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Monday 14 April 2014

Solent Career Coach allows students to research opportunities

School and college leavers are being given the chance to research employment opportunities and earning potential when mapping out their education on Southampton Solent University’s innovative Career Coach.

The one-of-a-kind coach is fitted out with a cutting-edge information technology suite, skilled advisors and specialist software that maps careers and course information, based on local labour market information.

Since its launch in June 2012, it has clocked up more than 4,800 miles; made 125 separate stops; and given advice to more than 8,900 visitors from the South, South East and London.

There have been 8362 visits to the Career Coach website to use the software; 514 people have used CV building function; and 97% would recommend it to others.

“Our career coach is an excellent way of providing labour market intelligence for prospective students to consider when choosing their career path.  Having a mobile resource for information and advice has been well received by schools, colleges and the wider public,” said the University’s Head of Recruitment, Dr Stephen Lake.

Solent’s pioneering career coach has also been marked out for praise by the Director of the Office for Fair Access (OFFA), the public body promoting and safeguarding fair access to higher education.

Professor Les Ebdon, the Director of the Office for Fair Access was stressing the importance of outreach work by universities in promoting higher education for all, at the HEI Community Engagement conference led by FACE, IALL, AoA and NIACE held in Bristol in January.

He told delegates how impressed he was by the innovative coach, which he’d seen in action during a visit to the University in 2013.

“Professor Ebdon emphasised the fact that it allowed people in areas with little contact with universities to meet academic staff and students, discuss options and use the cutting edge ‘career coach’ software to explore course and career choices,” said Dr Lake.