Graduating this summer and not got a job yet? Don’t panic!

 

DontPanic-badge-686321
Graduating this summer and not got a job yet? Don’t panic!

 

The study and exams are finally over, and you are now thinking about your next steps. Whether that is postgraduate study, or a move into the jobs market, you know it is time to focus on the future.

Here are our top reasons you shouldn’t worry about not having a job lined up by graduation day.

  1. You have time to focus now

By waiting until after you finish to secure that job of your dreams you are now able to put proper energy into your job quest. Finding the right opportunities, crafting your applications and attending interviews all take time. Time you now have to focus on your job search.

  1. Graduate jobs are available all year round

The big ‘grad schemes’ may recruit each autumn for starts the following year – but the majority of employers recruit when a vacancy arises, and that can be at any time!

Just look at www.gradsouthwest.com to see jobs for recent graduates in the South West available right now!

  1. Many employers want immediate starts

Applying now that you are available for work, and being ready to start straight away is a positive for employers. They don’t have to wait on you finishing your studies.

  1. Get experience and test out ideas

If you’re not sure what to do, this time once you have finished your exams is perfect to explore your options: spend time volunteering; do part-time / temporary work in different fields or sectors; travel; learn what you want to do; and gain valuable experience to boost your CV. And then when you are ready to apply for positions on your chosen career path you will have the focus you need to secure your ideal role. (Don’t forget you can always change your mind… people have multiple portfolio careers nowadays!)

  1. Need a few pointers?

Have a look at our CV and covering letter advice to get you going!

 

Dr Deborah Watson

Director, Gradsouthwest

Careers Fair Top Tips for Students

We recently attended the University of Bath’s Careers Fair and it was fantastic event, with lots of different businesses and opportunities for students. Having a load of recruiters together under one roof can make things a lot easier for job-hunting grads, it’s like Gradsouthwest come to life in the real world. Great opportunities and a good chance to get some exposure to different companies, to put yourself out there and make yourself known, after chatting to the recruiters at the fair we’ve put together our top tips to make sure you make the most out of your day.

To find out what our top tips are, go to Our Careers Fair Top Tips for Students and make the most of your day!

 

Nick Crawley

Gradsouthwest

Invitation: Stakeholder Workshop for #TalentSW campaign – 26 April, from 10am-1pm, Plymouth Science Park

In 2016, the UK Commission for Employment and Skills found that there were over 70,000 job openings in the South West region and around 17,000 of them difficult to fill because of a lack of skilled recruits. The number of job vacancies going unfilled, is reported to be linked to candidates lacking appropriate skills, and the FSB (2015) found that this is the third biggest barrier to growth.

Devon and Cornwall Business Council are therefore developing a campaign in partnership with Gradsouthwest and the Western Morning News to promote the region as an excellent place to build a career, with the aim of attracting and retaining highly skilled people. This campaign will be aimed at both graduate skills, and individuals who have developed their skills base throughout their working history.

Thus, we would like to invite you to join us on Wednesday 26th April, from 10:00 till 13:00 at Plymouth Science Park for a stakeholder workshop. At this session, we will identify what’s currently being delivered in support of this agenda, what’s working well and what’s not, and where the gap’s are. We want to pinpoint the challenges that we face as a region, and develop innovative approaches working towards overcoming them, which will form the basis of our campaign activity.

We would really value your input at the event, to help to inform and focus our efforts.

If this is something that you would like to get involved with, please register your interest via our Eventbrite page – here.

We hope to see you there,

Ben Rhodes (CEO DCBC) and Deborah Watson (Director Gradsouthwest)

GSW_talentsw-banner468x60

 

Talented people needed to build careers in region

FindingWMN-Article-30Mar17-02 the right skills for the job is no easy task in the South West.

In 2016, the UK Commission for Employment and Skills found that there were over 70,000 job openings in the South West region and around 17,000 of them difficult to fill because of a lack of skilled recruits.[1]

The number of job vacancies going unfilled, is reported to be linked to candidates lacking appropriate skills, and the FSB (2015) found that this is the third biggest barrier to growth.

