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Experts Discuss Making Graduates More Employable

9 May 2012

A University of Ulster conference is to focus on how higher education institutions can better prepare students for long-term employment in a rapidly changing global market.

Careers expert Dr Paul Redmond is to address these issues tomorrow at the conference taking place on the Jordanstown campus.

Dr Redmond, one of the UK’s leading experts on generation theory and the changing world of the graduate job market, will speak at Ulster’s ‘Employability: How Higher Education Can Rise To The Challenge’.

He said: “Since the global economic downturn of 2008, job markets for graduates have been transformed. Unemployment and under-employment have both markedly increased, leaving many people uncertain about the value of university credentials.

“At the same time, fast-growing economies in India and China are increasing their share of global ‘knowledge jobs’, leaving many in the West uncertain about how or where to compete.

“So what can universities do to help students prepare for an uncertain and volatile career future? What is the formula for long-term employability and how can the university curriculum prepare students for life in a post-crunched world?”

The University of Ulster’s Pro-Vice-Chancellor of Teaching & Learning, Professor Denise McAlister,said: “This conference is timely coming as it does in the wake of the publication of the Higher Education Strategy for Northern Ireland.

“The Strategy places a major emphasis on the need for graduates to develop employability skills to succeed in the job market and contribute to the development of modern, sustainable knowledge-based economies.

“The development of graduate employability skills is a key strength of Ulster’s taught programmes and our conference provides a vehicle to showcase our excellent and award-winning practice and to explore the future challenges facing the sector.”

Dr Paul Redmond is Head of Careers & Employability at the University of Liverpool and is the author of numerous books and articles on graduate employability. His new book ‘A parent’s guide to graduate jobs’ is published by Trotman later this year.

Paul is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and president-elect of the Association of Graduate Careers Advisory Services.