Childhood, Youth and Education Studies alumni share career development experience with students at online event


The Childhood, Youth and Education Studies team kicked off the 'Employability Week' activities with an excellent graduate success stories evening.

Early Years / Blynyddoedd Cynnar

BA Early Years Education and Care (Early Years Practitioner Status) students at their graduation ceremony in 2019

Over 70 current students and graduates attended the event last week. Current students were able to join an online graduate evening where they listened to graduates talk about their own career paths and to hear about how they’re applying what they learnt during their time at UWTSD in a variety of fields.

The aim was to show students the different career pathways available to them after graduating.  Speakers included graduates who’ve gone on to become teachers; social workers; healthcare professionals, lecturers as well as those who’ve ventured into the business world and opened their own enterprises.

“The event is always a great success and it is wonderful to be able to welcome back graduates to come and talk to our current students,” says Alison Rees-Edwards, one of the lecturers who organised the event alongside Helen Griffiths.

“Our programmes – delivered at the University’s Carmarthen and Swansea campuses – explore the links between theory and practice and have a strong emphasis on the links between education and well-being from early years through to adult education”.

“One of the main questions we get asked – either by prospective students, their parents and even current students is what career our degrees can lead them to – so rather than hearing from us in a presentation, we decided a few years ago to expand our annual employability event and invite graduates who’ve gone on to follow different pathways – be it education, health, social work and invite current students to hear from them directly.

“We have graduates who started off as Learning Support Assistants (LSAs) who chose to follow the flexible learning route and having graduated with us, have gone on to do the PGCE before becoming successful primary school teachers.  Others are now lecturing in the FE sector, developing the students of the future.  We also have students on several programmes within the discipline now as leaders and managers in education, social and care sectors.

“Our degrees open many, many doors and sometimes, there’s a misconception that you can only follow a formal teaching route, but we have graduates taking part who’ve gone on to be leaders in early childhood settings, community and education work with with a range of organisations, others in key wellbeing, safeguarding and research roles in local authorities and others involved in the health care sector as nurses and midwives. Some students are also now part of the justice system including as police officers. We also have a mother and daughter who’ve been successful in opening their own day nursery on their farm – all showing the exciting opportunities available to graduates from our courses.

“Childhood, Youth and Education Studies offer a wide variety– for example a range of traditional three year degree programmes in the day as well condensed fast rack full-time degrees in the evening, part time evening study and top up provision. For example  for those who work in the early years or school sector evening study means they do not need to give up work.  This means that they’re working full-time, while also studying and some will also be raising a family. This graduate evening is essential as it just shows how students can balance work and study, and how successful our graduates can be. Having role models who have been so successful is also a wonderful motivator, especially in what has been a very challenging year for those in education related fields”

The alumni who spoke to the students were all be graduates of Childhood, Youth and Education Studies programmes including either the traditional three-year degree schemes or the flexible evening degree programmes.

The Childhood, Youth and Education Studies team started employability week with a successful graduate stories evening.

One graduate, Rachel Iles, spoke about her current work as a Researcher at the Local Authority.  She said:

"When I was studying for the Early Years degree, I found the graduate stories evening really useful and interesting as there are so many different job options out there, that I wasn’t aware of at the time."

Ahead of the event, Helen George, who is now studying a Postgraduate Certificate in Education Teaching (PCET) qualification at UWTSD, commented:  

"I feel privileged to be invited to the event and I'm excited and looking forward to taking part and contributing to the graduate stories. I think that the evening and stories will be extremely helpful and beneficial to current students for them to gain knowledge of potential careers and / or study options to continue with after graduating.'

Jasmine Crane added:

"The degree can offer you so many opportunities. Opportunities that you may not even realise. I'm currently studying for a full-time Masters degree in Leadership and Management in Education. The graduate evening event will open your eyes to the incredible opportunities this degree has for you. You are in incredible hands with this University. The support before, during and especially after has been incredible."

The graduate event was just the start of a full week of different training opportunities to support current students including drama workshops, business development advice, First Aid training and online skills training. Such evenst will support the University's students as they embark on the world of employment and further study.

Further Information

For more information please contact Arwel Lloyd, Principal PR and Communications Officer, on 07384 467076 /