Employability-Symposium by sdaferv


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									Session A

                       SESSION A

Session A1


This session is designed to generate high level debate about the "employability" of real estate
graduates/postgraduates and the responsibilities of the HE Academy, Universities and course teams,
employers and students in fostering an integrated approach to producing highly employable graduates.

Using perspectives from key stakeholders:
1: The National / HE Academy perspective.

Val Butcher - Senior Adviser Higher Education Academy Innovation Close York Science Park

2: The University Perspective

Nick Nunnington, Principal Lecturer, Faculty of Development & Society, Sheffield Hallam University

3: The PAM Course perspective - a PAM alumni

Dan Gazzard, Graduate Surveyor, Cushman & Wakefield, London

4: The Employers Perspective

Paula Lloyd, Learning and Development Director CBRE, London
The session will provide provocative insights into each perspective with a view to generating a lively debate.


Employability is key to the Higher Education agenda, with the potential to be a powerful mechanism
integrating pedagogic thinking on student autonomy, personal development planning, reflection and a range
of skills. However, evidence from across the sector (ESECT, 2003; SEDA, 2004) and from research (Harvey
et al., 2002) suggests that good practice is often seen as embedding only one or two employability features.

In contrast the Centre for Excellence in Teaching and Learning (CETL), 'Embedding, enhancing and
integrating employability' at Sheffield Hallam University, offers a holistic model of employability and a view
of embedding and integration that can act as a spur to extending practice both within the institution and the
HE community.

‘Increasing the employability of our students’ is a strategic objective of Sheffield Hallam’s Vision and Values
(2004), built on a long, unique history of employability development . Fundamental to Hallam's culture is a
strong sense of responsibility in enabling all students to make a successful transition to the next stage of their
lives and in continuing to successfully manage their chosen careers or lifestyles.

What is Employability?
Employability definitions are on a continuum from those related to job acquisition (First Destinations) to
those related to student attributes and continual personal development (ESECT, 2002). Our definition
focuses on the enhancement of lifelong employability, reflecting research on the graduate attributes sought
by employers: intelligent, flexible, self-aware lifelong learners with communication, interactive and team
working skills, who add value to and transform organisations.

Our definition sees employability as:

          'enabling students to acquire the knowledge, personal and professional skills and encouraging the
          attitudes that will support their future development and employment’1 (Sheffield Hallam, 2002).

Our new Employability Framework (2004) builds on this definition, specifying curriculum features that,
together, develop student employability. Its coherent conceptual base draws on a model of employability
development and is firmly rooted in relevant literature on:

1 Throughout, ‘employment’ refers to a wide range of potential work activities: paid employment; self employment;
creative and artistic work; work in or for the community; family or domestic responsibilities; other lifestyle choices.
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constructivism (Biggs, 2003); experiential learning (Kolb, 1984); skilled behaviour (Elliot 1991); reflective
practice (Schon, 1987); transfer (Neath, 1998) and ‘situated’ learning (Lave & Wenger, 1991). The critical
concepts underpinning employability in HE are: transformation, the enhancing and empowering of students
through knowledge and attribute acquisition; transfer of this to other contexts. Our pedagogy is underpinned
by a distillation of theoretical work about transfer (Thorndike, 1906; Pea,1989; Detterman, 1993) and
transformation (Harvey & Knight,1996; Astin, 1985), mediated by our evaluations and research.

Transfer is not automatic: it is dependent on context (happening more readily within rather than across
‘domains’) and on ‘skills of transfer’ (being able to analyse contexts, see connections and adapt
performance). The essential features of our Framework, integrated and aligned, address both transformation
and transfer. This involves the development of skills required to acquire and apply knowledge; their use in
contexts mirroring external settings; the development of ‘skills of transfer’ (reflection on using knowledge
and skills between contexts; reflection on own performance and action planning in Personal Development
Planning; career management skills); the ability to autonomously adapt to situations. These are summarised
in the Employability Framework.

