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UWE Bristol leading graduate employment results

Closer university and business collaboration vital to bridging the UK skills gap

The University of the West of England (UWE Bristol) is leading the market for graduate employability, according to the latest Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA) figures out today1. The results show 96% of last year’s graduates are in employment or further study, with 78% in professional roles. This compares with UK market averages of 94% and 71% respectively.

The figures show UWE Bristol’s success in graduate employment in professional roles in areas of national skill shortages as well as in new industries;

  • Allied Health Nursing – 96% in professional roles, 2% above UK average
  • Computer Sciences – 86% in professional roles, 4% above UK average
  • Business and Administrative Studies – 72% in professional roles, 5% above UK average
  • Engineering and Technology – 84% in professional roles, matching the UK average
  • UWE Bristol also achieves 99% employment of UWE graduates 3½ years post-graduation2, compared with a national average of 97% and a Russell Group average of 98.2%.

To accompany the HESA figures, UWE Bristol has launched ‘The Role Of Progressive Universities In The Global Knowledge Economy’. The report calls on universities to forge closer links with business to bridge the skills gap and increase UK productivity.

Professor Steve West, UWE Bristol Vice-Chancellor and Chair of the University Alliance, says:

“Following the result of the EU referendum it is even more important that we improve UK competitiveness and productivity. We need to seize the opportunities in the global economy, by demonstrating to current and potential investors that in the UK we have the skilled workforce for organisations to succeed. My hope is that we can mitigate the unintended consequences of Brexit by building the right UK workforce that can tackle many of the high skill requirements employers need.

“The UK needs a talent revolution to meet the challenges of the high-tech knowledge economy. We know that 80% of new jobs are in high-skill areas, placing universities and our graduates at the heart of the future workforce. We need to train a new generation of graduates to meet the challenges that leaving Europe will present, with the skills and mindset to support innovation and drive productivity and services for the knowledge based economy. We need to equip graduates with the right skills to be adaptable in an uncertain and shifting job market and must provide UK businesses with innovation and support as the new future for the UK in the global economy emerges.”

Business collaboration is central to UWE Bristol’s success in achieving market leading graduate employment results. The figures show more than 90% of UWE Bristol graduates that worked with an employer during their degree found professional jobs, compared with 78% for all UWE Bristol graduates. UWE Bristol boasts the UK’s largest paid internship programme which has secured 2,000 internships since 2010.

A snapshot of the UWE Bristol progressive approach to education and business partnership:

Skills mapping

Engineering UK predicted 16,000 more engineers will be needed in the South West by 2022, so the university has doubled the number of engineering graduates in the last four years to meet the needs of GE (Aviation), Airbus, GKN Aerospace and the many SMEs that provide the supply chain to aerospace.
As the largest trainer for the NHS, UWE Bristol is meeting the government’s challenge to universities to provide 10,000 nurses over the life of the next parliament by expanding available places.

Listening to employers has led to a cutting-edge BSc forensic computing degree to meet the demand for experts in computer crime and cyber security. UWE Bristol is home to the Bristol Robotics Laboratory, the UK’s largest, in collaboration with the University of Bristol, where more than 150 academics, researchers and industry practitioners are leading cutting edge research ranging from human-robot interaction to driverless cars.

Mark Stewart, Airbus UK General Manager and HR Director, says:

“As a global business, we are fortunate to be able to source candidates from around the world. The University of the West of England has a key role to play in understanding our current and future skills needs and developing the programmes necessary to deliver first class graduates with both the technical expertise and the professional abilities we require.”

UWE Bristol Vice-Chancellor, Professor Steve West, is calling for more innovative partnerships between business and education. He says:

“Perhaps now more than ever, universities lie at the heart of the UK’s economic future and global competitiveness, but only by engaging with business and industry will they meet the rapidly changing demands of the knowledge economy. From research and innovation to mapping the skills of the future, it will be progressive, collaborative universities that will fulfil their role as key drivers of productivity and economic growth.”

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