Employability case study: The Oldham College

Read The Oldham College’s case study to find out how centres and learners can benefit from the Deloitte Employability Initiative.

Read The Oldham College’s case study to find out how centres and learners can benefit from the Deloitte Employability Initiative.
Read The Oldham College’s case study to find out how centres and learners can benefit from the Deloitte Employability Initiative.
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The Deloitte Employability Initiative continues to play an important role in helping learners to build their confidence and understand the skills, attitudes and behaviours needed to secure and sustain employment.

This case study from The Oldham College explains why they chose to take on the Deloitte Employability programme, and how it has benefited the college and its students.

The Oldham College is a further education college that offers an extensive range of qualifications across a variety of curriculum areas.

It has been a supporter of the Deloitte Employability Initiative since 2007 and has seen the number of students completing the course grow year on year. 

The course is currently delivered to students studying towards qualifications in professional services, such as:

  • Accounting
  • Law
  • Administration
  • Business Studies.

There are currently over 200 students undertaking the programme, a number that's grown every year since the initiative was introduced in 2007.

As a trial in 2012, the Employability Initiative was also opened up to electrical and construction students. However, it was felt that the course content is a better fit for students of professional services and business.

All full-time learners at the college in 2012 worked towards an employability qualification - either the Deloitte Employability Initiative or WorkSkills awards.

This is completed as an additional subject on top of their main course and alongside maths and English Functional Skills.

This mix of qualifications and additional mandatory courses is explained to all students at enrolment and induction.

The importance of employability skills, particularly in the current economic climate, is highlighted to students.  

Developing CV and interview techniques

One of the initiative's key benefits is the increased awareness it brings to students of what's needed to become employed in the job market, from developing a CV through to how to perform in an interview and the behaviours required in the workplace.

Increase in confidence

Students gain confidence through working in teams and giving presentations in class.

Employability skills

Students are offered the chance to take part in mock interviews as well as attend sessions delivered by Deloitte volunteers. Previous case studies have shown that it's these elements that the students and tutors involved in the initiative find particularly beneficial in terms of developing employability.

What students say about the programme:

“For anyone new to the course, I would tell them to ‘go for it’ as it has really helped me when searching for a job” (Deloitte Employability student, 2012).

“Our course leader, she helped me make my CV better and now I have a job” (Deloitte Employability student, 2012).

“The sessions from the Deloitte volunteers give the course sort of an edge compared to others” (Deloitte Employability student, 2012).

Discussions with tutors at the college have highlighted numerous benefits:

  • Trainers have commented on the enjoyable nature of the sessions and their satisfaction in knowing that by delivering this initiative they are directly helping students to gain part-time jobs, apprenticeships and so on.
  • In many cases the most rewarding element is sharing in a successful job application with a student - something that's happened many times over the initiative's history at Oldham.
  • The offer of external training and the chance to become part of a successful employability course that's developed and sponsored by Deloitte, a renowned global professional services brand, is a key benefit.

What course trainers say about the programme:

“The tutors get to be a part of a market-leading employability qualification” (Train the Trainer, 2012).

“Being part of this initiative helps colleges differentiate themselves in terms of being associated with a successful corporate brand” (Deloitte tutor, 2012).

“The key benefit [of the scheme] is the increase in confidence you see, where the students become confident selling themselves to employers and confident to be able to work together in a team” (course tutor, 2012).

Positive feedback

First and foremost, the continued positive feedback the college received from tutors delivering the course over the years has kept it engaged.

Excellent resources

Many tutors have reported that they're particularly impressed with the fact that materials exist as a ready-made package, with all the resources and lesson plans in place and ready to be picked up and delivered ‘off the shelf’.

“The materials try to encompass different learning styles in the lesson plans. Everything is there for you and it is all experiential learning activities. The resources are great for delivery” (Course tutor).

Course content

The content of the lessons and the focus placed on ‘active learning’ has been very well received by course tutors.

The hands-on and practical nature of the sessions also ensures its relevance for a wide range of student participants.

Tutors report that all students are most engaged during activities that encourage them to practically apply what they discuss in lessons, and the Deloitte Initiative provides plenty of opportunities to do this.

Employability skills

The college firmly believes that students need to gain additional skills, in particular around employability, which are delivered on top of their main course. Gaining these skills will help them find future success, and offering the Deloitte Employability Skills programme is a key part of how the college aims to achieve this.