Moves to give graduates more relevant skills

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Universities UK and the Higher Education Careers Service Unit (CSU) are launching a joint report ‘Enhancing employability, Recognising Diversity’. It will explore how students are being prepared for the 21st century world of work. The report makes a number of recommendations to colleges and universities, employers, careers’ services, funding councils and Government, aiming to ensure that today’s graduates leave university equipped with the skills for the UK’s modern knowledge-based economy.

The report seeks to move public debate on from out-of-date ideas of graduate jobs and careers, to one that understands what employability means for an increasingly diverse student population and changing labour market.

Roderick Floud, President of Universities UK, said: "It is all too easy for critics to point a finger and say ‘graduates do not have the skills that employers want’. But many large graduate employers do not engage meaningfully with the higher education (HE) sector. Employers – and Government - must share the responsibility with universities, colleges and schools for enhancing employability.

"The case studies in the report show that the sector is making strides in the right direction and today I'm calling on all employers to do the same. The failure to address these issues in the context of widening participation in HE will have serious ramifications. Failure to recruit talented graduates from non-traditional backgrounds will undoubtedly discourage those from similar backgrounds from following in their footsteps. This is a key Government target of immense benefit to the economy and society and in which universities all share."

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