Thursday December 29, 2016
The graduates of 2017 are facing an uncertain future. It is probably one of the more challenging and uncertain environments that graduates have experienced since the recession hit cohorts of 2008 and 2009.
The impact of BREXIT has reportedly impacted on the number of graduate jobs in the market, causing an eight per cent decline in graduate-level vacancies (Association of Graduate Recruiters, September 2016), and there seems to be no reprieve in the headlines questioning graduates’ work readiness.
Despite this somewhat depressing picture for our graduates, I am feeling quite optimistic about their future. Working in the Careers Service at the University of Brighton, I am fortunate to have witnessed two interesting trends emerge recently.
Firstly, despite what some employers, graduates, and journalists may think, students have never been better prepared for the world of work. With opportunities to work on real-world projects within the curriculum, and via extra-curricular activities (such as blogging, starting up, or volunteering), by the time students leave university, many have gained valuable work experience which serves them well for an increasingly competitive labour market.
Secondly, even though there has been a marked decrease in the number of graduate jobs available in 2016, many employers are struggling to fill those positions, often complaining of a lack of student engagement and interest from potential applicants. So, if graduates invest their time methodically searching and applying for jobs, schemes, and internships, there are still opportunities to be pursued.
If graduates have many of the real-world skills and experience they need, and there are work opportunities to be found, then what problems does SKILLS ON TAP UK solve?
There are actually two ways in which our web app can make a difference.
For students and graduates, our edtech tool will help students and graduates evaluate their employability skills and experience, and in turn, help them write better job applications.
And for employers, SKILLS ON TAP UK will help them connect with more students and graduates, as the web app will feature our Partners’ company profiles, employee case studies, and graduate jobs, schemes, and internships.
Once our web app is launched in January 2017, it should be a win-win result for all concerned – students and graduates will be able to highlight better their skills and experience to employers during the recruitment process, and employers will be able to connect with – and ultimately recruit – more students and graduates.