The University of Northampton is one of England’s younger universities: it only won the status in 2005. But it is also top of the league when it comes to getting its students into work. In 2010-11, six months after leaving the university, only 4 per cent of its former undergraduates were unemployed.
Explaining its success, Nick Petford, vice-chancellor, says: “We spend a lot of time on employability skills, right from the word go.”
It is not, he adds, something that gets “tacked on at the end of the three years”. They do this by thinking about the non-academic skills that employers need.
The aim, he says, is to create a “T-shaped” student: in addition to deep knowledge about their specialism (an “I-shaped” student), they should get an array of broad general problem-solving, project management social and teamwork skills.
They pursue this idea, popular in the US, outside the classroom. Prof Petford says: “Throughout the three years we try to embed skills … through work placements. Also, through volunteering and social enterprise … That is starting to pay dividends.”
Choosen excerpts by Job Market Monitor from
We’re sleepwalking into a crisis. There is much talk of the ‘lost generation’ of frustrated, angry, debt-ridden 20-somethings with diminishing career prospects. Yet employers continue to wring their hands as they pore over inadequate job applications or realise they’ve hired graduates with little grasp of what the world of work actually requires of them. So … Continue reading »
Employability is based on a set of individual characteristics. It is not equivalent to employment, but rather a prerequisite for (gainful) employment. It pertains to someone’s relative ability to obtain and maintain gainful employment, as well as make successful transitions from one job to the next, either within the same company or field or to … Continue reading »
Universities / Employability / Professional experience and interpersonal skills are the biggest areas of improvement for graduates
The Global Employability Survey is an online survey conducted amongst recruiters in 20 countries worldwide with the objective of determining what makes the ideal graduate on a longer term. The survey focuses on the following subjects: What qualities should the ideal graduate have? What qualities make a graduate more employable in the long run? Which … Continue reading »
“Many employers still feel that graduates are missing key skills when they leave university. We take a look at some of the ways MathWorks is collaborating with universities to bridge the skills gap between education and industry.” writes Keri Allan in Bridging the skills gap on eandt.theiet.org. “Mathworks works closely with both universities and industry as its computational tools, which include MATLAB and Simulink, are … Continue reading »
Good-quality, independent careers advice has never been needed more in universities. According to recent figures from the Office for National Statistics, in the final quarter of 2011, the graduate unemployment rate stood at 18.9% – almost one in five, and very slightly below the spike of 20% in the third quarter of 2010. And with … Continue reading »
There are two major factors we need to address to close this gap and bring students and young professionals closer together with employers. The first factor is empowering students to make informed decisions about their degree and courses they take. It takes 120 credits to graduate with a Bachelor’s Degree, yet the national average is … Continue reading »
Harvard topped the chart of universities around the world that were ranked based on the “employability” of their graduates. MIT ranked seventh worldwide, while Boston University ranked 17th. The chart, entitled “What the job market wants,” was published today by the New York Times, which said an online survey was compiled by Emerging, a human … Continue reading »
In a recent survey, Gaby Atfield and Kate Purcell found in Futuretrack Stage 3 Working Paper 4: The fit between graduate labour market supply and demand that graduates who were studying vocational subjects were most likely to believe that the subject they had studied would be an advantage in looking for employment. Sixty per cent of respondents studying subjects allied to … Continue reading »
Opinions – Wellesley News: The inane act of two indebted students has ignited a lively debate concerning the global student loan crisis and the future of our generation in the employment market. Ross Harper and Ed Moyse, both 22 of the United Kingdom, decided to launch BuyMyFace.com in order to raise money to repay a combined … Continue reading »
Canada’s skills gap has been brought into increasing focus by the large numbers of unfilled jobs which coexists with high youth unemployment. Last summer, a report commissioned by the Canadian Council of Chief Executives stated that Canada is falling behind in the global skills race. The answer, according to many university presidents, is more money … Continue reading »