Essential Framework features
1. Progressive development of autonomy.
2. Skills development (intellectual; subject; professional; Key Skills).
3. Personal Development Planning (PDP).
4. Inclusion of activities reflecting external environments.
5. Reflection on the use of knowledge and skills between contexts.
6. The development of career management skills.
7. Engagement with learning from work (LfW).

Additional features for appropriate courses
8. Preparation for professions.
9. Engagement with enterprise.

Employability in the Real Estate Sector

The MSc. Property Appraisal & Management course at Sheffield Hallam University has been recognised
within the CETL as embedding all the elements of the University Employability Framework. It is one of only
four courses within the whole University selected as providing "excellent" examples of integration,
embedding and enhancement of employability within its design and delivery. The symposium will
demonstrate how the MSc PAM course integrates and embeds employability within the curriculum and
provide specific examples of initiatives used to achieve inclusion within the CETL bid.

Students and employers will discuss the employability issues from their perspective and explore strategic
issues for the profession, including:

How can skills development, self reliance (autonomy) and other employability factors be integrated in a
seamless transition from school to university to employment?

Is there duplication between stakeholder provision and how can the transitions be better managed?

Does the existing APC / graduate recruitment process provide an efficient and effective route to employment
in an increasingly specialised real estate profession?

How can the multi-disciplinary nature of the profession be better represented within discrete real estate
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                                                 Tim McLernon,
                      School of the Built Environment, University of Ulster at Jordanstown
                                  Newtownabbey, BT37 0QB, Northern Ireland
                                                +44 28 90366515


This is just a brief paper, composed from a personal point of view but using specific evidence as appropriate, to
outline some matters in respect of our practices which I think could be improved and through such improvement
would make the university experience for students and for staff teaching the students, more enjoyable.


A couple of years ago, I was asked to draft a report to summarise the views of the School on student retention
and progression. There were common themes coming through from course committees and individual staff
comments. Since then, it has become clear that this is a national issue. I have attended a couple of workshops
on student retention and met with a number of people who have historically taken steps to address this issue.
Some institutions have been more successful than others. It is not a new issue, but it is one, which will
predominate in an under-resourced mass higher education system, particularly as it moves towards a universal

This paper is not one to directly deal with student retention, but rather one which recommends taking on board
some of the mechanisms used to improve student retention with the purpose of making teaching and learning of
year 1 students more agreeable to those involved on the process.


I’m keeping this paper brief by starting from the conclusions which deal with one specific issue which I believe
is particularly pertinent to first year students and which could be dealt with reasonably easily to become
embedded practice. I shall use the phrase ‘instilling a sense of belonging in students’ to refer to this one specific
issue, which embraces many facets of the first-year learning experience.


There are numerous factors which impact detrimentally on student performance, and I’m sure we can all think
of some, but one common significant factor is this sense of belonging. It includes the following:

• Making friends
• Affinity for the institution
• Affinity for the course

These are factors which need to be addressed ab initio and there are some things, which could be addressed
relatively easily, thus improving the student, and staff, experiences.

1. When a student first applies for Engineering at a particular Scottish university, that university vigorously treat
that student as their own student, and from this point they communicate directly with the student, enticing the
student to join and treating the student as one of their students, whether or not the student ultimately joins. This
process is replicated at many institutions to different degrees, but it is something which immediately connects
the student to the institution.

2. From the first point of contact, the process of getting the student on board should be smooth and focussed on
the student. e.g. the process of enrolment can long, boring process. Several universities have reported that they
lose one or two students each year because those students get lost in the enrolment process and give up. In any
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case, this first formal contact with the university should be a positive experience, instilling a sense of confidence
in the university.

3. MOST IMPORTANT! Semester 1 of year 1 should be used to develop in the student a sense of belonging,
to introduce them to be confident in their learning abilities and to take a sense of responsibility for learning.
Let’s look at some ideas of how to achieve this.

 (a) Students should be divided into groups of four and students would sit together in these groups of four and
carry out group tasks in these groups. Initial friendships will develop and students will be more quickly at ease
with each other and more willing to interchange ideas. Any absenteeism is readily identifiable and the cause of
absenteeism followed up to determine any cause which requires help and identify ‘at-risk’ students.

