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New resource for science students will improve employability

Science students on placement years can now benefit from a tailored resource that applies their experience to the standards expected of working, professional scientists.

Graduates from university science courses are not faring as well as they should in the jobs market, according to the Wakeham Review published last year. The Science Council, which was identified in the Review as having a role to improve accreditation standards, has developed the Working Towards Registered Scientist (RSci) programme in response to this.

Working Towards RSci is designed for science students on a placement year, or graduates in their first job The handbook helps students, and their employers, connect their work experience to the competences and skills expected of a professional scientist.

For students, recognising their vocational experience through the RSci standards gives them an edge over new graduates and enhances their employability.

For universities and employers, aligning the RSci standards to placements provides structure can ensure a consistent and quality experience for your students.

Last year the Science Council piloted the programme with students from the University of Nottingham and Nottingham Trent University, several of whom are now recognised Registered Scientists as a result of their support in helping them meet professional competences.

“Having something on your CV that stands out from other applicants, in addition to academic qualifications, is always an advantage and something I will continue to update in the future,” says Suzanne Davies RSci, who completed a placement year at PepsiCo and is now employed by the company.

Students and graduates who meet the eligibility criteria pay £15 to receive a printed handbook, along with a confirmation email that says they are officially now ‘Working towards RSci’. They also received monthly emails with advice and ideas for personal and professional development.

Using the handbook to determine they have built up the skills and competences expected of a Registered Scientist, set by the Science Council, they can start the application process for registration using the online system.

Belinda Phipps, Chief Executive of the Science Council, says, “I am looking forward to welcoming the next generation of scientists onto our registers. Professional registration commits individuals to codes of ethical conduct as well as professional practice and will help young scientists in developing their careers.

“Scientists play an important role in people’s lives: developing new technologies and products, quality assuring water, food and many other aspects of everyday life. We want to support these scientists to be the best they can be, for themselves and for others.”

Belinda Phipps, Science Council CEO

If you work at a university and would like to promote this employability programme to your students find out more and get in touch.