RMIT LEAD: a sustainable model for employability skill development
In a competitive job market students need to be adding co-curricular experiences to their resume to build employability. Leadership and personal development programs offered at universities are often niche programs that are only available to a select group of students. RMIT LEAD (Learn, Engage, Aspire, Develop) supports the university to provide a suite of vibrant and engaging leadership and volunteering programs. RMIT LEAD accredits and co-ordinates the official recognition of 36 programs from student representation, peer mentoring through to committee roles on student sporting & arts organisations. It provides a grassroots model of co-curricular opportunities that develops students’ employability.
Benefits to tertiary students, graduate employers and/or tertiary institutions
- Participation in co-curricular activities develops a range of employability skills valued by employers including leadership, communication, teamwork, negotiation and presentation skills.
- Involvement in co-curricular activities gives students the opportunity to explore, test and fulfil their potential.
- Students have a great sense of engagement with their university community which increases the chances of them reconnecting as Alumni and/or returning to the university to talk about the value of their experiences.
- By supporting the accreditation and recognition of these activities careers services can build a bridge so that students can recognise the transferable skills developed through volunteering.
- Recognition of the volunteering/leadership activity on the transcript of results provides evidence to employers about the value of their involvement.
Benefits to NAGCAS
- RMIT LEAD is a model that could be used by any careers service to expand the co-curricular offerings available at their university.
It is the model of service delivery that demonstrates a degree of innovation as it allows the number of student volunteering opportunities to expand without also requiring the extensive expansion of careers staffing. It also allows innovative programs to be developed at the grass roots level by either RMIT staff or students. It does not rely on the careers service to come up with and implement all the ideas.
RMIT LEAD operates by accrediting a range of volunteering and development programs across the university that are co-ordinated and supported by Champions. The programs need to be sustainable, provide genuine development and volunteering opportunities and the Champions are expected to provide quality training with some training support from the Careers Service.
The Careers service then co-ordinates the recognition process through the Academic Registrar's Group and students who have completed a minimum of 5 hours of training and 15 hours of volunteer work receive a certificate from the Vice-Chancellor and recognition on their transcript of results.
Additional workshops are provided to support student employability development including leadership skills, effective team leading, presentation, communication skills and enhancing your career through volunteering.
RMIT LEAD is a name recognised within the university and staff seek to have their programs accredited and students’ value receiving the certificate.