Personal Tutors can have a key role in supporting and encouraging students to engage with their employability. More than any other student-staff relationship, this is one in which staff have the opportunity to get to know students over a sustained period of time, personalising support to individuals. Of direct relevance to student employability, the Personal Tutor remit (see the Personal Tutoring Policy) is one that encompasses:
‘Encouraging students to engage in Personal Development Planning, especially those co-curricular and extra-curricular activities and to give timely consideration to their future career progression and employability where appropriate.’
Personal Tutors, therefore, need to be using questions, exercises, and tools that encourage students in career reflection. Some programme teams have developed their own resources for doing this. Further guidance and resources on this is available on the Reflection and articulation of employability skills and PDP Personal Tutoring, and PDP webpages and tutors can refer students to Careers & Employability.
Students can be assisted to take action and ownership of their employability by encouraging them to make use of the support and opportunities the university has to offer. Personal Tutors are not expected to be careers advisors but a lot can be achieved by taking an interest and being enthusiastic about a tutee’s aspirations, combined with a knowledge of the wide-ranging opportunities and support the university offers such as Plymouth Connect, UPSU activities, Employability Events, Employability Development activities, and enterprise activities such as Social Enterprise.