Devon and Cornwall Business Council are therefore partnering with Gradsouthwest and the Western Morning News to develop a campaign to promote the region as an excellent place to build a career, with the aim of attracting and retaining highly skilled people.

With unfilled vacancies, and untapped potential, business growth and our continued prosperity will require employers to retain and upgrade the skills they already have, and to attract more highly skilled people to work within the South West.

Aligned with the South West Growth Charter’s commitment to “invest in productive people and retain talent within our region”, our first job is to develop a strong and inclusive partnership of employers, educators and regional champions.

Launched at DCBC’s spring budget conference, our aim is to focus on the key industries in which we excel, where the potential for building a career here is assured.

Therefore, we want you to join us and showcase your opportunities in comparison to those in other major cities, with the added benefits of living and working in the South West. In return you will be part of a national campaign, and receive help to attract, retain and develop the talent that your business needs.

Ben Rhodes, CEO of DCBC said “This campaign will need to be different and innovative in its approach. We need to inspire talented people to build their careers in the SW and to do that we need inspiring companies. We aim to champion the best companies from across the SW, to highlight those who have already chosen to build their careers here and to seek out those who might”

Dr Deborah Watson, director of Gradsouthwest, the region’s specialist graduate job board said “retaining graduate skills in the area is crucial for future jobs and business growth and recent graduates are often unaware of the careers open to them here in the region. Our aim is to make businesses consider recruiting new talent, and to encourage students to work here.”

As well as graduate skills, we recognise employers are also keen to employ individuals who have developed their skills base throughout their working history.

If this sounds like something you want to get involved with, to begin to overcome the skills and productivity shortage not only in your business, but also here in the region, please get in touch via campaigns@dcbc.co.uk / admin@gradsouthwest.com or tag us with #TalentSW and we will contact you with a range of opportunities and a timetable of activities.

GSW_talentsw-banner468x60

 

[1] http://www.tbebathandsomerset.co.uk/skills-shortages-leave-17000-of-south-wests-jobs-unfilled/

 

 

Recruit, train and retain high-calibre IT talent in partnership with the University of Exeter and Gradsouthwest

It is widely acknowledged that businesses in the South West struggle when it comes to attracting and retaining young people to fill IT, digital and tech-heavy roles. From web development and app support to data analysis and cyber security, this skills gap is a barrier to productivity and growth, as graduates are pulled out of the region towards London and other major centres.

Degree apprenticeships are a central part of current Government policy to address this challenge, with an avowed target of three million apprentices working in the UK by 2020. In support of this, the Government’s new Apprenticeship Levy will cause any employer with a pay bill above £3m to pay 0.5% of this to fund apprenticeships. Smaller employers will of course not pay this Levy, but instead will be able to claim extremely generous government support, to the tune of 90% of tuition fees – up to 100% in certain circumstances – making this a very attractive recruitment and retention solution.

Apprentices are known to be extremely loyal and committed to their employers, and highly appreciative of the skills escalator that the programmes provide them with.  They receive the best of all worlds – a degree combined with extensive professional experience, a good salary, and no student debt as they kick-start their career.

Launched in September 2016 with employers including IBM, Renishaw and Beran Instruments, the University of Exeter’s Digital and Technology Solutions degree apprenticeship offers employers innovative high-quality IT training while building loyalty and business understanding in their staff.  The programme combines the technical aspects of a computer science degree with the professional skills required for business success.

Crucially, this is fundamentally a work-based programme, relating to real roles within a business.  The University of Exeter offers specialisms as Software Engineer, Data Analyst, IT Consultant and Cyber Security Analyst.  Apprentices are full-time employees, studying towards their degree over four years.

The programme is designed to minimise the impact upon their role through a blended learning programme based on short termly residentials in Exeter, flexible online learning and work-based projects that can be based on an apprentice’s day-to-day role.

The University of Exeter is proud to be a Russell Group University committed to degree apprenticeships as an innovative new approach to higher education, providing new opportunities to job seekers and businesses alike. As the highest-ranking institution in the country offering the Digital and Technology Solutions degree apprenticeship, the University offers superb value for money for the small investment required to recruit an apprentice on our programme.

