About the EP Scheme
The Employability Points scheme rewards students for active engagement in extracurricular activities during their time at the University of Kent, encouraging students to stand out to prospective employers in the process.
In 2014-15, over 5,000 students engaged with the EP Scheme, with more than 550 rewards offered by our external sponsors.
How does it work?
Whilst studying at the University of Kent, students can engage with a range of extra-curricular activities, which in turn, will ensure they stand out to prospective employers in the future. In recognition of this engagement, the EP Scheme allocates points for the completion of different activities. Points are earned throughout the year and towards the end of the second term, qualifying students will have the opportunity to redeem their points for the chance to apply for rewards. All rewards are offered by the external business community and range from paid internships and project placements to unpaid work experience, training sessions, mock assessment centres and vouchers.
As a part of this, there is the annual Employability Points Rewards Evening, attended by sponsoring companies, highest performing students and key stakeholders. During the event, the top scoring students are awarded prizes such as iPads, vouchers and much more.
History of the Employability Points Scheme
The EP Scheme piloted in 2010-11, with over 1,000 students and 30 businesses engaged, leading to 70 students being rewarded. Building on this success, 2011-12, the scheme saw nearly 2,000 students and 86 companies engaged, with 282 rewards offered. By 2012-13, nearly 2,500 students registered for the scheme alongside 110 sponsoring companies.
In 2012, the Employability Points Scheme was recognised by the UK Government’s Department for Business, Innovations and Skills (BIS), using the scheme as a case study for a report based on best practice within business-university collaboration, in response to the Wilson Review 2011.
Also in 2012, the Employability Points Scheme was shortlisted in the prestigious ‘Times Higher Education Awards’ under the category of ‘Outstanding Support to Students’. The competition receives hundreds of entries annually and only six applicants are shortlisted under each category.
In 2013-14, over 3,700 students registered on the scheme with over 400 rewards offered. In 2014-15, the number of registered students exceeded 5,000 and 130 business and organisations offered more than 550 rewards. External sponsorship was received from large corporations such as Enterprise Rent-a-Car, Coca-Cola Enterprises, Penguin Random House and Allianz. Additionally, students have received opportunities from local councils, including Medway Council, Canterbury City Council and Kent County Council, as well as placements with Kent based SMEs and charities, such as Sleeping Giant Media, Nucleus Arts, Simply Ice Cream and Lilford Framers and Gallery.
Why participate in the EP Scheme?
As a student, the Employability Points Scheme acts as a means to bridge the gap between education and employment. It encourages students to engage with extra-curricular activities, allowing students to develop valued ‘soft skills’ and stand out in the competitive graduate job market. Additionally, students who earn sufficient points will have the chance to apply for rewards and gain essential work experience.
As an external business or organisation, sponsorship of the EP Scheme allows for an opportunity to work closely with the University of Kent. Through the scheme, companies gain access to highly skilled students, who can make a valuable contribution to the company, as well as meet potential corporate social responsibility agendas.
For more information, look at our videos below:
The 2014-15 Student Ambassador, Mollie Ferguson, talking to Medwire about the EP Scheme in October 2014.
For more information on Medwire, see here.