Extra careers support for students from lower socioeconomic backgrounds

 

Image by 政徳 吉田 from Pixabay

At the Careers Service we know students from lower socioeconomic backgrounds can face additional challenges to career thinking. This may include exploring career ideas when you don’t know what’s out there, or getting quality work experience with less developed networks.

To help level the playing field, we’ve compiled the best support and opportunities into one handy document over on mycareer.

We also send out live opportunities in our weekly Flying Start bulletin. Sign up to Flying Start now!

Here’s a taster of the support available… (more…)

It’s International Womens Day!

Find out Today, the 8 March is International Women’s Day (IWD). The global annual celebration celebrates the social, economic and political achievements of women and simultaneously raises awareness on gender equality.

This week, there are lots of incentives and events taking place nationally and internationally which celebrate women overcoming challenges and creating an impact- however big or small- on today’s society. Although many are taking place today or over the next week, these events should act as a springboard for change over the next 12 months. This years theme is #Choosetochallenge . Here are some ways you can challenge yourselves this International Women’s Day.

Image by Gordon Johnson from Pixabay

Challenge diversity within business

(more…)

Give yourself a Flying Start this spring

This Spring your Careers Service is offering an extra suite of support for widening participation students, which includes:

  • BAME students
  • Disabled students
  • Mature students
  • Students who attended an aspiring school
  • Students who grew up in a low income household.

We know widening participation students face additional barriers to career thinking. This may include exploring career ideas when you don’t know what’s out there, getting quality work experience with less developed networks, and facing discrimination in recruitment practices. That’s why we’ve put together a dedicated programme of support this Spring to get you career ready:

(more…)

Where can BAME students find specialised careers development opportunities?

 

We know that Black, Asian, and Minority Ethnic (BAME) students face specific and real barriers to career development. In light of the worldwide and local Black Lives Matter movement, we want to affirm our ongoing commitment to supporting our BAME students.   (more…)

Do you have questions about disability and employability?

person thinking
Photo by Ümit Bulut on Unsplash

Many disabled students and graduates ask the Careers Service for help making the transition from study to work. We support students with a variety of physical, mental health, and neurodiverse conditions such as dyslexia, autism and ADHD when thinking about their career. In this blog post we’ll go over some of the common questions we get asked around the recruitment process, what we can do to help, and where you can get extra support.

 

(more…)

Levelling the playing field: My experience of chairing the Social Mobility Panel

The 93% Club aim to improve the experience of state school students studying at the University of Bristol. As part of our Equality and Diversity Careers Week back in January, they kindly volunteered to chair our Social Mobility Panel. 

Alice (the groups president) shared her experience of chairing the panel with us:  

Chairing the Social Mobility Panel at the Equality and Diversity Careers Week was a fantastic experience that left me feeling inspired and hopeful about the future of social mobility amongst UK employers. 

The representatives from Nationwide and the Civil Service Fast Stream were both keen to share what their organisations were doing to break down barriers and create a more inclusive workplace, both through their applications processes and the training they provide for their staff. It was also great to hear from UpReach and Aspiring Solicitors about their programmes to level the graduate playing field and open doors into careers that may not previously have been open to students from lower socio-economic backgrounds. 

via GIPHY

(more…)

Equality and Diversity Careers Week is coming!

Equality and Diversity Careers Week 27-31 January

Employers are waking up to the importance of equality and diversity in their graduate recruitment.  According to the Institute of Student Employers, 76% of employers now consider social mobility to be a priority.  

But what does equality and diversity in careers really mean? And how do these values affect you? 

For the week of 27-31 January, the Careers Service and Bristol Students’ Union are putting on fifteen events to explore and celebrate diversity as a workplace strength. 

(more…)

Disclosing disability, the decision is yours!

