally important for success in the current job market.  Candidates also needed to give evidence of where they have developed these skills – for example study, societies, work experience, hobbies and interests.

To help delegates develop and evidence these skills, a free 3 day programme, fully funded via the Economic Support Initiative, was developed to enable them to:

  • Market themselves effectively
  • Identify their personal preferences, strengths and skills
  • Implement research strategies to anticipate the needs of employers
  • Gain access to the ‘hidden’ employment market
  • Produce effective CVs and application forms
  • Evidence and sell their unique qualities at an interview
  • Create a realistic plan for their continuing search for employment
  • Develop the key skills that employers are looking for

As part of the ESI funded programme, all graduates were also eligible for free careers advice and support from the Graduate Employment Advice Centre based in the Career Service. This provides additional help with career planning, job search, and applications, as well as the opportunity to book mock interviews. Former delegates could also book a careers consultation with a specialist in their field.   In addition graduates could benefit from 75% funding on further courses to help them develop key skills. 

The highly interactive programme has already produced some great success stories.  50% of those who have responded to follow up enquiries have already obtained a job following attendance on the programme, and many attribute this success to skills they learnt on the course: “It was very helpful and undoubtedly aided me in securing this position”, “I strongly feel that the interview advice I gained whilst on the course, and the assistance of the Careers Service, helped me to secure the job”.

Delegates also reported an increase in their confidence and motivation:  “It was great to meet others in similar situations, especially ones in more interesting sectors” stated one delegate. “I am fed up with all the sales and recruitment jobs which fill the employment pages; it was inspiring to meet people with varied and fulfilling ambitions. This really helped me to remain focused on my chosen fields, rather than lose confidence, direction and passion.”   This view was echoed by others on the course: "Feel totally motivated, and ready to search for and find my dream job – A great experience!", “I really enjoyed meeting such a diverse crowd with different backgrounds, yet in a similar situation to myself”.

Commenting on the success of the course, Les Rees, Director of the Careers Service, stated:  "Cardiff University recognises its role as a catalyst for enhancing the economic and social development of Wales and the UK.  It is also committed to helping to build the skills that graduates will need so that they are able to contribute positively and add value in employment.  The Employability Skills programme has contributed to both of these objectives:  it has been successful from a local and regional perspective and, in terms of the many graduates assisted, from a more personal perspective." 

Ya Hala!

Thursday 10th March 2011

Wales welcomes women leaders from Africa and the Middle East

On Wednesday 9th March the Cardiff Centre for Lifelong Learning welcomed women from Egypt and Jordan as they came to visit their Welsh counterparts for a group activity: Women in Leadership.

 

 

Women from Egypt and Jordan

The visitors from Africa and the Middle East were warmly greeted by women on the Women Making a Difference Programme, a programme that is delivered in partnership with the Centre and the Welsh Assembly.

Jan Stephens, Business and Prof Threadgold speaking to the womenManagement Co-ordinating Lecturer, started off the morning visit with a warm welcome to the university and Centre for Lifelong Learning. This was then followed by a talk from Professor Terry Threadgold, Pro Vice Chancellor for Staff and Diversity at Cardiff.

All of the participants then had the opportunity to share their own journeys and experience of leadership in Wales and overseas.

Jan Stephens said: “I am delighted about their visit. It’s been a great opportunity for all parties involved. It gave us a chance to showcase the good work that goes on here and it gave all of the women a chance to network with others in similar roles in different countries.”

Women from Egypt and JordanThe international visitors are in South Wales for the whole week. They arrived on Sunday 6th March and have been busy visiting the British Council and the Senedd, attending workshops in different communities and celebrating International Womens’ Day on Tuesday 8th March at the Cardiff Temple of Peace. They return home on Sunday 11th March.

Note to editors

1. For further details on the Centre’s Women into Making a Difference and Public Life programme visit cardiff.ac.uk/learn or contact Co-ordinating Lecturer Jan Stephens on 029 2087 6248 or email stephensj4@cardiff.ac.uk.

2. Cardiff Centre for Lifelong Learning

Cardiff University is the largest provider of adult education in Wales.  The Centre provides around 400 Lifelong Learning Courses a year. Continuing Professional Development (CPD) provides short courses for business, public sector employers and the individual. The Centre also provides business language training at all levels, including translation services and interpreters.

3. Cardiff University

Cardiff University is recognised in independent government assessments as one of Britain’s leading teaching and research universities. Founded by Royal Charter in 1883, the University today combines impressive modern facilities and a dynamic approach to teaching and research. The University’s breadth of expertise in research and research-led teaching encompasses: the humanities; the natural, physical, health, life and social sciences; engineering and technology; preparation for a wide range of professions; and a longstanding commitment to lifelong learning. Cardiff is a member of the Russell Group of Britain’s leading research universities.

 

Visit the University website at: cardiff.ac.uk

For further information contact:

Jayne McGill

Cardiff Centre for Lifelong Learning

Cardiff University

Tel: 029 2087 6342

Email: mcgillj3@cardiff.ac.uk