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Friday 31 January 2014

Solent careers coach receives recognition

Southampton Solent University’s pioneering career coach – which enables young people to plan their futures – was 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), during a national conference last week.

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 on Thursday 23 January.

He had been impressed by the innovative coach with its state-of-the-art software which helps people map out their career path during a visit to the University in 2013.

Since its launch in 2012, Southampton Solent University’s career coach has clocked up more than 3,600 miles; made 110 separate stops; and given advice to more than 7,400 visitors from the South, South East and London.

“The SSU career coach was praised for providing a mobile resource for information, advice and guidance covering a wide part of the South East of England,” said the University’s Head of Recruitment, Dr Stephen Lake, who attended the conference.

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

“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 options,” he added.