Students Staff

Employability Development Directors (EDD)

EDDs have a crucial role to play in helping students become more employable. This page outlines the key aspects of the role, gives helpful resources and lists in one place all the main documents you will need.

Key aims of the role

The Employability Development Director (EDD) is a senior position on a par with other departmental director roles. It has three overarching aims:

  1. To provide strategic development within the department (this indicates the need for a developmental approach and a big-picture view);
  2. To ensure that practice in the department supports the University Employability Sub-Strategy and the work of the Employability and Careers Centre (E&CC);
  3. To support the HoD in taking forward employability within the department.

The EDD provides academic leadership for employability by using your understanding of the discipline and department to inform developments and implement initiatives working in partnership with the professional employability experts from the E&CC. This leadership implies acting as an advocate for employability with colleagues, and conveying to students the department’s support.

You can read the sort of activities that typically form part of the role in the University role descriptor in the table below.

Working with your Faculty Employability Team

As EDD you will work closely with a range of E&CC staff from your Faculty Employability Team (FET) on Career Development Learning and Work Based / Work Related Learning, shaping these activities and, depending upon the local arrangements, also being involved to a varying extent in design and delivery. For this relationship to work really well as envisaged by the University, it needs to be based upon a joint partnership.  

Your Senior Faculty Employability Manager (SFEM) leads and manages the E&CC team for your Faculty. They will be the main contact point for you.  

As part of the Annual Planning cycle your SFEM (working with other people in their team) will meet with you and your HoD to review progress over the past year and plan for the future. These plans will be captured in a set of documents – the Departmental Employability Action Plan - written by the SFEM containing what your department and the E&CC have agreed. 

Community of practice

As an EDD you are not alone; there is a whole E&CC team supporting you. There are also many other EDDs across the University. Each year we run three networking sessions so you can meet and share ideas, concerns and learn from each other. In addition we hold an annual Employability Conference which is a great opportunity to find out about the latest developments in employability nationally and engage in depth with the issues and debates. It is recommended you make as many of these events as possible.  

Your department will also have a Study Abroad Officer (SAO). This is an academic administrative role similar to being an EDD. SAOs act as the main link between your department and Essex Abroad which is the team within the E&CC that leads on student international mobility. The SAO is crucial in supporting students studying for a degree at Essex in in making good Year Aboard choices.

Partnership approach

As an E&CC we are committed to a partnership approach which we have set out in our Vision Statement.

"Across and beyond the University we will take a partnership approach, fostering a sense that employability is a responsibility shared with a wide range of stakeholders, and though we exercise leadership as the Professional Services leads, it is not our sole preserve. We will be known for a collaborative and open style, a readiness to experiment and take risks and, without comprising effectiveness, find pragmatic, differentiated solutions which both challenge and gel with the local culture."

Recommended reading

To help you in your role we have collated the key documents you need in the table below. Your SFEM will be happy to talk though any aspect of your role and how we work with departments.

    The EDD role

    EDD Role Descriptor (.pdf)
    Official University description of role expectations and responsibilities.

    The Kindness of Strangers: How careers educators and the wider academic community can help each other
    An opinion piece in the Journal of Education + Training designed to provoke debate on the potential for staff from a range of backgrounds to find a shared interest in making a valuable contribution to employability.

    The E&CC

    E&CC Vision (.pdf)
    Short document setting out what the E&CC aims to achieve, why and how we will go about this.

      WBL & Employers

      WBL Definition & Principles (.pdf)
      Handy summary of WBL definition & principles approved by Education Committee.

      Employer Advisory Boards Policy (.pdf)
      Policy approved by the Faculty Education Committees.

      Employer Advisory Boards ToR (.pdf)
      This provides a suggested Terms of Reference for Employer Advisory Boards.

      Employer Advisory Boards – Checklist (.pdf)
      A checklist of issues to consider when setting up an Advisory Board.

      WBL/WRL Toolkit and Knowledge Bank
      Moodle site with examples and case studies of WBL/WRL and diagnostic and reflective activities to assist departments in Curriculum Review, and a wide range of information on WBL including Essex policies and procedures, academic articles on Moodle X.

      General placement year module approved by AQSC for easy adoption by any department across the University, supported by fully developed Moodle course.

      Study Abroad

      SAO Handbook (.pdf)
      Guide for SAO (it is not expected that EDDs will read this, but you may want to be aware of it). 

      CDL & Employability Pedagogy

      Career Development Learning Guide (.pdf)
      Guide which describes what should be covered by CDL.

      Career Development Learning Guide Summary (.pdf)
      Good practice summary for CDL.

      The Career EDGE model
      Paper which conceptualises the key components of ‘employability’.
      Dacre Pool, L. & Sewell, P. (2007). ‘The key to employability: developing a practical model of graduate employability’. Education + Training, 49 (4), 277-289.

      PG Employability

      PGT Toolkit Report
      Moodle site with 17 ideas for how to enhance PGT employability with 34 case studies and supporting material, plus diagnostic and reflective activities to assist departments in Curriculum Review.

      PGR Toolkit Report
      Moodle site with a number of practical themes which have been developed into seven workable ‘Tools’ to enhance PGR employability.