Their dedicated partnerships team works closely with all employer partners, including crafting job adverts, supporting recruitment through campaigns, and seeking out opportunities with high-calibre organisations such as Gradsouthwest.

Employers who are interested in participating in the University of Exeter’s exciting programme can contact Jonnie Critchley (j.critchley@exeter.ac.uk) or call (01392) 724067.

For further information, see www.exeter.ac.uk/degreeapprenticeships/digitaltechnology.

For our student-facing programme page, see www.exeter.ac.uk/degreeapprentice.

JR20160818_ExUni_Apprentice-30

 

 

Grow your own graduate!

Gradsouthwest is pleased to announce the launch of a new service for businesses to advertise their higher and degree apprenticeship vacancies in South West England. Higher and degree apprenticeships help employers tailor graduate-potential candidates to their business needs through on-the-job and academic training. They also give people opportunities to study for a degree while they work.

growyourown2-landscape

The Governments’ ambition to increase the number and quality of apprenticeships, and the introduction of the Apprenticeship Levy, due to come into effect in April 2017, has led to growing interest in higher and degree level apprenticeships amongst employers. These apprenticeships are equivalent to Foundation, Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees and provide a route for employers to grow their own graduate by recruiting high-calibre candidates and training them to fill their higher-level skills gaps on-the-job.

Gradsouthwest is responding to this growing interest by delivering targeted recruitment support for businesses looking to recruit the best talent they can into their new higher and degree apprenticeship roles.

For students looking to find a higher or degree apprenticeship in the region, the service will offer a one-stop-shop for vacancies targeted specifically at those wanting to work in the South West.

Dr Deborah Watson, Director of Gradsouthwest, says:

“We are pleased to offer this new service to local businesses looking to grow their own graduate by training and developing higher and degree apprentices. For students, we offer a new way to work in the South West and to qualify as a graduate at the same time.”

To find out more about recruiting higher & degree apprenticeships or graduates visit www.gradsouthwest.com or call us on 01392 241302.

 

 

NOTE: Levels of apprenticeship

Apprenticeships have equivalent educational levels:

Name Level Equivalent educational level
Intermediate 2 5 GCSE passes at grades A* to C
Advanced 3 2 A level passes
Higher 4, 5, 6 and 7 Foundation degree and above
Degree 6 and 7 Bachelor’s or Master’s degree

 

Graduate Recruitment Partnership Reaches for the Skies!

Gradsouthwest, the south west graduate jobs board, is pleased to announce a new partnership with the West of England Aerospace Forum (WEAF) – bringing great graduate jobs in aerospace, defence and advanced engineering industries to graduates wanting to work in south west England.

weaf-powerpoint-jan2017

As a high tech, highly skilled industry, aerospace encompasses a broad range of high value disciplines such as engineering, science, project management, production, service, training and finance. It remains at the forefront of new research and development and requires a constant flow of high calibre graduates with expertise in robotics, autonomous systems, composites, ceramics, avionics and other high worth technologies.

With strong campus links, Gradsouthwest is well placed to assist, attracting candidates from a wide range of universities and disciplines who share a desire to work in the south west. The new partnership will provide WEAF members with a tried and tested way to access this talent pool at preferential rates.

Commenting on the partnership, Dr Deborah Watson, Director of Gradsouthwest, said:

“We are delighted to be working with WEAF. With a world-leading aerospace and defence sector here in south west England, it makes sense to ensure that companies have access to the best graduate talent available, and graduates are aware of what is on their doorstep – and here at Gradsouthwest we aim to do both.”

Simon Young, Chief Executive of WEAF, said:

“Graduate talent is vitally important to WEAF members and we are very pleased to be working with Gradsouthwest to support our members to recruit the graduate skills they need to grow.”

To find out more about recruiting graduates to the aerospace sector, visit www.gradsouthwest.com or contact WEAF via www.weaf.co.uk

Is Postgraduate Study for you?

