Glossary of terms
This glossary contains an explanation of some of the key terms and phrases relating to student and graduate recruitment and employability at UWE. Some of the terms may be defined differently elsewhere.
Career mentors are individuals working in a variety of organisations, who are matched to a student to provide one-to-one career mentoring in the student's chosen career area. It is a rewarding experience for both the student and the career mentors, enabling them to give support and the benefit of their experience to a current student and many employers see it as a developmental activity for staff. The Employability and Enterprise Service runs projects linking career mentors from regional businesses with students.
Careers Consultants are academic related professionals in the Employability and Enterprise Service. Each faculty has a linked Careers Consultant who works with faculty management teams and academics to develop an employability strategy and advise on employability within the curriculum.
They also manage the delivery of activity to help students with their career development through a variety of information, advice and guidance services on a one-to-one basis, through teaching and assessment activity, and through the creation of learning resources and employer engagement.
Destination of Leavers from Higher Education (DLHE) survey
The annual Destination of Leavers from Higher Education (DLHE) survey is managed by the Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA). The DLHE survey asks those people who have recently completed higher education courses what their current activity is, whether it is working, studying, looking for work or even travelling.
If they are employed, it asks for the job description and the kind of company they work for to help give a better understanding of the nature of their employment. The data also helps to give a picture of the patterns of further study and how destinations differ across subjects, and is used in the compilation of league tables, KIS and Unistats. At UWE, the survey is managed within Student Services, and the data is used strategically across the University to drive employability activity.
Employability is high on the HE agenda across the UK – this is
partly driven by the public availability of graduate employment
destination data published through Unistats, KIS, and media promoted league
tables. The term is subject to a great deal of debate but a useful
"Employability skills have been defined after extensive collaboration with business by the CBI. They are a set of attributes, skills and knowledge that all labour market participants should possess to ensure they have the capability of being effective in the workplace – to the benefit of themselves, their employer and the wider economy." CBI, 2010
Enterprise is the application of creative ideas and innovations to practical situations. This is a generic concept that can be applied across all areas of education. It combines creativity, ideas development and problem solving with expression, communication and practical action. UWE provides many opportunities for students to develop enterprise skills, including supporting student-led enterprise, running events, and through the curriculum.
A social enterprise is a business that looks to tackle a social and/or environmental problem in a sustainable way. Rather than being dependent on grants and donations (as many charities are), social enterprises use commercial strategies to implement their projects. UWE provides opportunities for students to develop social enterprise skills through links with local organisations, and supports students to develop their own ideas for social action.
Entrepreneurship is the development and application of an enterprising mindset and skills in the specific contexts of setting up a new venture, developing and growing an existing business, or designing an entrepreneurial organisation.
Social entrepreneurship is the application of enterprise skills to set up and run a new venture in order to sustainably tackle a social or environmental problem. A social entrepreneur is an entrepreneur with a strong social drive that sets up and/or runs a social enterprise. UWE supports students, staff and alumni to set up and run their own businesses by providing coaching, mentoring, funding and desk space.
There is no absolute definition of a graduate job. The annual Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education (DLHE) survey collects information on the type of job that graduates do and for statistical purposes classifies them using the Standard Occupational Classification system (SOC). The SOC system has nine groupings of which groups 1 - 3 (1 - managers and senior officials, 2 - professional occupations and 3 - associate professional and technical occupations) are used to identify positive graduate outcomes by Unistats, KIS and league tables.
Many non professional/managerial jobs offer a necessary first step to a graduate job where graduates need to gain relevant experience at this level to build the confidence, skills and knowledge to proceed to postgraduate study or get on track for a particular career. Examples of this would be a graduate obtaining work as a Teaching Assistant in order to get the required experience to apply for a PGCE ,or gaining a job as a runner as a route into the film industry. Some jobs do not offer routes to graduate level employment.
An internship is a fixed-term opportunity for a student or graduate to gain meaningful and practical work experience. This enables the intern to apply theory from their studies to a 'real-world' setting, whilst gaining valuable skills increasing their employability in an industry or role of interest. Internships offer organisations a useful recruitment tool, with benefits including a flexible work force, a graduate talent pipeline and an extended interview process. UWE offers a subsidised internship programme to assist organisations to recruit students and graduates, in a cost effective and low risk manner.
Placements (sometimes called industrial placements, industrial experience, or sandwich placements) are built into degree programmes in order to give students practical experience related to their studies. The length of a placement can vary between courses from a year to a few days. They are usually, but not always, paid and are assessed by the University as part of the programme of study. In some degree programmes, placements are compulsory; in others they are optional. UWE DLHE survey data consistently shows that UWE graduates who have undertaken placements have better employment outcomes.
Pro bono is professional work undertaken in a voluntary capacity as a public service using specialist professional skills that have market value to provide services to organisations or individuals who are unable to pay for them. Pro bono activity has been common in the legal profession for some time, as well as large corporations where it is offered through models of Corporate Social Responsibility.
It is increasingly seen in other professions including IT, marketing, finance and creative industries. For UWE, it is a powerful way to show support for charitable and voluntary organisations, communicate values and have a meaningful impact in our community through the skills and knowledge of our students. For UWE students, it provides the opportunity for high quality work experience alongside a strong demonstration of social responsibility.
A volunteer is someone who gives a commitment of time and energy for the benefit of the community, which is undertaken freely without financial gain. Volunteering can open the way to learning new skills and experiences and can be a useful addition to your CV. The rewards come from the satisfaction of helping others, your environment or your community.
Most students have some work experience and although all work experience can contribute to building confidence, knowledge and skills, relevant quality work experience is becoming a prerequisite for many careers. Therefore, ideally, work experience is the experience that a student or graduate has gained that is relevant to the specific field or occupation that they are looking to get in to.
A student or graduate can gain high quality relevant work experience in a number of ways including volunteering, placements, internships, enterprise activity, work shadowing, part-time work or getting involved in university clubs and societies.
Work shadowing is a way for students to gain an insight and understanding into an organisation and their industry. The student acts as a 'fly on the wall,' observing the work that would occur on a daily basis, making notes and having the opportunity to ask questions to facilitate their learning. This is usually a short, one or two week unpaid opportunity.