Issue date: 05 April 2001

UWE has seen employment rise to an all time high and unemployment at an all time low. Employment, for all full time first degree graduates, has grown by over 10% since 1999. Level of unemployment at graduation has fallen significantly too, down from 5.5% in 1999 to 3.7% for all year 2000 graduates.

Published figures out today also confirm the university's standing among other universities, with UWE having the best employment figures for new universities in the south-west

Law, Engineering, Built Environment, Computing Studies and Mathematics graduates are particularly in demand. In Education and Health and Social Care only 2 graduates from the year 2000 were still seeking work or further study at graduation out of 340 graduates surveyed.

Initial salaries rose to an average of £16,224

UWE's strong links with regional employers has been particularly noticeable in this year's survey with the percentage employed within the region rising from just over 49% in 1999 to 57% in 2000. Graduates continued to find opportunities in both major blue chip and small regional companies. The IT industry and the financial sector have been strong recruiters, with the number of graduates joining these companies doubling to 278. The numbers of graduates from UWE entering managerial positions has also increased from 164 to 283.

Rebecca Skuse graduated from UWE with a BA (Hons) in Culture and Media Studies (first) in October 2000. Rebecca now works at Future Publishing in Bath on Cross Stitch magazine which has a world-wide circulation of 13,000. She got her foot in the door as a Production co-ordinator and says that she would have no chance of getting the job she has now if it hadn't been for that job. "I always knew that I wanted to go into newspaper or magazine production after doing work experience on the Bristol Evening Post and Bath Chronicle during the summer between my GSCE's and A levels" says Rebecca. " An important aspect of my course work at UWE was to work on a media project and I'm sure the choices I made during this time have helped me secure work in my chosen area. I always chose to pursue modules where I could work at putting together my own magazine. This meant that I had a portfolio which demonstrated my abilities in this area. When I left UWE I worked voluntarily for the Big Issue on the local pages writing the Art exhibition reviews and managing the cinema listings. I'm sure these combined experiences helped me get my current job with Future which I really enjoy. I often refer to my current job as being able to do all the things I really enjoy at university, except I now get paid for it! I hope to work towards becoming a production editor and eventually editor of my own magazine."

Julia Herbert graduated with a BA (Hons) in English in June 2000. She now works at Burston Marsteller, a PR agency based in London with a worldwide network of offices. Julia said, "I think my degree stood me in good stead for this job. Although not directly related to what I now do it does give you the edge if you have one. I started working as a temp but was offered a full time job when one came up. This is a very competitive industry and a lot of people want to work in public relations so I feel lucky to be here. I think what I enjoy most about the work is the sheer diversity. I am a Client Executive which means I get involved in media relations by forging strong links with journalists and helping companies to develop their media strategies. I also get to work on marketing strategies and carry our market research projects for clients. I think that I will stay with this company for a few years as there are so many opportunities to develop my experience including the possibility of working overseas."

Oliver Herman - Taylor graduated with a degree in English Literature in October 2000 and now works for Zeppotron.com, a writing and production company formed by a group of writers who worked on Channel 4's "Eleven O'clock show." Oliver leapt at the opportunity to work on a causal basis as a runner for the company and he's still there. Oliver said, " I really love my work here. I meet some very funny people and I never know what I am going to be doing when I come into work as every day is different. I've had the chance to research programmes, help with the website design as well as the running around for the production team. I don't think that an English Literature degree particularly prepares you to go into any career as it is a non-vocational subject but I'm sure it will prove invaluable if I get into writing in the future. The time spent as a student has given me the confidence to aim high - next stop Chief Executive of Zeppotron!

A number of graduates went abroad to join firms like Goldman Sachs and Chase Manhattan, as well a Japanese Exchange programme. Closer to home, firms with a large regional presence, such as Rolls Royce, BAe Systems, TRW and Bristol and West and many others, all took significant numbers of UWE graduates.

Commenting on the figures, Alfred Morris, Vice Chancellor of UWE and Chair of the Regional Development Agency's Skills Committee said, "It is pleasing to see this years graduate employment figures reflect a growing partnership between the UWE and the skills needs of employers in the region"


Notes to Editor

1. The above figures include all graduates, DipHE to postgraduate. This is the first year that the Higher Education Funding Council (HEFCE) also publishes its employment outcome performance indicators for the HE sector. These show employment at graduation to be 95% of all first degree students (including further study). The university matches or exceeds its benchmarks given by HEFCE.

2. UWE's employment at graduation has been consistently well above the average for UK universities

3. Figures refer to graduates with first degree, other undergraduate qualifications and post-graduates

4. Many employers will recruit graduates from any degree subject area. However, the subject area studied and the academic level obtained can be important in certain career fields such as engineering, environmental health and physiotherapy

5. Most employers are concerned about the range of skills, qualities and experiences students have. For example: effective communications skills, leadership qualities, ability to work in a team, initiative and problem solving, numeracy and ICT. UWE has since 1998 been running a key skills programme to support its students. The Student Union also runs skills programmes for its students.

6. UWE's career development unit provides a vast range of resources and services to its students. Details can be found on www.uwe.ac.uk/careers

7. Other case studies are available.

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