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Government urged to make graduates more employable

21 April 2017

Criticism of the government's Industrial Strategy has been voiced by the Environmental Association for Universities and Colleges (EAUC) for lack of support for graduates.

Despite the strategy's recognition of sustainability as being key for the future of the UK economy, the association says there is no attempt to assist graduates in being fit for employment.

Its statement said "this is setting them up to struggle to gain employment as businesses across the board want graduates that can balance the needs of economy, society and the environment".

It quotes the Association of Graduate Recruiters' comment that approximately 50% of employers do not believe graduates have the required workplace skills to support its statement.

Competition has never been so high for entry positions in the jobs market, says the EAUC, with just under half of UK graduates in non-graduate roles and the launch of the Apprenticeship Levy also adding to the issue.

EAUC chief executive officer Iain Patton said: "We want the UK to be an ideopolis where innovation and resilience becomes second nature.

"This cannot happen if we continue to produce students from higher and further education that are not work ready.

"Businesses are finding it difficult to recruit graduates with commercial awareness and an understanding of global sustainability," he said.

Mr Patton further referred to the "beginning of a sustainability revolution", with social responsibility "embedded in business", requiring recognition by government for the need to educate graduates in these areas.

"The EAUC wants the government, and the Industrial Strategy in particular, to emphasise graduate attributes that will make them employable," said Mr Patton.

The inaugural meeting of the Future Business Council, established by the EAUC, will take place on 18 May 2017, with the aim of creating a foundation for exchange of research and knowledge to assist the next generation in the workplace.

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