The government, and other organisations, such as The Complete University Guide and The guardian, publish league tables of graduates’ prospects by university. These tables, which are almost too simplistic, nevertheless heavily influence good potential students and their parents, in their choice of university.
A vicious circle sets in: universities languishing in the bottom half of the tables fail to attract good applicants; those that do apply are likely to obtain less good jobs on graduating and take longer to do it. Which means that the universities stay in the bottom half of the tables.
No university wants to be in this position (which usually bears no relation to the quality of the teaching or the academic staff). But it is difficult for some of them to do anything about it, because they do not have the resources nor skills the required.
What is needed is an injection of energy and resources from outside. The GradStart for Universities programme works with undergraduates to help them “raise their game” (see the paper, About GradStart for Universities).
It is a programme based in emotional intelligence and soft skills development.
GradStart creates a context—a ‘facilitating environment’—in which the students are empowered to accelerate their personal development, getting better job offers quicker, and getting through the door of their first full time employer.
A CBI Education and Skills survey  found that the four most important factors employers weighed up when recruiting university leavers are:
GradStart explicitly addresses the first and third of these:
For businesses, that means
In the UK, less than 1 employee in 6 (17%) is engaged at work, and companies with low engagement suffer (Gallup ):
Clearly, if businesses are presented with a selection of motivated, self-reliant graduate applicants, all the problems above are reduced. Of course, if the situation is to be fully improved, businesses have to play their part and that is something which GradStart and its associates are applying themselves to in other initiatives.
 The CBI/Pearson: Gateway to Growth—Education and Skills Survey, July 2014 is available here. This subject is addressed further in Delivery of Employability Skills Training—A Discussion Document prepared for Middlesex University, Akonia, 31 July 2014
 CEB/SHL Talent Measurement: Hire and Inspire – A new approach to Graduate recruitment 2014 – p4
 CIPD: Learning to Work – Survey report March 2015 – p2-3
 CBI/Accenture: Growth for Everyone: Employment trends survey 2014 – p7
 Gallup: State of the Global Workplace: Employee Engagement Insights for Business Leaders Worldwide 2013 – p91, p117
 ibid – p20-22
> Helping students get better jobs : GradStart programme overview
> The value of soft skills to the UK economy
> GradStart taster sessions
> Blog: Employability: why are students not engaged?
> Blog: Employability: what stops it?
Please contact Jeremy Marchant, firstname.lastname@example.org or 01 453 764 615, to discuss this
by Jeremy Marchant . © 2015 Akonia Ltd . added 21 november 2015 . image: Free images