Students Staff

The 2017 Employability Conference

The Future of the World of Work Conference was held at the University of Essex on the 25th Sept, 2017. It was attended by more than 120 people including visitors from overseas, business leaders, and representatives from local government, as well as academics and professional services staff from Essex and beyond.  

Planned jointly with our Research Enterprise Office (REO) and Learning and Development team (LDev) this event used research and pedagogic perspectives, as well as employability, to critically explore a diverse range of perspectives on future employment, as part of our third annual employability conference. The Conference showcased good practice at Essex and many other HEIs and included contributions from the Centre for Creative and Social Technologies (Goldsmtihs), Centre for Digital Humanities and Social Sciences (University of Liverpool), Institute for Student Employment (ISE, formerly AGR), the Higher Education Careers Service Unit (HECSU), the Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC), Work and Equalities Institute (University of Manchester) and projects funded by JISC and the ESRC.  

Keynotes explored technological drivers for change, digital students, the historical unreliability of predicating the future and emphasised that economic and social change are political decisions. The workshops explored practitioner perspectives, possible approaches to preparing students for the future as well as questions about professional values, ethics and choices.  

The Conference is part of the University of Essex’s commitment to engaging with regional, national and international partners to grapple with the big issues affecting society, so that we can deliver a transformative education and act as change agents in the wider world. If you would like to know more about how the University of Essex is supporting employability, contact the Head of Employability, Dave Stanbury.

Conference presentations and workshops

  • Presentations and workshops

    Keynote Addresses

    Dr Chris Brauer
    Director of Innovation Goldsmiths - University of London
    Machine Relations: To Infinity and Beyond’

    Helen Beetham
    Education Consultant: Digital Futures, Digital Literacy, E-Learning, Pedagogy, Innovation
    Clever Bots and Crowdworkers: What Will Our Students Do For Work’

    Stephen Isherwood
    Chief Executive – Institute of Student Employers
    ‘Graduate Skills for an Uncertain Future’

    Professor Simeon Yates
    Director, Centre for Digital Humanities and Social Science, University of Liverpool
    ‘Work at the Human-Technology Frontier: Possibilities, Prospects and Problems’

    Professor Jill Rubery
    Director of Work and Equalities Institute – University of Manchester
    ‘Does the Future of Work Mean The End of The Standard Employment Relationship? Reflections on Current Debates and Sustainable Futures’


    Simon Carrington
    Head of Academic Governance and Quality – The Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust
    ‘The Impact of New Technologies in Healthcare – How Can Higher Education Respond?’

    Helen Beetham
    Education Consultant: Digital Futures, Digital Literacy, E-Learning, Pedagogy, Innovation
    ‘Designing Learning Activities for Digital Resilience’

    Tom Hadley
    Director of Policy and Professional Services – Recruitment and Employment Confederation
    ‘The Future of Jobs – Brexit and Beyond’

    Dr Glen Crust
    Visiting Specialist, Faculty of Business – Plymouth University
    ‘Tempt Me Sideways’

    Gareth Bramley
    University Teacher, School of Law – University of Sheffield
    ‘Electronic Marking and Audio Feedback’

    Marty Jacobs
    Senior Education Technologist, Technology-Enhanced Learning Team, Learning and Development - University of Essex
    ‘From Pet to Plant’

    Dr Hazel Messenger
    Guildhall School of Business and Law, London Metropolitan University
    ‘Pedagogies with Purpose: Providing Opportunities for Identity Work and Identity Play in Postgraduate Study’

    Antony Cotterill
    Senior Faculty Employability Manager for Social Sciences – University of Essex
    ‘Technology Trends in Graduate Recruitment and Selection’

    Dr Millie Mockford
    University Teacher, Department of Animal and Plant Sciences – University of Sheffield
    ‘Getting Enterprise Skills into the Curriculum by Stealth’

    Professor Donald Nicolson
    School of Law, University of Essex
    ‘Legal Education in the Brave New World of Legal Work’

    Dr Charlie Ball
    Deputy Director of Research, HECSU
    ‘The Graduate Labour Market – How Does Essex Compare’

    Paul Dowson
    Senior Lecturer, Business and Management, Bath Business School – Bath Spa University
    ‘Modernisers, Designers and Artificial Futures’

    The University of Essex wishes to thank all the keynote speakers and workshop leaders for taking part and for sharing their presentations. If you draw on material from these presentations please credit authors appropriately. Do note that the ideas and views in these presentations are those of the authors and that the University of Essex is not responsible for the content or opinions contained therein.