Report

Grads Employability in Europe – Structural indicators

This publication presents some structural indicators on graduate employability in 40 European education and training systems. It examines whether countries use regular labour market forecasting to improve the employability of graduates; moreover, other indicators include the involvement of employers in external quality assurance procedures, requirements or incentives given for student work placements; the availability of career guidance services, and the use of regular graduate tracking surveys. The publication is based on a chapter in the Eurydice report Structural Indicators for Monitoring Education and Training Systems in Europe 2016.

Employability plays a central role in the Europe 2020 strategy as well as in the Education and Training 2020 (‘ET 2020’) and higher education modernisation strategies (European Commission, 2011). Within the ET 2020 strategy, the Council of the European Union adopted a benchmark on graduate employability in 2012 . According to this benchmark, ‘by 2020, the share of employed graduates (20-34 year-olds) having left education and training no more than three years before the reference year should be at least 82 %’ . In this context, the term ‘graduates’ refers not only to those finishing higher education (HE) but also to those graduating with upper secondary or post-secondary, non- tertiary qualifications. Public authorities and higher education institutions (HEIs) have a major role to play in achieving this goal.
European Commission policy stresses the role of higher education in equipping graduates with the knowledge and transferable core competences they need to succeed in high-skill occupations. It also underlines the importance of involving employers in the design and delivery of higher education programmes, and ensuring that programmes include an element of practical work experience. Furthermore, the monitoring of graduates’ career development by HEIs has also been identified as crucial in increasing the relevance of programmes (European Commission, 2011). The employability of graduates is also an important issue in the European Commission’s New Skills Agenda for Europe, which proposes various actions to improve the skills of graduates to meet labour market needs.

The issues being addressed therefore extend beyond the simple monitoring of graduate employment rates. At a time where the economic crisis has had a very significant impact on youth unemployment, there are many areas of action which can help countries regain ground, and support young people in finding employment. The proposed selection of structural indicators is an illustration of the broad range of policy measures that can help improve graduate employability.

In the context of this exercise, many structural indicators could be considered relevant, and the formulation, development and use of indicators for this purpose is challenging. In the 2016 data collection, the chosen structural indicators describe the following issues related to publicly funded higher education institutions and publicly subsidised private institutions with over 50 % public funding:

Chosen excerpts by Job Market Monitor. Read the whole story at  Structural indicators on graduate employability in Europe – 2016 – Education policy – EU Bookshop

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