With the latest figures showing graduate unemployment at a 15 year high, Liverpool alongside other universities believes that”soft skills” are more important than ever. Recent Higher Education Statistics Agency figures revealed that more than a quarter of graduates are without full-time work more than three years after graduating from university.
Completing a degree used to guarantee graduate employment but this is no longer the case. In the current economic climate, graduates are required to stand out from the crowd with transferable skills. In an article by the Guardian , Paul Redmond, head of the careers and employability service at Liverpool University said, “the competition for jobs is so intense, and often the differentiators are those so-called soft skills.”
Liverpool University’s career service has tackled this issue by running ‘graduate boot camps’. So far, 185 graduates have been trained on the 10-day Gradvantage programme. Of those who have been through the course, only 32 had graduated this year. “Once the credit crunch happened we thought ‘we’ve got to start doing different things for graduates’,” Redmond says.
The Gradvantage programme is not specifically aimed at graduates from less well-off families as anyone based in Merseyside, with a degree from any university, can participate. The programme’s aim is to be as hands-on as possible. Elements from the programme range from mock interviews, group presentations to securing a 14 hour a week (unpaid) work experience lasting 13 or 26 weeks.
Categories: Higher Education