Developing Employability Newsletter | Issue 03                                     

The momentum builds!

Welcome everyone to our third newsletter. In this issue, we report on our progress thus far and share some of the fascinating things that are coming out of our institutions and our data. We also introduce our new community on LinkedIn, where Professor Ruth Bridgstock is our first expert in residence.

Professor Dawn Bennett
Australian National Senior Learning and Teaching Fellow
Curtin University


New resources on EmployABILITY Student Starter Kit

The resources on our EmployABILITY starter kit website continue to grow. In this newsletter, we focus on career stories – biographies that give students a snapshot of work and the non-linear pathways that people take.
Why use career stories? Career visioning—thinking about future life and career—is an essential component of developing employability and life-career goals. Our career stories include questions for students to consider on their own, in discussion with others, or even in written form. In some cases, we have created resource sets that use a career story to tackle a specific issue such as the role of identity in career decision making.

If you have stories to share, either in written form or as videos and audio, please let us know!

Here are four of the new career stories published since our last newsletter.

Whose responsibility is it to develop student employability?

No doubt we would argue that developing employability is everyone's responsibility! To me, employability is metacognition: understanding why we think what we think. Last month, I was lucky enough to give a lecture at the University of the Arts in Helsinki. If you're interested in how we might approach employability and careers without crushing students' dreams, please take a look and add your thoughts and strategies. 

You can access more information here or view the Facebook page here.
Developing Employability: A focus on our work in Melbourne

In August, I travelled to visit project partners and colleagues in Melbourne. Whilst there, I gave a presentation to the Australian Council of Deans of Information and Communications Technology on the future of work and the implications for employability development in ICT. The Deans were very receptive and plan to conduct some multi-disciplinary research using the student self-assessment tool.
I also met with RMIT colleagues including Fellow Iouri Belski. RMIT is a Fellowship partner and plans to introduce the self-assessment tool into first year Engineering with a view to implement it from 2018 alongside their exciting Future Edge initiative.
At the University of Melbourne, partners from the Melbourne Conservatorium of Music met to discuss embedding employability development alongside its focus on entrepreneurship. And at Deakin, I met with a teacher educator who would like to embed the tool and resources to help student teachers become more aware of themselves and their possible future careers.
The final visit in Melbourne was to Monash University, where final-year business students and staff engaged in a three-hour workshop. Although the workshop engaged everyone in some challenging thinking, they also had a lot of fun! Faculty intend to embed the tool and its resources from 2018 and to embark on research that investigates non-text approaches to employability development. The non-text dimension came from the success of that approach with a largely international cohort.


Final-year Monash business majors (right), and Assoc. Prof. Colin Jevons and Dr Sophie Lindsay (left), talk through their visions of “the ideal business graduate” and align these with the six Literacies for Life

New publications

In this newsletter, we showcase three publications that might be of interest to the employability community. The full texts are available to community members via the website’s publication page. 

Bennett, D., Knight, E., Kuchel, L., Divan, A., Horn, J., van Reyk, D., & Burke da Silva, K. (2017). How do research-intensive research universities portray employability strategies?  A review of their websitesAustralian Journal of Career Development26(2), 52–61.
Bennett, D., Reid, A., & Rowley, J. (2017). Student musicians’ experiences of reflexivity during internships: Personal narratives and complex modalitiesInternational Journal of Music Education, 35(3), 460-475.
Pitman, T., Roberts, L., Bennett, D., & Richardson, S. (2017). An Australian study of graduate outcomes for disadvantaged students. Journal of Further and Higher Education.Published Online First July, 2017.

We also share a conference poster from my performance-based research. You can view the conference poster here.
Connect with our new LinkedIn community and Researchgate project
Please join the new community on LinkedIn and use this to promote your employability research and practice. You can also add your research to our project on Researchgate.

Expert in Residence

The role of education in preparing students for the disrupted world of the 21st Century work 

Each month, we feature an expert in residence who hosts a forum on a feature topic. Please be part of the conversation and share your expertise. 

This month, Professor Ruth Bridgstock asks, ‘What does higher education need to do, given the disrupted world of 21st century work?’

Please be part of the conversation and share your expertise. Each forum leads to an expert guide to which everyone in the community is invited to contribute.

Recently we've been inundated with reports and popular media commentary about massive disruptions to the world of work, and the capabilities that learners are going to need in order to be employed and add value in the future.

... read more

Join the conversation!

Professor Ruth Bridgstock

Adelaide, Australia
University of South Australia


Upcoming Events

Research retreat with The Queensland Conservatorium Research Centre
October 2017

Establishing a plan of employability research for 2018 at The Queensland Conservatorium Research Centre

Norwegian Academy of Music Conference, Norway 
1st November - 3rd November

International conference: The Protean Musician: the musician in future society
Keynote address: What does the future look like for the musician in society?

AAEE conference, Sydney
10th December - 13th December

Special session: Is integrated engineering education necessary? Co-convened with Sally Male (UWA)
Fellowship paper. “Metacognition as a graduate attribute: Employability through the lens of self and career literacy”

Residency, Leeds University
18th December - 20th December

Roll out of the student assessment tool and workshops with staff

Residency at Southampton University with Professor Carol Evans
January 2018

Assessment and its role in embedding employability development

State Road Shows (TBC)
March 2018

We are currently arranging a ‘Roadshow’ for the Fellowship to take place in March next year. Dawn will travel to each State and Territory as well as Hong Kong to give workshops to educators and work with students.
The Developing EmployABILITY Initiative is a program of research hosted from Curtin University, Australia. The Initiative’s focus is the development of employability within higher education. The Initiative positions employability as a multi-faceted construct involving metacognitive literacies. These enable informed life and career decisions which align with personal and societal values and goals. You can find out more at our website or by contacting us at
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