UWE Bristol hosts biggest Employers Fair in the West

Issue date: 27 October 2011

Thursday 3 November 2011

UWE Bristol Conference and Exhibition Centre, Frenchay Campus

Thousands of graduates and students will make a beeline for the biggest Employers Fair in the West hosted by UWE Bristol on Thursday 3 November 2011. The Fair will be opened with a motivational speech from pent-athlete Heather Fell.

Despite the recession UWE Bristol students are performing brilliantly in the employment market and a recent survey of all UK universities rated UWE Bristol as 11th university in the UK for student employability. The annual Employers Fair plays an important role in helping students to maximise their employment opportunities.

UWE Bristol places student employment experience and opportunity at the heart of its ethos. Together with the one of the largest graduate internship schemes in the UK, over 70 programmes of study accredited by professional bodies, a growing list of strategic partnerships with key players such as HP and the BBC and a Careers Service that came joint third in the world in the International Student Barometer in 2010, the university has succeeded in creating an environment that breeds aspiration and ambition.

Over 100 employers from all over the UK have eagerly snapped up stands for the third Fair that UWE Bristol has organised to showcase opportunities and to talent scout.

Richard Gardiner, Business Improvement Manager from Interserve Construction Limited, one of the larger Construction companies in the South West, says that the company is enthusiastic about training and has taken part in the Fair for the past three Years.

He said, “We have a long standing partnership with the Faculty of Engineering and Technology at UWE Bristol. The Fair is a good way of promoting the company to students and graduates. We send staff on day release to UWE Bristol to study for BSc qualifications in Quantity Surveying, Engineering and Site Management. We also offer a limited number of Industrial Placements for students from relevant courses. Supporting staff through training is a good because they can 'earn whilst they learn' during their degree course and gain experience whilst developing their expertise.”

Brian Hunt, Managing Director of Zircon Software, a company that specialises in real time software engineering for roads and railways, says that the Fair is an excellent way of sourcing new students for placement and graduate employment.

He said, “Our business requires specialist skills and knowledge. We work on a wide spectrum of projects ranging from improving traffic light systems to devising control mechanisms for underground platform screen doors. We have worked closely with Dr Rob Williams who leads the Computer Systems Integration course for some years and the Fair presents us with a chance to meet more students who might enjoy spending their year in industry with us. Working with UWE Bristol in this way has resulted in us taking on graduates full time. We need staff who understand our business. Our partnership with UWE Bristol has created good opportunities for students and a supply of graduates who have the skills that are useful to us.”

John Clarke, Assistant Director of Student Services at UWE Bristol, said, “Over the past three years UWE Bristol has had continuous improvement in the performance of its graduates in the labour market, with this summer's HEFCE employment performance indicator showing UWE only one place behind Bristol and within the top 12 major higher education institutions in the UK.

“The Fair includes not only employers, big and small, but also volunteering opportunities and help for business start-up and self-employment. We will have a significant presence too for opportunities for further study, to help new graduates gain professional qualifications or enhanced skills and knowledge. This event is one of the largest in the UK and is in its third year here.

“The Meet the Employers Fair has grown considerably and last year welcomed about 4000 student and graduate visitors. It is now one of the largest recruitment fairs in the UK.”

Professor Steve West, UWE Bristol Vice-Chancellor, concludes, “It is fantastic that we have been able to develop and host this Employers Fair. The University prides itself on working with employers to ensure our graduates have the right knowledge, skills and attributes that employers are looking for. Our graduates benefit from our partnerships with employers and we know that employers and society benefit from our graduates. The opportunity for employers to showcase and meet our students is an important part of the student experience at UWE.”

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