Graduate Market Trends - Summer 2010 : News in brief

CBI: Good times ahead for STEM graduates...

But does the challenge now lie in forging more effective links between higher education and industry? A recent Confederation of British Industry study, Ready to Grow: Business Priorities for Education and Skills, surveyed 694 employers, and found that more than half thought they would not be able to find adequate staff to fill the "high-level jobs" of the coming years. Employers feared that they would not be able to fill in essential vacancies that need mathematics, science and technology graduates. The study also found that there is still a long way to go until proper working links are established between industry and higher education. Employers believed that the problem lay with universities’ administrational red tape which often discourages companies from initiating links with the sector. View the full report: Ready to grow: business priorities for education and skills: Education and skills survey 2010.

New European Commission research into higher education reform in Europe.

Research highlights the overarching trend in higher education governance towards institutional autonomy, and more freedom in financial management. Two new independent studies look at progress of reforms of governance and funding in higher education in 33 European countries. Analyses and recommendations cover the main trends and themes across the EU, but also provide detailed analyses of national contests. They were carried out by a consortium of research bodies led by the “Centre for Higher Education Policy Studies” (CHEPS) in the Netherlands In terms of funding reforms, the research emphasises that the expansion of the sector has brought budgetary pressures for many governments, resulting in cost-cutting policies and the rethinking of tuition fees. These findings are used as lessons for recommendations in New research into Higher Education reforms in Europe.

European Commission backs up university and business sector cooperation.

High level representatives from business, higher education, and politics met in Brussels on 4-5 May for the '2010 European University - Business Forum', hosted by the European Commissioner of Education, Culture, Multilingualism and Youth. Participants discussed how universities and businesses, in particular SMEs, can join forces for their mutual benefit. The forum explored how new forms of working together can contribute to the EU’s reform agenda, in particular to regional development, innovation, and the quality of education through the supply of highly qualified graduates. Read the full article: Universities and businesses work together for smart and inclusive growth.

Forecasting the EU labour market in 2020.

New labour market research report Skills supply and demand by  CEDEFOP - The European Curriculum Vitae . This recent report’s findings support the key objectives of both the EU 'New Skills for New Jobs' initiative and the 'Europe 2020' strategy for smart, sustainable and inclusive growth (focusing on future needs and on adapting education and training more closely to the world of work). Some key research findings are:

  • There will be 10 million fewer jobs in the EU over the next decade as a result of the economic crisis, but employment levels are expected to recover so that they almost reach 2008 levels by 2020.
  • 77 million job openings are forecast over the next decade, the vast majority of which will replace retiring employees as the EU’s population ages.
  • Transition towards a service economy will intensify: almost seven million jobs will be created in knowledge and skill intensive occupations, such as high-level managerial roles and professional or technical jobs.
  • The report also anticipates labour force polarisation: Even though medium-qualified workers will still make just over one half of all jobs, the share of the jobs held by the highly-qualified will increase from 29 to 35%, at the expense of those jobs now held by low-qualified workers
  • Europe 2020 strategy

New employability and skills paper launched in May.

A Research and Policy Briefing paper provides a review of recent research on the theme of employability skills by exploring the evidence base and recent policy trends and initiatives The paper outlines some of the key challenges and barriers in employability policy and suggests some areas for future work. It contributes to a wider programme of work being undertaken by the UK Commission into the best way to develop employability skills. View the full report Employability Skills: A Research and Policy Briefing from the The UK Commission for Employment and Skills

Bristol University launches volunteering award.

The university has launched the Outstanding Achievement Award in order to formally demonstrate Bristol University graduates’ employability skills The award is based on 50 hours of work experience, attendance to at least four skills and employability workshops (including interview techniques and related skills-intensive activity) and the writing of a summary of the skills gained, aimed specifically at employers. Bristol PLuS aims to help students acquire work and life skills alongside academic qualifications, and it is supplemented by a 'Sporting PLuS Award' for those who perform well in sports.

UK India Graduate Work Experience programme.

The programme has been launched this year following the success of the UK China and the UK Hong Kong Graduate Work Experience Programmes The programme brings together UK employers and India’s top graduates, giving Indian graduates an insight into UK life, and employers a chance to build relationships with India’s talent. For more information see The UK India Graduate Work Experience Programme website.

Supporting fair access in UK HE.

HEFCE welcomes new report from Sir Martin Harris, Director of the Office for Fair Access (OFFA), to Government, which seeks to establish what more can be done to widen access to highly selective universities. HEFCE will seek to support institutions to take on the recommendations of 'What more can be done to widen access to highly selective universities?, a report which builds on existing HEFCE objectives and projects. Some key research findings are: Highly selective UK institutions already make substantial contribution to widening participation in higher education and actively engage in the delivery of outreach activity. However, there is a lack of substantial progress in increasing the numbers from disadvantaged groups at the most selective institution These key findings result in a number of recommendations for increased activity in the area, more effective ways to evaluate such activity, and for reporting against challenging targets. View the full report What more can be done to widen access to highly selective universities?


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