University of Kent
External KE Initiative of the Year Finalist: Employability Points Scheme (EPS ) - Bringing Students and Business Together
The University of Kent’s Employability Points Scheme is a unique way to bring business and students together, with its recent European expansion giving companies valuable international insight to their work. With recognition from the Government’s Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, major companies including Santander, the National Trust and Enterprise Rent-A-Car now benefit from the scheme, which allows businesses to interview students who have demonstrated their value to employers by gaining ‘Points’ through extra-curricular activities. In 2017/18, more than 40% of University of Kent students participated, while its expansion to its European centres in Paris and Brussels gave UKPLC access to highly motivated potential employees who may otherwise not have considered working in the UK. Supported by the University’s business engagement unit, Employability Points was developed in collaboration with business, who value the opportunity to benefit from driven individuals with proven leadership, teamwork and project management skills. Students, meanwhile, gain experience with major employers, with the number of Points they gain through the academic year giving them access to different levels of Rewards including internships.
With significant growth year-on-year, the scheme is attracting interest from across the sector – and internationally – as others seek to replicate its highly successful model. By expanding to include students based in the University’s European centres, it has given employers greater access to the employees of the future in an increasingly global market, along with a further reason to deepen relationships with the University. As the UK’s European University, the scheme is also a major way for Kent to highlight its international outlook and commitment to be a leading civic university.