The Employability module is focused on developing each individual student’s skill set to enable them to progress onto third level and gain an insight in the world of work that they would aspire to. The module is broken down into six workshops which can be delivered on their own or consecutively over a number of months.
Self-Assessment and initial preparation for work experience are the main aspects of this workshop. Students will introduce themselves, their aims and aspirations for the coming year using a Elevator Pitch as a preparation for their first video recording which they will complete during this workshop. They will be introduced to initial career exploration, before completing a Work Experience Application Form. The workshop will close with some initial preparation for work experience interviews which should be conducted in-house in each school in advance of students heading out on placements.
Building on the Practice Interview Experience, this workshop will facilitate student reflection on interview practice learning, encourage initial career exploration and research, using the national occupational data base and introduce the 3 H Triangle showing how thought informs feeling and subsequently behaviour. Students will reflect on attitude and behaviour most effective in the work place.
The first part of this workshop encourages students to adopt the role of Career Detective and specifically research an occupation of particular interest to them using computer based resources and video material. It aims to expand their career related horizon and inform on pathways to success in their chosen field. The emphasis changes to the development of Self-Confidence in the second part of the workshop with each student analysing their own self confidence rating and developing strategies to improve. CATCH acronym is introduced and students facilitated to discuss implications.
Transition Year Work Placement is a big part of TY and this workshop emphasizes best practice in preparation for the experience. Students are encouraged to explore their thoughts and feelings about their impending work placement, consider what the employer expects of them and how they plan to get the most out of the experience. SMILE acronym helps this process. The concept of gathering career information as a Career Scene Investigator, through informational interviews while on work placement is introduced and students through structured questions and role play develop the confidence to engage in this activity in the workplace.
The focus of this workshop is to assist UniTY students debrief and describe their actual work experience and begin a process to critically analyse their immediate learning. This session takes place about 3-4 weeks following the work experience. Students are given time and opportunity to review and reflect on their work experience from a number of different perspectives. The structured approach, through guided activity sheets will aid this process as will group work and plenary class discussion.
The final workshop in the Employability Series acts a connecting bridge between now and the future, between Transition Year and Senior Cycle and beyond. Using the words, FOCUS and CHOICES, as acronyms, students engage in a variety of activities designed to assess their current goals and aspirations and begin the process of action planning towards a bright future. Finally, they will complete an evaluation of the complete programme and provide suggestions for improvement.