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University of Derby and Union of Students Case Study - Sustainability and employability

Case Study

June 29, 2023

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Engagement with the University’s Careers and Employability Service

Related Responsible Futures Criteria: POC009, POC010

Overview of initiative/action

In January 2023, as a result of the two new Responsible Futures audit criteria (POC009 and POC010), the Partnership reached out to the University’s Careers and Employability (CES) team to explore the extent to which they promote opportunities related to sustainability.

Impact of initiative

A new section has been created on the CES online portal entitled: ‘I want to work in … sustainability’, which includes a regularly updated list of sustainability-related careers, internships, placements and other related opportunities.

CES organised an employer panel webinar focused on environmental careers during the University’s Go Green Week in February.

The seminar ‘'Taking sustainability values into your career' was delivered by SOS-UK in May. This also included a student-led presentation about Enactus.

A colleague from the CES team has now joined the Partnership’s Steering Group for work related to Responsible Futures.

A discussion has began within the CES team about the extent to which disengagement with harmful industries is plausible and the growing importance of ethical careers to the student body.

Role that RF criteria/programme has played in this initiative

The two RF criteria below were the catalyst for the activities listed:

  • POC009 – The partnership's careers team have committed to promoting careers, internships and placements that incorporate sustainability, and/or supporting and encouraging students to take sustainability values into any future career or career decisions.
  • POC010 - The partnership's careers team have committed to disengaging with harmful industries (e.g. fossil fuel companies and arms companies), for example through job fairs at the institution.

“The addition of two new criteria focused on ethical and sustainability-related careers has prompted very effective engagement between the Partnership and the University’s Careers and Employability Service this year. We look forward to strengthening this working relationship further as we head towards our reaccreditation application in 2024.” - Chris Ribchester, RF Steering Group Co-Chair