Student employment skill development recognised through RED
Release Date 11 July 2011
The University places great importance on the enhancement and promotion of the employability, careers and educational prospects of Reading students. Support resources range from dedicated careers education to student placement opportunities, a multitude of advice sessions and events on all aspects of career planning, employer leads and Careers Fairs on campus. The University has now added a new Award, the Reading Experience and Development (RED) Award, which allows Reading students to gain additional skills to ensure they stand out from the crowd with prospective employers.
The RED Award scheme recognises the skills that our students develop beyond their academic programmes through volunteering, work experience and training and development. The Award was launched in Freshers' Week 2010 to reward students for undertaking extra-curricular activities as well as helping students get the most out of their experiences in terms of their professional and personal development. Since then it has gone from strength to strength; currently almost 600 students have registered to take part and over 100 have already completed their Award, receiving a credit on their degree transcripts.
Students have to undertake a minimum of 50 hours of activities in order to achieve the Award. This includes completing either paid work or work experience and volunteering, as well as attending a variety of training and development sessions that are run through both the University and the Students' Union.
Those that have already taken part have enjoyed the RED Award as an experience. One student commented that the RED Award, "recognises extra effort from students to build a bigger portfolio of skills and interests", whilst another said that it had been useful as, "it helps develop skills for future employment".
Kayira, an MSc student, describes her experience; "It has been a great experience to an international student like me knowing very little about the UK. I have gained great skills. Before the award I attended interviews for a part-time job but didn't get it. Now after completing everything and attending training and skills development I was invited again for interviews and tried to apply all the skills I learnt. I got the job and today I started working."
This is an excellent opportunity to reward students for the things they do in addition to their academic studies, as well as allowing them to recognise the personal attributes and skills that they develop as a result.
The RED Award is open to all University of Reading students whether undergraduate or postgraduate, full-time or part-time, taught or research.
- RED Award website - www.reading.ac.uk/redaward
- University Careers website - www.reading.ac.uk/careers
- Study and life skills programme - www.reading.ac.uk/internal/student/trainingprogramme/stdserv-training.aspx
- University placements schemes, including SEED - summer internships scheme www.reading.ac.uk/careers/placements