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Head of Careers and Student Enterprise

The Head of Careers and Student Enterprise leads the creation and delivery of high profile strategy for employability and transformational experience for student and graduate success and high skilled outcomes.  Leading collaboratively, you will be responsible for the delivery, quality and impact of careers services for students, graduates, colleges, employers and community organisations. You will be proactive in achieving the philosophy of the Centre for Student Life.

You will develop and manage a team of careers professionals.  Delivering strategic and managerial direction and support, you will be actively engaged with professional networks, build productive relationships and be creative in identifying new opportunities and delivering innovative solutions.   The partnerships that you and the team develop with employers and organisations will create opportunities for students to gain new skills and experiences, explore career opportunities, network and build successful careers. The advice and guidance, employability and enterprise programmes, resources and awards you oversee will engage and inspire students and graduates.  Employability will be embedded throughout the student and graduate experience, including through excellent academic liaison. As a member of the leadership team, you will lead service development, manage operational planning and implementation, and ensure delivery of relevant projects. You will provide strategic direction for the Service; aligning and prioritising resources to ensure operational effectiveness, working in partnership with Service leaders for the Library, Employability, and Student & Graduate Experience, and deputising for the Head of CSL as appropriate.


As a senior member of the Centre for Student Life, you will play a significant role in the development of the whole student lifecycle approach to access and student and graduate success across the University and will influence University strategy.

Principal Accountabilities

  1. Provide strategic direction, prioritisation and evaluation of impact of the University approach to employability and enterprise, including continuing to improve the KPI for graduate outcomes, in line with the University Strategic Framework.  To lead the preparation and engagement in the Graduate Outcomes dataset development and plan, with Colleges and senior University members for the achievement of targets for the employability KPIs.
  2. Provide strategic leadership for the development of sector leading practice in employability curriculum and services and employer engagement, and the development of services.  To be a proactive member of the CSL leadership team.
  3. Develop, lead and manage the Student Employment and Enterprise plan and services for students, graduates, employers and other external organisations.
  4. Build relationships with employers, community organisations, and professional service colleagues to deliver the employability ambitions of the University.
  5. Lead collaboratively with the CSL Leadership and Management Team to develop and implement centre-wide approaches to marketing, events, student journey and transitions, learning and skills development.
  6. Share expert knowledge, skills and experience to benefit the University in terms of employability and graduate success.
  7. Take accountability for the financial management of the service, investing agreed budget to make maximum impact on agreed strategic targets and identifying opportunities for innovation.  Seek to extend income generation through commercial use of services such as the Student Employment Agency, and externally funded projects, in order to enhance the quality of our services.
  8. Manage resources to deliver best value, including leading the developing the team, innovating and maximizing impact, managing budgets and projects and making effective use of technology.
  9. Promote equality and diversity for students and staff and sustain an inclusive environment.
  10. Evaluate the impact of services and enhancement of practice to ensure continuous improvement.
  11. Develop and maintain an external profile.  Engage with relevant national and international debates and with professional institutes and practitioner societies.


Person specification

Essential Criteria


  • Honours degree.


  • Significant experience working in a relevant field such as careers, graduate/corporate recruitment or talent development.
  • An understanding of the changing dynamics of the graduate labour market, recruitment practices of employers and implications of relevant legislation.
  • Proven delivery of operational targets derived from wider strategy.
  • Experience in designing solutions, which meet market/client needs.
  • A good understanding of, and ability to work with, relevant online resources and social media.
  • Significant experience of effective liaison and networking, and the building of successful working relationships within and between organisations.
  • Excellent knowledge of the current national and international job market.
  • Demonstrable experience of managing and motivating teams to achieve impact targets.

Skills, knowledge & abilities

  • Ability to promote employer and community engagement at a strategic level.
  • Ability to represent the University and the Service externally to employers and community organisations; to build productive, quality relationships.
  • Ability to assimilate changes in the sector which impact on the service and respond appropriately.
  • Excellent communication (written and verbal), including strong negotiation and influencing skills.
  • Excellent management and co-ordination skills.
  • Ability to determine new partners based on sector knowledge.
  • Commitment to outstanding customer service and continuous quality improvement.
  • Ability to set appropriate service targets and monitor implementation of development plans to achieve desired impact.
  • Strong business skills and commercial acumen and ability to manage budgets.

Desirable Criteria


  • Relevant postgraduate qualification.
  • Membership of relevant professional bodies.


  • Experience of effectively managing budgets and determining and monitoring appropriate financial arrangements between partner institutions.

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