Why employability matters to students
Research shows that ‘getting a better job’ is a prime motivator for students coming to university and especially for those who are first generation in higher education. The 2011 CBI/National Union of Students survey of 2,614 students revealed that the majority of students (79%) decide to go to university to improve their job opportunities. Over half (57%) want universities to do more to help them understand employability skills, such as customer awareness, team working and self management and two thirds (66%) would like more support in developing these skills.
The 2011 CBI/EDI Education and Skills survey also revealed that employability skills are the single most important consideration for 82% of businesses when recruiting graduates. However 70% of employers said that university students need to do more to prepare themselves to be effective in the workplace.
Some universities already embed the teaching of employability skills into course structures, but the CBI is calling on all institutions to follow this best practice.The National Student Forum (NSF) has also focused on universities’ responsibility for developing employability particularly in relation to the removal of the fee cap.
Why employability matters to Brunel
Brunel’s pioneering approach to applied learning and sandwich course degrees is well known to employers and the wider community and has always been at the heart of the institution. Developing graduate employability is centrally aligned to the University mission to ‘equip versatile graduates with the confidence to apply what they have learnt for the benefit of society’.
The focus on employability in UK Higher Education continues to gather momentum and drivers such as the introduction of higher fees and an increasingly competitive job market has further sharpened the focus on student expectations concerning their ability to secure graduate-level work after obtaining a degree.