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Credits to Daniel Mitchell.

Level Up: New Advanced RED Award Announced

A new level to the familiar RED Award scheme, provisionally known as the Advanced RED Award, is now in development.

The careers team at Reading have announced that a new RED Award scheme is now in development. The name, along with other key aspects of the scheme, is not yet set in stone, however it has been decided that the main focus of the Advanced RED Award will be on developing employability skills.

It seems graduates of the RED Award will undergo a ‘strengths activity’ at their RED Award completion session, which will identify one main ‘skill’ that requires development; communication, for example. This skill then becomes the focus of their development program. While this could limit the help that could be received to one aspect, it allows the careers centre to provide students with a ‘bespoke platform for what you’d like to improve’, says Projects Officer Daniel Mitchell.

Aimed at assessment centre and interview success, the Advanced RED Award builds on employability skills addressed in the first stage. RED Award graduate, Sinéad Nolan, is of the opinion that ‘it will be such a useful tool for people doing a placement or even graduate positions, who may never have experienced a job interview or assessment day… for them to be able to improve in a less pressured setting, using free employer feedback and gaining confidence.’

A bespoke list of helpful activities will be created, perhaps in a one-to-one careers meeting setting, which then must be completed before a deadline in order to complete the award. This list will include activities from a new category called ‘employer involvement’. These activities could come in many forms, from ‘insight experience’ or shadowing, to exclusive assessment centres, all of which could result in feedback on the students’ performance.

The time-period students are allowed to complete this scheme has not yet been decided, nor has it been decided exactly what graduates will receive upon completion of this second level. Careers support will be provided during this time-period, perhaps in the form of one-to-one careers meetings, or as small seminar groups with similar students.

Whilst still in the early stages, Mitchell states that ‘The most important thing that I am taking into consideration is allowing students to shape the direction that they would like the new developments to take.’ With the developments now underway, an initial information session and launch should be expected this summer, with the Advanced Red Award ready  to be available to RED Award graduates by Autumn of this year.

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