Employers value their relationship with UWE Bristol says UA 'Job Ready' report

Issue date: 08 July 2014

A student shakes hey employers hand

Employers working with the University of the West of England (UWE Bristol) are effusive about their employment partnerships according to a University Alliance and CBI publication 'Job Ready', launching today at the House of Commons today, 8 July 2014 at 12:00.

The 'Job Ready' project celebrates the positive impact of university and business collaborations on students and graduates in the UK.

The project report includes a series of interviews with employers working with each UA member and featuring the aspects of the partnerships that work well, from an employer perspective.

Professor Steve West, UWE Bristol Vice-Chancellor and Chair of the University Alliance, said, “We are committed to delivering excellent practice based learning for our students and that means getting involved with businesses in a way that is mutually rewarding. We need to find placements and internships and create volunteer opportunities so our students gain valuable work experience to ensure that they are job ready. But it's not just about what we need; our careers service and placement contacts make huge efforts to ensure that our students are well briefed and well matched to each and every placement so that they can add value to the businesses we connect with.”

Maggie Westgarth, Head of Careers at UWE Bristol said, “Earlier this year UWE Bristol Careers Service won the Best University Careers Service Award at the National Undergraduate Employability Awards 2014 in recognition of the outstanding contributions they make in helping students make the most of work experience opportunities. These opportunities alongside a practice oriented curriculum have resulted in five years of steady improvements in UWE graduate employment outcomes. DLHE data released by HESA at the end of June shows that UWE Bristol has just 4.5% unemployed against a national average of 8%. Comparative data also showed that UWE Bristol is ranked 7th for graduate employability in England.”

Comments about UWE Bristol quoted in the report include “An outstanding university that has been very accommodating from day one…” “We receive value from our relationship with UWE and we get great returns…” “We've had nothing but positive experiences…”

Mark Homans, Regional Manager – South West, Santander Universities Global Division:

“As a global business we recognise that investment in the higher education sector can only be a positive thing. It's driving increased global mobility. Our priorities are giving students the opportunity to have an international experience and working with universities on the entrepreneurship agenda – a successful economy relies on new ideas and new businesses to create jobs, wealth and opportunity.

“I personally work with a large number of partners and UWE is right up there at the top. UWE is extremely visionary; the University is very focused on developing excellent collaborative relationships with business, at all levels – corporate business to SME.”

Sally Ansel, HR Adviser, Change and Performance, Bristol City Council:

“The students and graduates bring some really valuable skills and experience. They are highly motivated and so they can really contribute to our work. UWE has got really great quality students, they've got a great team behind all of the initiatives that we work with them on and we've had nothing but positive experiences.”

Stephanie Lee, Recruiter, INTEL:

“I think there's a series of reasons why we work with universities. We hire people on experience regardless of where they come from but the University of the West of England (UWE Bristol) has been one of our top universities and we hire the most students from there. UWE ticks all of our criteria: they are high ranking, they offer placement support and very relevant degrees. We have had fantastic engagement with UWE over the past 5 years, we've attended all sorts of events, such as CV workshops and offering tips on how to present their applications, events for MBAs where I've gone to judge their presentations, all sorts of long term employer branding activities. We receive value from our relationship with UWE and we get great returns.”

At the launch event the University Alliance will show a short video with a snapshot of some of the employers interviewed for the report and MPs will sign a pledge to support university-business engagement in their local area.

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