Advancing Student Employability in the UK
The impacts of COVID-19 have reverberated throughout higher education. Many institutions are grappling with what COVID-19 means for them, including many UK universities that are planning on offering a hybrid of in-person sessions this fall. In an effort to broaden the access to job opportunities in the UK, Symplicity is sponsoring a “Social Mobility and Widening Participation” session, as part of the Association of Graduate Careers Advisory System (AGCAS) annual conference. AGCAS “represents higher education careers services across the UK and internationally, as well as some further education providers… AGCAS influences policy at both an institutional and national level to support the best possible career outcomes from higher education for individuals, institutions, society and the economy.”
AGCAS mission is uniquely aligned with Symplicity’s goal to broaden the access to the job market with CSM and empower students, universities, and employers with the tools to successfully navigate the current job market by connecting students to employers. In particular, 20% of UK graduates receive a degree in Business & Administration followed by 14% in Education. With Symplicity, UK universities can customize their CSM to properly work with students in these fields.
AGCAS’s Alternative Conference comes at perfect time to revisit many issues facing universities, particularly during COVID-19. While COVID-19 has led to unpredictable job market, the UK’s Higher Education Policy Institute recent April 2020 survey shows that there is some hope. After surveying 1,000 students, the HEPI survey showed some positive outlooks on the job market. Some highlights of the data include:
- Over three-quarters (79%) of graduates feel confident of getting a graduate level job once they graduate.
- Only around one-third (29%) say the Coronavirus pandemic has altered these feelings, with 71% saying their feelings have not changed since the crisis.
- Students define employability as being related to their skills: either gaining skills relevant to a specific role (68%) or more generally gaining skills for future employment (67%). Work experience is also seen as important (61%)
- Students think there are four main factors that make for a successful career: doing something they are interested in (49%), being happy and fulfilled (48%), having stability (47%) and having a high salary (41%).
This data is encouraging to employers and universities navigating what a fall 2020 looks like for them. Symplicity CSM provides students with the tools and connections they need to enhance their employability while preparing to succeed in today’s job market. Not only does CSM provide students with the largest employer network, but it is is uniquely equipped to provide staff with the ability to track post-graduation outcomes and translate it into meaningful trends that will resonate with stakeholders. CSM enables institutions to measure and report on critical KPIs around student engagement, streamline student and employer outreach, and run robust OCR and experiential learning programs.