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Co-Creation Approach to Critically Engaging with Employability

About the Project

This project aimed to start a cross institutional dialogue about employability through a co-creation Warwick Employability Challenge. Warwick Innovation Fellows delivered a series of design thinking workshops during Warwick Enterprise Summer Innovation Programme 2021, inviting teams from across the University to challenge themselves and existing representations of employability.

The Warwick Employability Challenge had 12 teams participating over 2 weeks, and 70+ students and staff from all areas of the University coming together to re-imagine employability. We are delighted to announce the three winners and team commendations!



  • 1st place - Chemistry (£400)

  • 2nd place - WMS & Law (£200)

  • 3rd place - Education Studies (£100)

  • Development & Alumni - Most aspirational
  • Economics - Most stylish and visual
  • Psychology - Most academically rigorous
  • School of Life Sciences - Strongest student voice
  • WBS - Best storytelling
  • Wild Card 1 - Most neatly captured
  • Wild Card 2 - Best use of DT techniques
  • Wild Card 3 - The most agile and reflective team
  • WMG - Most refreshing

You are welcome to view all team submissions on this Challenge Submission pageLink opens in a new window

What you need to know

Project Background

Please visit this Project Background pageLink opens in a new window to find out more about the project and what the key dates were.

Judging Criteria

There were 4 criteria that informed the final panel decision: Desirable, Feasible, Innovative, Ethical. Find out more hereLink opens in a new window.

Frequently Asked Questions

Please visit this page for FAQsLink opens in a new window or get in touch with the Project Leads for further information, or if you have any questions. We also welcome any feedback.

Project Impact

  • The competition yielded 12 high quality outputs in the form of 2-minute videos or a virtual poster which can be found via our website here.
  • The interdisciplinary mingling of students with different members of professional and academic staff has spawned a cross-pollination of exciting new ideas. The purpose of this project was to start the dialogue on this important topic; feedback indicates that our aim of starting an institutional dialogue has been realised which is the beginning of cultural change.
  • These outputs provided innovative insights into the challenges of embedding employability in the curriculum, creatively engaging alumni, regional engagement and talent retention post-graduation, early employability education, expanding the offering to support international student ambitions better, to name a few.
  • We shared the project outputs with the wider University community during the Warwick-wide Showcase which took place on 14th July. We also plan to share an evaluative report to our senior management team to inform our future direction when it comes to employability




The workshops gathered strong positive feedback and all participants had a positive overall experience. The word cloud generated after the first workshop revealed the following feelings that participants experienced after attending:

Many staff and students had an opportunity to participate in a learning experience of this kind for the first time ever, as shown by some of the key anonymous reflections we gathered:

“Thanks again for setting up such an innovative and enjoyable opportunity. What is particularly valuable is it has got so many ideas moving forward quickly that ordinarily might have taken a long time to come to fruition. Thanks for all your hard work in setting it all up - we loved taking part!”

Moving Forward

This work was accepted into the British Journal of Guidance and Counselling, special issue on Critical perspectives on agency and social justice in transition and career development (due to be published in the autumn of 2022).

The project also started a collaboration with the Exeter Education Incubator on sharing insights from the project and hope there might be an opportunity to scale the Challenge into a cross institutional or even an international collaboration through Warwick’s alliance with Monash.

The project also targeted various education communities to share this work as it relates to areas of student voice, student engagement, interdisciplinary pedagogy, and enterprise education.

Project Team

Project Leads 

Emily Róisín Reid (WMS)Link opens in a new window Dr. Bo Kelestyn (Chemistry)Link opens in a new window
Project Team:

Giacomo Bottoli (WBS Student); Charlie Cunningham (SO/WMS); Rachel Davis (WE); Dr Martin Mik (SLS); David Molyneux (SO/SLS); Luke Netherclift (GSD Student); Celine Nithila-George (Liberal Arts Student), Johannes Pittgens (WBS Student), Laura Yetton (SLS)