Employability Development Directors (EDD)
EDDs have a crucial role to play in helping students become more employable.
This page outlines the key aspects of the role, gives helpful resources and
lists in one place all the main documents you will need.
Key aims of the role
The Employability Development Director (EDD) is a senior position on a par
with other departmental director roles. It has three overarching aims:
- To provide strategic development within the department (this
indicates the need for a developmental approach and a
- To ensure that practice in the department supports the
University Employability Sub-Strategy and the work of the
Employability and Careers Centre (E&CC);
- To support the HoD in taking forward employability within
The EDD provides academic leadership for employability by using your
understanding of the discipline and department to inform developments and
implement initiatives working in partnership with the professional employability
experts from the E&CC. This leadership implies acting as an advocate for
employability with colleagues, and conveying to students the department’s
You can read the sort of activities that typically form part of the role in
the University role descriptor in the table below.
Working with your Faculty Employability Team
As EDD you will work closely with a range of E&CC staff from your Faculty
Employability Team (FET) on Career Development Learning and Work Based / Work
Related Learning, shaping these activities and, depending upon the local
arrangements, also being involved to a varying extent in design and delivery.
For this relationship to work really well as envisaged by the University, it
needs to be based upon a joint partnership.
Your Senior Faculty Employability Manager (SFEM) leads and manages the E&CC
team for your Faculty. They will be the main contact point for you.
As part of the Annual Planning cycle your SFEM (working with other people in
their team) will meet with you and your HoD to review progress over the past
year and plan for the future. These plans will be captured in a set of documents
– the Departmental Employability Action Plan - written by the SFEM containing
what your department and the E&CC have agreed.
Community of practice
As an EDD you are not alone; there is a whole E&CC team supporting you. There
are also many other EDDs across the University. Each year we run three
networking sessions so you can meet and share ideas, concerns and learn from
each other. In addition we hold an annual Employability Conference which is a
great opportunity to find out about the latest developments in employability
nationally and engage in depth with the issues and debates. It is recommended
you make as many of these events as possible.
Your department will also have a Study Abroad Officer (SAO). This is an
academic administrative role similar to being an EDD. SAOs act as the main link
between your department and Essex Abroad which is the team within the E&CC that
leads on student international mobility. The SAO is crucial in supporting
students studying for a degree at Essex in in making good Year Aboard choices.
As an E&CC we are committed to a partnership approach which we have set out
in our Vision Statement.
"Across and beyond the University we will take a partnership approach,
fostering a sense that employability is a responsibility shared with a wide
range of stakeholders, and though we exercise leadership as the Professional
Services leads, it is not our sole preserve. We will be known for a
collaborative and open style, a readiness to experiment and take risks and,
without comprising effectiveness, find pragmatic, differentiated solutions which
both challenge and gel with the local culture."
To help you in your role we have collated the key documents you need in the
table below. Your SFEM will be happy to talk though any aspect of your role and
how we work with departments.
The EDD role
EDD Role Descriptor
Official University description of role expectations and responsibilities.
Kindness of Strangers: How careers educators and the wider academic
community can help each other
An opinion piece in the Journal of
Education + Training designed to provoke debate on the potential for staff from
a range of backgrounds to find a shared interest in making a valuable
contribution to employability.
EDDs 2015-16 Briefing Sheet (.pdf)
Headline information on key development and news for 2015-16.
What We Offer (.pdf)
Quick overview for students of the main services in the E&CC.
Short document setting out what the E&CC aims to achieve, why and how
we will go about this.
CDL & Employability Pedagogy
Career Development Learning Guide (.pdf)
Good practice Guide which describes what should be covered by CDL.
Careers and the Curriculum (.pdf)
Paper to Senate.
The Career EDGE model
Paper which conceptualises the key components
Dacre Pool, L. & Sewell, P. (2007). ‘The key to employability: developing a
practical model of graduate employability’. Education + Training, 49 (4),
Career Studies Handbook
The introduction explains the transdisciplinary nature of Career Studies and
aids articulation between this and the home discipline.
Pedagogy for Employability
Explores how employability can be taught effectively and how the subject
curriculum can act as vehicle of employability.