Welsh universities – preparing Wales’ students for the world of work…

Universities are playing a key role in equipping students with the skills that they and their employers need, and expanding the high-skilled workforce in Wales.

92% of graduates from full time first degree courses in Wales are employed or in further study six months after leavingand looking at what graduates are doing three and a half years after graduation, the vast majority are in full-time employment.

While these statistics are already higher than the UK average, The Agreement on Skills and Employability for Wales – launched in conjunction with a range of partners in the higher education and the business community – aims to build on these figures by ensuring that graduates from Welsh universities are the most innovative, creative and employable workers in the UK.

92% of graduates from full-time first degree courses in Wales are employed six months after leaving higher education…

In common with the rest of Britain, Wales has recently developed a suite of policies to help businesses (especially Small to Medium sized Enterprises – SMEs) weather the current recession and lay the foundations for on-going economic recovery. The supply of graduate jobs is key to this vision. Improving employability skills is not an elite agenda to benefit a small minority but about creating a highly skilled workforce and a healthier Welsh economy for the benefit of all.

Backed up with a comprehensive action plan, key priorities include:

  • Increasing the number of high-level work placements,including providing opportunities through schemes such as GO Wales, Jobs Growth Wales and for science undergraduates via Techniquest’s schools outreach programme
  • Increasing the availability of courses in higher education that have been endorsed by employers due to their engagement with skills and business representative bodies during curriculum development
  • Making available more employability and entrepreneurship modules and opportunities for students in universities.

To view the full action plan go to www.hefcw.ac.uk

Another way in which the higher education sector in Wales is working together to increase the employability of its graduates is through the HEAR (Higher Education Achievement Report) scheme. The HEAR is an electronic document which provides detailed information about a student’s learning and achievement to supplement the traditional degree classification. Welsh universities have agreed with the principles of the HEAR and have committed to working towards providing this new document for all graduates in Wales.

What is so different about the HEAR is that in addition to their degree classification, all graduates will have a record not only of all their individual grades and credits obtained, but also details of non-academic activity, such as chairing clubs and societies or running the student newspaper.

This has been welcomed by employers, as for the first time, they will get a more rounded impression of the graduate and it will help universities in their commitment to giving Welsh graduates an extra edge in the jobs market



Working with employers (13)-page-001



Universities, Skills and Employability References


1 in 5 businesses in Wales are increasing graduate recruitment.


It’s predicted that the number of people working in Wales who have a degree will increase by 56% between 2014 and 2024


In 2016/17, Wales had 12.4% of the UK’s graduate start-ups. Wales also had 12.4% of the UK’s staff start-ups that have survived for three years or more.

A third of universities’ consultancy work in 2015-16 was with small and medium enterprises.

Welsh universities delivered 267,904 learner days of continuing professional development to organisations in Wales in 2016-17.


72% of graduates in Wales are working in a managerial or professional job within six months of graduating

Early DLHE Survey / HEFCW