Hazel McCafferty is currently a full-time doctoral student within the School of Education at the University of Southampton. Hazel's research seeks to understand the employability experiences of first-generation students as they navigate the UK labour market. Hazel is funded by the ESRC South Coast Doctoral Training Partnership.
In 2019, and for the first time, first-generation students comprised half of the student population in England (Shure, 2018). Whilst students from widening participation backgrounds have increasingly entered higher education, there is evidence that they still have poorer chances of securing high quality graduate outcomes than the student body as a whole (Hordosy and Clark, 2018; Futuretrack, 2018; Morrison, 2019). The reasons for this are complex, potentially spanning the disciplines of economics, sociology and psychology (Tholen, 2015). By making use of a theoretical concept, the Graduate Capital Model (Tomlinson, 2017), this project aims to explore the opportunities and challenges experienced by first-generation students; in particular, how they develop their career capitals in support of their employability. The model suggests that students might benefit from developing their capitals across five domains: Human, Cultural, Social, Psychological and Identity.Research will be undertaken using mixed methods including the use of semi-structured interviews and a survey.
Supervisors: Professor Tomlinson and Ass. Professor Kirby
Professional and academic development
Hazel McCafferty is currently a postgraduate research student at the University of Southampton studying career outcomes for first-generation students. Since qualifying as a Careers Adviser in 1991, she has worked extensively in the field of careers and employability, working and leading teams in schools, further education, higher education and in community settings such as Jobcentres and prisons. Having completed a master’s degree in careers, she was invited to join Reading University as an Associate Lecturer teaching on qualification in careers guidance and employability (QCG and AGCAS). She has run her own training and consultancy business offering courses, mentoring and research for local universities, ‘connexions’ and ‘nextstep’. Most recently Hazel was employed as a Project Lead at the University of Southampton where she developed teaching and educational materials to support the delivery of embedded employability. Her interests lie in careers, employability and social mobility.