(b) There should be no formal summative assessment, rather the assessment should be formative, helping the
students to understand their own learning traits and to be taught how to develop their learning skills.

(c ) The first two weeks could be used to embed a sense of belonging concentrating on team-building activities,
group work, study skills and information sources, and learning by doing. Modules could then be taught in
weeks 3-12 but with no formal exams but lots of learning by doing. This teaching should incorporate smaller
group tutorials and overall contact time should be increased to say, 20 hours per week for this semester. The
Christmas vacation would follow this.

(d) The exam period is usually a three week period. To facilitate marking and assessment processes, exams are
usually scheduled in the first week, particularly the first few days. The remainder of this period is one of
disengagement by first year students with their studies. Instead, this period could be used as an extension of the
teaching period and could be used as e.g. a practical group-based activity period such as constructing something
in the laboratories, practical components such as Land Surveying, or working at CITB, or outdoor team building
exercises. A ‘professional skills’ component could also be included: study skills, communication skills, IT
skills, quantitative skills etc.

These ideas are to instil in students this sense of belonging whilst maintaining engagement in studies. It has
been shown that disengagement is a significant factor in students not performing; the modular, semester system
contributes to this. (Please refer to appended diagram)

This semester would also allow staff to be innovative in approaches to teaching and assessment and to try out
different techniques: e.g. ‘think-pair share’ by which students think about a problem, work in pairs and then
discuss with the other pair in the group of 4; effort-based grading whereby assessment is based on effort put in
rather than outcome and which allows ipsative reflection by individual students.

(This format of a 10 credit point J4 module could continue in years 2 and final, to incorporate PDP, study skills,
placement preparation, studies advice. It could be called Personal/Professional Development Programme to
coincide with the PDP initiative.)

4. Our physical teaching accommodation is designed to prevent any interchange and discussion. Generally
speaking, the rooms are oblong with the teacher at the front and the students in lines facing forward. This is
fundamentally at odds with inducing a sense of college and creating an environment conducive to conversation
and discussion. There are some good examples of ‘teaching clusters’ which help engender more variety in
teaching and learning methods. Basic equipment such as radio microphones and OHP’s which do not intrude in
the line of sight are absent in many rooms.

5. Some American colleges and some universities in GB use ‘personal response systems’ to assist student
engagement in lectures and which also help lecturers to instantaneously gauge student performance and
understanding. Cost about £3K.

6. It has been shown that reward systems can act well as encouragers. Some universities reward the top 3
performing students in a particular year by paying for them to attend a relevant overseas conference. Similarly,
to encourage innovation in teaching practice, rewards are offered to staff.
          Session A2


1&2               Personal Development Module              10 credit points: Weeks 1 and 2 (&3?)
(perhaps 3        used to embed a sense of belonging: Team Building; Group Work; Study Skills;
also)             Personal Development Planning (PDP); Use of Sports Centre; Students Union and

                            Semester 1 modules                                                        E
                                Modules taught weeks 3? – 12 with no formal exams. Lots of
                                  ‘learning by doing’ driven by Problem- Project-Based Learning.      O
                                ‘Different’ teaching techniques.                                     N
                                Formative Assessment only, using appropriate assessment              A
                                  techniques.                                                         L

3 (or 4) –                                                                                            D
12                                                                                                    E
                            50 credit points (This structure may be altered to suit)                  V
                            Module 1                     Module 2                        Module 3     L
                            20 credit points              20 credit points               10 credit    M
                                                                                            points    E
                            Christmas Vacation                                                        T

                            *EXAM PERIOD* used to maintain engagement in learning as an               D
                            extension of the teaching period. Used, e.g. practical group-based        U
13 - 15                     activities and professional skills development based on modules studied
                            through, perhaps, an integrative project.
                       Semester 2 Modules                                                             O
                       60 credit points (This structure may be altered to suit)                       E

                       Module 1                     Module 2                      Module 3

                       20 credit points             20 credit points              20 credit points

                                Summer Vacation Period
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                           CONSTRUCTION SECTOR

