NINE university graduates have become the first in the country to complete the internationally-recognised ECDL qualification in a new ‘express’ format, as part of the Graduate Head Start programme.
The course can take six months to complete when studied part-time, but the compressed version, delivered at the University of Chester, saw the graduates complete a week-long crash-course of training and testing covering each of the seven European Computer Driving Licence (ECDL) modules.
The five-day course was being trialled at the university for the first time, as part of the Graduate Head Start (GHS) initiative, and is now set to become a more permanent option due to the overwhelming success of the graduates who completed it.
Colin Sinclair, learning and developer officer at the university, said: “The Graduate Head Start programme team realised that the ECDL qualification, widely recognised as an entry level ICT qualification, would enhance the course profile and the prospects of those students who completed it.
“The IT Training and Development team worked closely with the Graduate Head Start programme team to make it possible to deliver a full ECDL training course within the tight time-frame available.
“All of the students who opted to take part in the ECDL element of the course achieved the full ECDL certification and having proved so successful it has been integrated into future Graduate Head Start programmes.”
The Graduate Head Start programme offers recent graduates that are either unemployed or underemployed the opportunity to gain professional skills and experience to boost their chances of finding employment within their chosen career. It is also designed for those seeking professional development within their current profession.
Totally free of charge to the graduates, the flexible programme consists of six carefully considered elements, each specifically designed to target key areas of a career professional’s CV.
These include Careers Coaching, a three-day taught Business Skills and Professional Development module, and an optional five-week work placement with a local employer to undertake a developmental project.
Sally Harding, project co-ordinator for Graduate Head Start, said: “The GHS programme has been hugely successful and offers graduates an opportunity to bridge the gap between life as a university student and professional employment.
“It’s entirely flexible so it fits in with the personal circumstances of each of the graduates who wish to enrol. Although we recommend completing all six elements, graduates may pick and chose what is best for them if they don’t have the time to complete the full programme.”
The Graduate Head Start programme is open to all recent graduates from any university and from any discipline.
For further information, call 01244 513066, email firstname.lastname@example.org or log on to www.chester.ac.uk /postgraduate/pdskills.