The majority of students attend Higher Education Institutions to enhance their employment opportunities (Edge/SCRE Centre 2011). Whilst most students graduate with increased academic and technical knowledge, research indicates a range of employability skills and attributes lacking in these graduates (UK Commission for Employment and Skills, 2016).  The CBI reported that 89% of employers value the right attitude and aptitude over factors such as degree subject (CBI Education and skills survey 2015).  The British Council states that ‘employers are under strong pressure to find employees who are not only technically proficient, but also culturally astute and able to thrive in a global work environment’ (British Council. Culture at Work, 2014).  The European Commission (Erasmus Impact Study, 2014) concluded that 64% of employers consider an international experience important for recruitment and on average 92% are looking for transversal skills (skills learned in one context transferred to another).

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It is difficult to develop such skills or competencies in traditional University learning environments such as lectures or tutorials.  Interdisciplinary activities more closely resemble the type of working environment most students will experience after graduating.  Approaches including industry-informed team work, role play, problem solving and workshops provide a range of opportunities for learning and development of career, employability and life skills.  When these are undertaken in a multicultural setting, they are enhanced even further and help prepare participants for Global employment.  The growing Renewable Energy Sector, (predicted extra 70,000 employees required in UK over the next 10 years – Renewable UK, 2013) combined with its wide variety of types and locations of jobs, makes it well suited to participating in this project. The Primary target therefore is University students followed by their teaching staff and the renewables energy sector in Scotland, Finland and the Netherlands

 

International competencies

The PEETS project will focus on the promotion of the career development and employability of our students, including the enhancement of key international competencies.  The term ‘international competencies’ includes:

  • General personal, social competencies
  • Intercultural competencies
  • International academic competencies
  • International professional competencies