New Year Message from Trevor Johnston, Head of Careers, Employability & Skills
I’d like to wish all our staff and students a very happy and healthy New Year.
I’m proud of how well staff in the Careers Service have flexed to support our students and graduates with all aspects of career planning and decision making over the last year, embracing digital platforms when restrictions prevented us from offering in-person career support.
I’m pleased to say we have discovered some unexpected benefits that we hope will have a lasting effect. Virtual internships have opened up a new world of career development opportunities for our students, while many of our employers have found virtual careers fair to be a much more efficient, effective and affordable means of recruitment than an in-person equivalent. Having sought feedback from students and our employer partners, we hope to keep the best of what we’ve put in place successfully over the last two years, such as virtual fairs and online consultations in 2022 and beyond.
Our team has been working hard and planning for different scenarios, in order to be able to continue to offer our 24,000 students the best possible access to award-winning Careers support in 2022. Our overriding aim will be to deliver the high-quality careers support our students deserve, in a safe environment.
We have optimistic plans in place for in-person events and a gradual return to normal in 2022. However, it has never been more difficult to predict whether we will be able to host physical events, so we are also planning for a flexible approach that will enable us to respond quickly to any changes in Government guidelines.
As such, we have adopted a hybrid solution for our Spring Careers Festival featuring our Spring Recruitment Fair in 2022 which we hope will bridge the gap between digital and physical. In-person events can be streamed to a wider digital audience asynchronously, while on-campus student-employer conversations can be continued online with one click.
I am extremely proud of what we have achieved together. There are, of course, many elements of this past year that we will want to leave behind, but it has also sharpened our focus on how we deliver our service.
As we prepare to launch a new semester, we are encouraged by the enormous scope of possibilities and we are focussed on offering a more flexible and accessible Careers Service in the future.
Happy New Year from all the staff in Careers, Employability and Skills!