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Employability

Working Group

Chair: Sergi Martínez-Rigol

Sergi Martínez Rigol is since 2015 the Director of International and Students Service Area at the University of Barcelona, a position where he is responsible for coordinating and leading the strategic issue of employability.  Previously, he has been the Rector’s Delegate for International Projects and Summer Activities (2009-2011). He received a PhD in Geography in 2000, and since then he teaches as an adjunct lecturer at the Department of Geography.

 

Vice-Chair: Diana Chihaia

Diana Chihaia is coordinating the Department for Student Services and Alumni Affairs (DSSA) in Alexandru Ioan Cuza University of Iasi (UAIC), Romania. Beside coordinating the activity of this department, she is involved in the development of the University’s collaboration with the business environment, in research studies on graduates’ professional path, and in the development of projects and activities for UAIC’s students, graduates and potential students. She is also specialised in collaborative learning in virtual environment and curriculum development for supporting initial and in-service training for students and teachers on using ICT in education.

Focus of Working Group

The labour market is in constant change, new professions arise and new forms of work evolve. Universities must increasingly respond to this change by monitoring their training programmes, to meet the challenges in the society of today. Enhancing students’ employability should be one of the core issues of any higher education institution’s curriculum. In this context, the collaboration and exchange of experiences within the framework of the Coimbra Group must allow:

  • To increase recognition and visibility of employability and Career Services inside member universities, and to support the Executive Board in possible contributions from the Coimbra Group to European policy-making regarding employability and career guidance.
  • To set up projects to improve the organization and efficiency of Career Services and the way in which the services are delivered.
  • To initiate actions to improve the way in which our students face the challenge of global labour market insertion of the 21st century.

 

Recent highlights

  • “Career Services in times of Covid-19: Challenges, Responses and Best Practices“. Edition of a report on the adaptations that Career Services have had to implement in order to keep being the connector between employers, students and academia during these difficult times generated by the Covid-19. The report has the aims, firstly to provide a series of recommendations and to disseminate good practices. Secondly to give visibility to the Career Services and the Employability WG. And lastly to offer some inputs to policy makers (in a context marked by the economic crisis and the impact of the pandemic on the labour market, as employability in universities gets even more strategic). The report is available here.
  • Joint Workshop: Employability in the Curriculum The event, initially scheduled by the end of Mach 2020 and postponed due to Covid-19, has been finally scheduled for 15th April 2021. Co-organized by the Education and Innovation WG and the Employability WG, it aimed to bring together colleagues from universities across the Coimbra Group to explore the topic of ‘Employability in the Curriculum’ – a particularly pertinent topic in the current climate where young people’s employment prospects have been impacted by the effects of the pandemic. Presentations delivered explored approaches to including and recognising employability in formal modules and in co-curricular activities. More information is available here.

 

Ongoing/forthcoming activities

  • Future Scenarios We are aiming to find common ground among members to highlight the importance of Career Services field and particularly employability in the challenging times that we are facing. Our idea is to develop visions by combining our knowledge and experience from the viewpoints of career professionals, employers and students. We will be sharing our expertise on future challenges in the Career Services’ field and brainstorm some possible scenarios.
  • Alumni Mentoring Program. After the pilot programme of this activity (winter 2019-2020), a new edition will take place in spring 2021. We chose international-minded alumni from several CG universities to have a series of mentoring webinars to a small group of students interested of and in the future probably capable of working in the same field. After the webinar “Mentoring as a connection between university and alumni” organized in March 2021 in order to share knowledge about how to organize a mentoring program, webinars with mentors and mentees will take place from April 2021.
  • Coimbra Employability Staff Training Week. The organization of an annual Staff Training Week for Career Services staff of member universities aims to allow staff of Career Services to acquire knowledge or specific know-how from experiences and good practices abroad as well as practical skills relevant to their current job and their professional development. After the first two experiences, Pavia 2016 and Krakow 2018, the third was to take place in Groningen spring 2020. Due to current world situation the event has been postponed to 2022. Organized in collaboration with the Doctoral Studies WG, it will deal with employability issues of PhD students.

 

Contact person at the CG Office: Catarina Moleiro (moleiro@coimbra-group.eu)