Employability is a word that’s being used a lot lately. But here at Leeds we’re doing much more than just talk about it.
Employers have made it clear that graduates need to have more practical experience to prove that they are capable of succeeding in a work environment. Here’s what the Careers Centre are doing to ensure students gain the experience and skills needed:
- Career Development and Planning Modules - For some time we have been running accredited modules which are integrated into students’ degree courses and encourage them from day 1 to gain skills and experience to increase their employability and embed awareness of the graduate job market.
- Placements and Work Experience – We promote and support work placement activity throughout the university. Many courses now include a work placement as standard and all students have the option to take time out for a work placement. Placements can be organised for them by the Careers Centre, which works with employers to create placements that will benefit both parties. Placements can vary in duration but many are 12 months and so give students a significant period of experience.
- Internships – We have run some very successful graduate internship schemes over the last two years to give our recent unemployed graduates the opportunity to gain experience on a 3 month placement with top employers. Over three quarters of the graduate interns were retained by their employer on a permanent basis. We also run summer internships where companies can employ a student on a structured placement for up to 4 months, enabling them to gain valuable work experience.
- Temporary Work – We work with the Student Union to promote and encourage part-time and casual work options for students, which are available through the Union’s free JobLink service for employers.
We have much more planned to enhance student employability and we value feedback from employers to help us plan and deliver activity which will produce graduates with valuable skills and experience.