Session 12

Employability for professional practice through research 
Maeve O’Loughlin, Senior Lecturer in Occupational Safety & Health, Middlesex University London

This workshop aims to support academics align student learning to professional employability through engagement with employers using student research projects. It will present the process and outcomes from the PIPER initiative run with the Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH).

Click here to view Maeve O'Loughlin's presentation

Session summary:
The PIPER Initiative (Partnership for Innovative Practitioner Engagement in Research) with IOSH was born from the desire to grow the value and impact of research to the wider safety, health and environmental profession while also embedding employability and social responsibility to its core. Since 2014, MSc students are matched to organisations to carry out dissertation research aligned to business objectives in professional fields that they want to develop in. Academically supported, these partnerships not only prepare the students for employment in these professions, they are increasing the contribution of research to a primarily practice dominant profession. 

This session will unpack the principles, processes and outcomes of PIPER to support an effective approach to delivering mutual benefits to student employability and employer objectives.  This aligns to the theme: Employability in the hourglass: preparing students for lifelong employability.
The session will consist of presentation and group engagement to unpack participants existing programmes as their orientation towards employability, the prospects for employer engagement, explicit discussions around barriers and pitfalls, and plans of next steps aligned to good practice principles and processes.