Our Employability Commitment to You
At University Centre at Blackburn College we put the employability of our students at the heart of everything we do.
When we say ‘employability’ we use a simple and personalised definition – we aim to give each and every one of our students the best possible chance of joining, and sustaining, their chosen career path.
This applies equally to full-time students, and to those in a part-time capacity who are already combining work and study. We start work on employability long before we even enrol our first student.
Every one of our many new courses (and when we do our periodic reviews, every one of our many existing courses) is designed by a team of academic specialists from the University Centre and our Partner Universities working closely alongside experts from within the profession or industry concerned. That way, you can be sure that the course is academically strong, and meets the needs of the people who are going to employ you. So when we began to put together our foundation and honours degrees in Fire and Rescue Management, we formed close and effective working arrangements with Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service. Our high level Public Services provision has the endorsement of the Local Public Sector Board. Sometimes we can achieve these results by working with a professional body like the National Council for the Training of Journalists (NCTJ), or with an industry grouping such as Texnet for our Advanced Flexible Materials courses.
Many of our courses in design technology lead to qualifications endorsed by cutting-edge industry leaders, such as Apple. Lastly, but just as importantly, if the industry has a ‘kitemark’, ‘endorsement’ or similar scheme we will seek to obtain it, to give independent proof that our courses really are providing exactly what that profession needs.
To make sure that we are plugged into the needs of the local business environment we are an active member of an early morning small business group and members of the East Lancashire Chamber of Commerce.
To ensure the day to day focus on employability remains strong we involve employers in the delivery and assessment in all sorts of ways.
On some courses, you will find that key sessions throughout the academic year are delivered by industry experts as an integral part of the course team, enabling you to get updates on the very latest developments as they are occurring.
For other courses, we have set up a series of workplace mentors, who act as your link between work and the University Centre, helping to ensure delivery of the required knowledge and skills. We will organise regular employer events and also bring in guest speakers who have local, national or international reputations, and a passion for sharing their expertise to maximise your employability. Our annual exhibition of the work of our art and design students is backed by a number of leading industry figures, some of whom started out studying here at the University Centre.
As you would expect, our academic focus on employability is backed by an equally strong emphasis on the practical and pastoral aspects of life at the University Centre. Every one of our students has timetabled tutorial sessions, and the content of these covers practical advice in support of fine-tuning your CV, applying for jobs etc; and your Course Tutor will supply job references which are targeted firmly upon the skills which your chosen profession or industry most values.
In order to enhance student’s prospects we have developed excellent relationships with Careers Advisors as well as having our own Careers Office in the College. These sessions, and the diagnostic testing we complete for all new starters might identify the need for extra support to give you an employability edge – and whether that is in maths, written English, or IT, we will provide it. We are as passionate as you are about equality and diversity, and we provide comprehensive and personalised support for all students who need it, and our specialist disability team ensures that you have all the support you need to succeed.