Telling a future employer that you have a disability can be one of the hardest parts of applying for a job and preparing for an interview. In a recent study conducted by greatwithdisability.com, 76% of studentssaid they were concerned about informing a potential employer about their disability or health condition. You might be reluctant to disclose a disability or illness because you’re worried about being discriminated against or being seen as a hassle to employers. You’re under no legal obligation to disclose a disability.However, there can be benefits to being open about your situation, for example:

  • You can draw upon your disability to demonstrate certain competencies. Think about the positive qualities you have developed as a result of having a disability. Managing your disability could have given you strengths that are unique to you and may be the most effective way of demonstrating what is being assessed. Remember not to use your disability in every example, make sure you draw upon a wide variety of situations to show a range of experience.
  • Receiving reasonable adjustments in the recruitment process. One reason for telling an employer that you have a disability is to discuss any adjustments you might need to enable you to perform to your full potential during the interview. Do make sure you only share relevant information; you don’t need to go into all the details of your disability.
  • You can be yourself. Being open from the beginning will allow you to talk about who you really are and the strengths you’ve developed as a result of your disability. Trying to conceal it could take a lot of effort that would be better spent highlighting your talents and abilities.
  • You gain control. If you decide to be open about your disability when you are ready to do so, you will have more control over the way it is seen. This can increase your confidence to use it as an opportunity to describe your disability positively and show how it hasn’t held you back.

Finally, it might be reassuring to know that employers are required to make ‘reasonable adjustments’ in the workplace, including adjusting working hours or providing equipment, to enable an employee with disabilities to do the job. See the disability rights section on the GOV.UK website for more information, including the access to work scheme. You may also want to look out for employers who indicate they have a positive attitude to disability. This may be evident from their recruitment information and their website. Employers may use the positive about disabled people ‘two ticks’ symbol, which guarantees an interview to all candidates with disabilities who fulfil the minimum requirements for the job.

Overall remember:

  1. Be positive: focus on your unique selling points and how you match what the employer is looking for.
  2. Address concerns: consider the employer’s point of view, and inform and reassure them.
  3. Keep it relevant: disclose what you need to and are comfortable with, but remember you don’t need to go into all the details.

For more information, there is a helpful section on disclosing your disability on the equality and diversity TARGETjobs website and greatwithdisability.com is a useful resource containing tips and case studies.

And don’t forget, if you need help or support with disclosure of any kind you can come and talk to us at the Careers Service as well, just drop in and see us.

Claire Wrixon
Career Adviser

What is Corporate Social Responsibility?

CSR

Corporate Social Responsibility, or CSR as it is more commonly known, describes the way a company accounts for the impact of its business activities. This includes:

  • Impacts on the environment – use of resources, impacts on climate change
  • Impacts on social needs – poverty, equality, health, promoting strong communities with the resilience to cope with change, support for youth, education, older people
  • Impacts on cultural heritage – the importance of diversity and the protection of the things we value as our heritage.

The CSR definition used by Business for Social Responsibility (http://www.bsr.org/en/) is: ‘operating a business in a manner that meets or exceeds the ethical, legal, commercial and public expectations that society has of business.’

CSR is a top priority for many organisations today and employers increasingly want evidence that potential employees have clear ethics and a good understanding of the role CSR plays within businesses.

“Having strong CSR platforms enables companies to conduct their business in a way that is ethical, whilst taking account of their social, economic and environmental impact. It is important that as potential employees of a company you fully understand the role CSR plays within the business, it’s main purpose in fulfilling their goals and mission and how it is now seen as an important way to increase competitive advantage, protect and raise brand awareness and build trust with customers and employees”.

Martyn Flynn, Talent Acquisition Manager, Enterprise Rent-A-Car

Every organisation interacts with employees, customers, suppliers and stakeholders. CSR is about managing these relationships to produce an overall positive impact on society, whilst making money.

Companies approach CSR in different ways and it’s likely that organisations will have several CSR activities. Many companies start with small projects such as giving money to charity or creating recycling policies because these activities are quick and easy to decide on and implement. The Green Impact scheme developed at Bristol is a good example of this: http://www.bristol.ac.uk/environment/green_impact.  Ideally, organisations will move towards CSR strategies that focus on truly adding value for the business and society.

Below are a few examples of what real businesses are doing to address CSR:

Having knowledge of CSR is now part of the Bristol PLuS Outstanding Award requirments. Find out more on the Bristol PLuS Award webpages: http://www.bris.ac.uk/careers/plusaward/Index.asp

Jenny Smith, Bristol PLuS Award Coordinator