Graduates still face an increasingly challenging job market though, so we have bottled up an ‘employability formula’ which aims to get more of our graduates into graduate level jobs.
This formula includes professional work placements with every degree, employer feedback on placements to include required graduate and sector skills, employer events which give us market intelligence to inform our curriculums, local business and alumni networks, graduate internships, employability skills embedded into our degree programmes, volunteering opportunities to develop employability skills, one-to-one support to guide individuals through career planning and job search, and business mentors for final year students.
Leeds Trinity was the first university to pioneer the inclusion of professional work placements with every degree, and placements continue to form an integral, assessed part of every course. By the time students graduate, they have up to three months of degree relevant experience on their CV, valuable references from employers and a network of professional contacts. Many of our students gain their first graduate job either directly or indirectly from their professional placement. On placement students get actively involved in the working environment either on specific projects or offering general support to the organisation. We work with a huge range of placement host employers including retail companies, financial institutions, manufacturers, law firms, marketing and PR agencies, public and third sector organisations, newspapers and magazines, television and radio, sports and health organisations, and schools.
Graduate Internships are paid posts for three or six months and give graduates the chance to prove themselves to employers before any offer of permanent employment, enabling businesses to try out a new post or project without committing long term. Graduate Internships offer businesses free advertising and access to a diverse pool of motivated, work-ready, and recently qualified individuals with an enthusiasm and willingness to take on new challenges. An internship is a great opportunity for businesses to develop a graduate’s capabilities, adapt them to their business and help retain graduate talent in Yorkshire! Work could include setting up and implementing a social media strategy, market research, project or event management, or general support.
IMPROVING OUR WORK WITH EMPLOYERS
Our employer events enable employers to meet departmental staff, share good practice, review student performance and discuss recent industry changes which may affect graduate employability; such as changes to funding, new qualifications, new processes and fluctuating customer demands. This feedback informs Leeds Trinity’s curriculum and ensures our graduates develop sector-specific skills and knowledge. The employers that we work with have told us that holding regular employer events, with a particular focus on graduate skills and recent sector changes, is new and groundbreaking.
LEEDS TRINITY BUSINESS NETWORK
LTBN is an informal, thriving network where local businesses make good connections and leads, raise their profiles and work with the university to support local business in our area. Established in June 2011, the Leeds Trinity Business Network has run regularly ever since with lunchtime sessions every two months and a steady increase of members. The network is made up mainly of local businesses in the Leeds area and is held at Leeds Trinity University campus in Horsforth, Leeds. Being a university, we have a focus on learning and like each member to go away from each session feeling they’ve learnt or gained something for their business. Some of our members work with us to support students on placement or in graduate internships to help sustain graduate employability in our area.
WORKING WITHIN LEEDS CITY REGION
Leeds Trinity University plays an active part in the Leeds City Region Skills Network and our on-going work with employers and students are in line with the priorities of the Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership’s Skills Plan.
*Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA) Destination of Leavers Survey 2012