November is traditionally Postgraduate Open Day season where many University’s open their doors to prospective students looking to continue their studies at postgraduate level.

What is Postgraduate Study?

Postgraduate study is an opportunity to take your subject further and deeper, to focus and specialise. There are three categories of postgraduate study:

  1. Taught courses – including Masters Programmes that tend to be 1 year full-time leading to MSc or MA type qualifications.
  2. Research courses – usually 2+ years leading to MPhil or 3+ years leading to PhD qualifications these courses tend to allow greater academic independence.
  3. Professional Courses – which enable entry into a given profession, e.g. PGCE for teaching.

Why Postgraduate Study?

The reasons people chose to do postgraduate study vary hugely. It is important to consider why you want to continue your studies and what motivates you:

  • Is postgraduate study needed to move into your chosen career?
  • Does postgraduate study allow you to change career path?
  • Do you love the subject and just want to study it in more depth?
  • Do you enjoy being at University and want to stay longer?
  • Will postgraduate study abroad gain you international experience?
  • Are you not sure of the jobs market?

What are the benefits?

A postgraduate qualification is an excellent way to enhance your prospects – whether that is within academia, within your chosen career, or to enable you to change career paths.

For some a postgraduate qualification is a necessary career step. For others it is the chance to grow and develop ideas and interests.

Is funding available?

There are many funding options available for postgraduate study and your best bet is to contact the University that you are interested in studying at for the options they have available for that course.

What next?

If you are looking to stay in the South West here are a few links to help you:

If you’ve missed the autumn Open Day date, then many Universities have further open days in the spring.

If you remain here in the South West or go further afield for your postgraduate study, don’t forget to use www.gradsouthwest.com to get your job in the South West when you finish!

If you are advertising postgraduate study and would like to talk to us about promoting your Postgraduate Open Days or Programmes then give us a call on 01392 241302 or email recruit@gradsouthwest.com

 

Dr Deborah Watson, Director, Gradsouthwest Ltd.

Gradsouthwest makes National Online Recruitment Awards Finals

We are extremely proud to have been named as Finalists for the 16th annual Broadbean National Online Recruitment Awards.

nora-finalist

From over 25,000 nominations for almost 600 separate recruitment websites, Gradsouthwest has been named as a Finalist by the NORA Shortlisting Judges. In the category BEST REGIONAL JOB BOARD Gradsouthwest makes a short-list of 5.

A final judging panel will now assess all Finalists from a job seeker’s perspective, and select this year’s Winners, to be revealed in mid November.

For more information see: http://norauk.com/finalists-2016/

Wish us luck!

Avoid the #1 Graduate CV Error

We see a lot of CVs. And we know it’s really hard to make sure they’re perfect. But there’s one area where we see lots of graduates shooting themselves in the foot; attention to detail.

Attention to detail is important. Recruiters like it. But if you’re going to claim you have it, you’d better be sure that your CV is absolutely perfect – and that’s not easy. Even when you’ve spent hours on it and checked it the requisite a million and one times.

The problem is clear. As soon as you claim you have attention to detail, anyone reading your CV will immediately be looking for evidence or counter evidence.

Here’s an example of where things go badly wrong – an amalgamation of the most common errors we’ve seen in CVs lately. How many errors can you find?

errors

So, what to do?

Well firstly, do you really need to include ‘attention to detail’? It’s not generally a skill prioritised for graduates so maybe you should use the space to give evidence of something else. Creativity? Initiative? Teamwork? Ability to learn?

And if you must include it, can you get three people to check your CV first? Don’t just ask them to read it but ask them to find  five mistakes in it. Even better, take your CV to your university careers service to give it the once over.

Few skills as attention to detail are so easily debunked. And, when they are it makes recruiters sceptical about the other skills you list. So exercise caution – or extreme proof reading and checking – before you claim Attention 2 detailed.

Do you see what we did there? Recruiters certainly will…..

Charlotte Weston

Charlotte is a graduate with many years’ experience in both large and small organisations. She now works as a consultant to a range of SMEs across the south west and is a Non-Executive Director of Gradsouthwest.