Skills Awards Networking Event

Skills Award Conversations: Sharing Good Practice.

Building on our successful biennial conference, the AGCAS Skills Awards Task Group is very pleased to be running a practitioner-focused event to enable staff working on Skills Awards (or who are looking to develop an Award within their institution) to continue the conversation around Award schemes, their role and significance within Higher Education, and some of the practicalities of their delivery.

This one-day event will open with two plenary sessions by Simon Thompson, AGCAS Academic Alignment Director and Head of Student and Graduate Employability at Sheffield Hallam University, and Stuart Norton, Academic Lead for Employability, AdvanceHE.

This part of the day will set the scene for later discussion by considering the current position and value of Skills Awards within Higher Education and factors which may affect our future offer including:

  • the new Graduate Outcomes Survey
  • wider context with acknowledgment to the Teaching Excellence Framework
  • potential changes to student funding arrangements
  • and wider conversations about the future of work as we enter the fourth industrial revolution.

The event will then follow a World-Café format to encourage participation and learning through mutual discovery and problem solving. The Task Group will introduce a number of significant themes affecting Skills Award provision, based on our own experiences and feedback we have received. Delegates will have opportunities to contribute in several of these areas by joining facilitated table discussions, where task group members will encourage the sharing of existing good practice and considering unrealised solutions to some of the shared issues we face through idea generation. Themes will include:

  • Scaling Skills Awards and achieving mass engagement increasing participant numbers without diluting quality and value; scaling to achieve institutional or strategic objectives;
  • Use of technology and innovative solutions to aid the effective running, management of and reporting on Skills Awards;
  • Encouraging student uptake for and conversion within Skills Awards, including increasing diversity amongst Award participants;
  • Employer engagement involving employers with the development and delivery of Skills Awards in meaningful ways, successes and challenges in employer engagement;
  • Assessing Skills Awards how and what do we/should we assess; how is quality judged and benchmarked;
  • Measuring and evaluating impact ways to measure impact using existing data (DLHE, Career Registration), gathering new evidence, considering multiple perspectives – participants, alumni, employers, etc.

The day will conclude with a plenary session to feed back on headline ideas and findings from each of the thematic areas. There will also be time for informal networking and conversations with other skills award professionals during the lunch and refreshment breaks throughout the day.

The AGCAS Skills Awards Task Group represents the key central functions and staff in HE Institutes that are responsible for coordinating institutional employability and personal development awards. The group informs the wider AGCAS community through the production of materials and the provision of workshops, webinars and events while externally developing collaborative networks with employers and sector bodies for the benefit of the wider community. This event follows our successful 2018 conference ‘Remaking the Skills Award: Technology, Strategy and Success’.





T: 0114 251 5752