Reading announces new work placements as best employability results for a decade are published
Release Date 19 July 2011
Listen to Law graduate Helen Burnell's thoughts on life at Reading as she attends the 2011 Graduation Ceremony
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The University of Reading is delighted to announce its best graduate employability results for a decade as the Higher Education Statistics Association (HESA) publishes the latest data on the employability of 2010 graduates. The University is also launching a new scheme for the next academic year to develop further placement opportunities for all undergraduate students.
HESA's Destination of Leavers Survey 2010 asked graduates from 2010 what they were doing six months after graduation.
- The percentage of Reading 2010 graduates who reported they were in graduate level work and/or study has risen by 3.3% from 2009 to almost 70%.
- Approximately 92% of our graduates described themselves as being in work, voluntary or unpaid work or further study
- The unemployment rate for Reading graduates fell by 2% to 6.6%, well below the national average.
Each institution is set an employment benchmark by the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) against which its performance can be measured. The University of Reading surpassed its benchmark by 1.8%, the second largest margin of all 1994 Group universities, which are research-intensive universities with a similar profile to Reading.
The University is building on this success in 2011 with the launch of a new Student Employment, Experience and Careers Centre (SEECC) which will further develop a wide range of placement schemes, activities and resources to complement degree programmes; all intended to maximise graduate level recruitment and enhance the work-related experience of our students.
Work experience is cited by employers as one of the most important factors in their recruitment of graduates. In this year's Graduate Market 2011' report by High Fliers Research, it is reported that a third of graduate vacancies will be filled by applicants who have already worked for their new employer as an undergraduate and the majority of these employers said it was unlikely that an undergraduate without any work experience would get a job with them.
The enhanced Reading scheme is employer-led and responds to their needs for interns as well as those of students, who are increasingly looking gain work experience during their degree. Placements will be flexible and vary in length, with the majority operating in the summer vacation to ensure compatibility with employers' summer internship programmes, but there will also be short two-week placements such as Psychology at Work which includes a minimum two-week placement in the community for all psychology first year students. Year-long placements will remain available in conjunction with many courses such as modern languages, management, food sciences or systems engineering.
An increasing trend at an international university such as Reading is for students to enhance their employability with work experience overseas. Study Abroad programmes are also now more flexible and can offer work abroad options.
Launched last year, the Reading Experience and Development (RED) Award allows Reading students to gain additional skills to ensure they stand out from the crowd with prospective employers. The RED Award scheme recognises the skills that our students develop beyond their academic programmes through volunteering, work experience and training and development.
Professor Rob Robson, Pro-Vice Chancellor for Teaching and Learning, said: "We are building on this year's excellent employability statistics to enhance careers support at Reading to ensure our students stand the best possible chance of securing that key first graduate-level job or important next postgraduate-level educational or training place. Successful placements are a huge part of what employers expect of their future employees and we want to ensure that all our undergraduates have the opportunity to develop their employability by getting relevant experience."
More information at http://www.reading.ac.uk/careers/seecc.asp
Further press information from Rona Cheeseman on 0118 378 7388 or email email@example.com
Notes to editors:
Student Employment, Experience and Careers Centre (SEECC)
The primary emphasis of SEECC will be to work in partnership with employers, alumni and colleagues across the University, to ensure that our students gain the best possible access to 'real world' opportunities to help them build their transferable skills, career confidence and improve their employability. In addition to this, SEECC will also focus on providing these key services:
- Support and guidance for students helping to improve their employability and achieve relevant career choices
- Ensuring students prepare high quality applications and CVs to access placements and graduate level recruitment
- Support in developing placement opportunities and development activities, both in and outside of the curriculum; from helping identify and recruit employers through to the welfare of students while on placements.
Performance Indicators - Employment of Graduates 2009/10
Each institution is set a benchmark based on a wide range of factors such as the subject mix offered, age profile of students and qualifications of students on entry. The indicator shows how well the institution performed and can be used to see how it compares to the HE sector as a whole.It is most meaningful to compare institutions with a similar profile such as the 1994 Group of Universities (http://www.1994group.ac.uk/