The Power of Packaging Product: The Employability Award
The Curtin Employability Award is a personalised, self-directed program that students can undertake anytime, anywhere. The Award consists of self-development modules (which can be completed face-to-face or online), industry experience and a final reflection. The Award utilises all of the services provided by the Careers & Employment Centre and packages them into one program - streamlining the Centre’s services and creating an engaging skills development experience for students. Online modules utilising ‘gamified’ learning principles is a truly unique approach, which has allowed us to make careers content fun. Currently the Employability Award has boosted student engagement by over 300% from this time last year.
Benefits to tertiary students, graduate employers and/or tertiary institutions
The Employability Award Benefits include:
- Improves graduate employment opportunities and produces competitive candidates by strengthening job application skills and supporting the attainment of relevant work experience and industry contacts.
- Increases confidence and empowers students to make informed career decisions by cultivating self-awareness and reflection.
- Allows students to personalise and self-direct career development thereby increasing relevance, value and engagement.
- Formal recognition on the Curtin Extra Certificate, a second transcript awarded at Graduation recognising extra work in the co-curricular area.
- Assists the management of effective work experience programs – the Fair Work Ombudsman has endorsed the Employability Award as appropriate training for certain unpaid work experience opportunities.
- Increases ability to access strong graduates who have actively developed their professional skills and workplace awareness; and, present as strong, confident candidates.
- Helps to alleviate pressure on Faculty resources and improve broader learning/graduate outcomes. Faculty are able to integrate online modules or face-to-face workshops into curriculum that they deem to be relevant to specific student groups (regardless of mode or location of study). This has been demonstrated through collaborations with the Marketing, Engineering and Business Law.
Improves knowledge of student and industry relationships - the Employability Award captures the destination of students’ industry experience, allowing the university to formalise and collate industry engagements and gain a more in-depth understanding of the complex industry partnerships present throughout the organisation.
Benefits to NAGCAS
- Career Development Learning has become proactive not reactive. The holistic structure of the Employability Award helps to instil the broad principles of career management and encourage students to proactively develop their career as an ongoing area as opposed to an isolated response to an immediate need.
- The Employability Award has dramatically increased engagement. The consolidation of our workshops and initiatives into a structured program has had a clear impact on student engagement. In the period of Aug 15 – Oct 13 2013, we recorded 284 workshop engagements; during the same period in 2014, this number climbed to 892 (face-to-face and online engagements).
The program has resulted in streamlined processes and effective reporting and use of resources. The administration of the Employability Award is undertaken by CareerHub – this means that all required engagements can be automatically registered and tracked; and, we are able deliver accurate data for quarterly reports and KPI reviews. The consolidation of services and materials and coordination required to execute the program has also improved the overall quality and consistency of materials – Career Consultants are able to minimise preparation time and feel confident that the team delivers core messages and outcomes.
- Online Delivery - the online module component of the Employability Award ensures that the program has broad accessibility and complete scalability. This enables vastly increasing engagement with students, without placing additional pressure on resources. The platform that delivers the modules is an independent and original entity, which allows the capture of a wealth of data. By understanding intricate behaviours we are able to respond to our students’ needs.
- Gamified Content - the online modules are a worldwide first as they use gamified principles to make Career content engaging and fun. Students can earn point and badges for completing different activities within modules. Fun activities like ‘Hot or Not’ (a timed quiz), or ‘What kind of job seeker are you?’ (a drag and drop interaction), have brought Career content to life.
Evolution of the Career Consultant – The process of developing the Employability Award program (and future development plans) has required the team to diversify skills and approach the delivery of career content creatively. In order to overcome obstacles, the team undertook extensive research and embraced complex digital solutions and content development requirements.