Edge Hill University has been shortlisted in this year’s TARGETjobs national awards for its employability strategy. 

Nominated by industry professionals in the National Graduate Recruitment Awards’ Best University Employability Strategy category, the submission highlighted the University as a champion of widening participation with “Opportunity for All” at the heart of its mission. 

Dr John Cater, Vice-Chancellor of Edge Hill University

Vice Chancellor John Cater, who explained how Edge Hill’s approach was rooted in the University’s history as the country’s first women’s non-denominational teacher training college, revealed the Target Jobs shortlisting was the third of its kind in five years. 

He said: “Employability is not just about getting a qualification and job. It should be personally transformative, address social inequality, challenge students academically and provide opportunities not readily accessible, developing graduates’ self-confidence and unlocking potential careers. 

“It is  the responsibility of all staff working together across the whole university in partnership with our students and I’m proud that our approach has been recognised through this shortlisting.” 

Edge Hill’s employability strategy includes: ensuring students develop a range of skills; department-specific employability plans; dedicated careers advisers; employer involvement in programme design and validation with employer panels for all academic departments; encouraging volunteering; and an annual Careers Awards programme. 

The University has responded positively to the Covid-19 pandemic, with careers staff working alongside tutors to develop students’ employability skills within core curriculums and through extra-curricular activity remotely and face to face. 

Geography tutor Dr Sue Jones added: “The pandemic has actually strengthened engagement and relationships between departments. 

“We delivered our Employability Week through blended learning with employers and alumni joining us online with over 90% attendance; students were able to make use of mock assessment centres, CV and interview workshops, skills development and networking sessions.”    

Financial support targeted at improving employability such as the University’s Student Opportunities Fund, which provides financial support to help students participate in employability-enhancing activities, were also highlighted alongside investment in the Catalyst building, which houses the careers department, and investment in new online programmes including Target Connect, Graduates First, Interview Stream and Engage2Serve. 

Voted Educate North University of the Year 2020/21 and Best Job Prospects in the North West and Top 10 in the UK (WhatUni Student Choice Awards 2020), find out more about what Edge Hill University has to offer.