                                            Charles Pickford,
                         Regional Development Manager, Foundation Degree Forward

The presenter will discuss the following issues with the audience:

        The partnerships involved in developing the model.
        The model for new entrants
        The model for progression
        Timescales for delivery
        Opportunities for optimising work based learning
        Funding
        Pilots

The audience will have the opportunity to reflect on how this model (developed within the engineering sector)
might be applicable to the Construction sector and how the agenda can be taken forward.
Session A4



                               ALEC BRIGGS MSc CEng MICE MIHT
                                         Senior Project Leader
                                       (The Highways Agency)
                               E-mail: alec.briggs@highways.gsi.gov.uk
                                          Tel: 0113 283 6303

Alec Briggs joined the Department of Transport in 1975 to work on traffic studies, traffic appraisal and
project management of major highway schemes. In 1994, he joined the newly-created Highways

He has been Project Manager of the £214M M1-A1 Link Road DBFO Project, east of Leeds, from
inception to opening to traffic, and, more recently, Senior Project Leader for the £245M A1 Darrington
to Dishforth (D2D) DBFO Project, also east of Leeds, both of which have been procured under the
Private Finance/Public Private Partnerships (PFI/PPP) Initiative.

                        BARRY DREWETT BSc (Hons, Dunelm) CEng MICE
                                         Technical Director
                                 (Pell Frischmann Consultants Ltd)
                        Barry Drewett: E-mail: barry.drewett@dasr-a1m.com
                                         Tel: 01977 688100

Barry Drewett has been employed by Pell Frischmann Consultants since 1988 on a variety of
motorway and trunk road projects, specialising in procurement and contractual administration,
including a number of highway contracts where he was the Resident Engineer or the Highways
Agency’s site representative.

Between 1996 and 1999, Barry held the post of Department's Agent's Site Representative (DASR) on
the £214M M1-A1 Link Road DBFO Contract. From 1999 to 2003, he was seconded to work with the
Highways Agency at its offices in Leeds, where he was Lead Consultant in the Transaction Team, up
until Contract-Award, for the £245M A1 D2D DBFO Project. He currently holds the post of DASR on
the A1 D2D DBFO Contract.

Brief Summary of the Project/Presentation:
Following a brief word on the history of PFI and DBFO, Alec Briggs will outline the procurement
process involved in the A1 D2D DBFO Project and the key resources and skills employed in this
process. He will go on to explain the main features of the D2D Project and how it contributes to
meeting the key aims and objectives of the Highways Agency by minimising congestion, improving
safety, keeping road users properly informed and respecting the environment.
He will also outline the post-contract award organisational arrangements, including the resources and
skills provided by contractors and consultants, and the arrangements for and importance of partnering,
particularly in a project of this size.

Barry Drewett will then explain the roles of the Department’s Agent and Department’s Representative
(the Highways Agency’s representatives in the DBFO Contract) in safeguarding the interests of the
Secretary of State and the Highways Agency, and in overseeing the delivery of the Project both in
terms of design and construction, and operation and maintenance. He will go on to outline the
development and operation of the ground-breaking Active Management Payment Mechanism, which
actively manages congestion and road safety, and will also present a couple of examples of how the
Contractor utilises its skills to maximise the use of resources both in construction and in the discovery
of a rare Iron Age Chariot Burial.
Session A4


                            Charles Clark BSc CEng FICE MCIOB FCMI
                       Senior Contracts Manager AMEC Construction Services
                Project Manager for the construction of the A650 Bingley Relief Road
                                   Email charly.clark@amec.com

The A650 Bingley Relief Road was a 4.5 km long road project awarded under a lump sum design and
construct contract between the HA and AMEC Capital Projects. The value of the lump sum contract
was £47.9m with contract duration of three years to cover the design and construction elements. The
primary features of the works was a 4.5km length of dual carriageway with 26 individual structures
throughout the length, traversing three peat bogs and
threaded between an existing canal and an existing electrified railway line all within a heavily
urbanised area.

The Project was completed three months ahead of the contractual end date winning a civic award and
two British Construction Industry awards (2004) in the process.

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