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David Draycott: Graduate Retention
 

David Draycott: Graduate Retention

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David Draycott, Director, West at Work, talks to the SWO Future Skills seminar on Graduate Retention in the West of England.

David Draycott, Director, West at Work, talks to the SWO Future Skills seminar on Graduate Retention in the West of England.

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  • 1. West of England Loyals These are graduates who are domiciled in the West of England, went to study in the region, and remained to work in the West of England. Over the three years of the data, 2635 graduates, or 22.1% of graduates known to have started work in the region, fell into this category. 2. West of England Returners Returners were originally domiciled in the West of England, studied elsewhere, and then returned to the West of England to work. 2880, or 24.1% of graduates working in the region fell into this category 3. West of England Stayers Stayers were originally from outside the West of England, but studied at an institution in the region and remained there to work. 2710, or 22.7% of graduates known to have started work in the region during the period in question were Stayers. 40% of Stayers were originally domiciled elsewhere in the South West. Other common regions of domicile for Stayers were the South East (20%), Wales (10%) and the West Midlands (8%). 4. West of England Incomers Incomers are those graduates who were working in the West of England, but had not been domiciled there and had not studied there. They make up a significant proportion of graduates entering vocational occupations, such as engineering and medicine, for which there were limited study options at West of England institutions, and are the largest group of employed graduates in the region, with 3715, or 31.1%, of graduates known to be have been working in the West of England after six months as graduates, over the three years under examination. Incomers were likely to have studied at institutions elsewhere in the South West, in Wales or in the South East, and were also likely to have been domiciled in one of these three regions.
  • Each cohort seems to see the Loyals as the smallest group and the Incomers as largest. Of course, these numbers are dwarfed by the numbers of graduates from WoE institutions that leave the region to work; this is really a reflection of the strength of the local HE sector more than any weakness in the local labour market.
  • The graduate employment categories were developed by Prof. Peter Elias and the Institute of Employment Research at Warwick University, and are those commonly used in classification. http://www2.warwick.ac.uk/fac/soc/ier/research/current/7yrs2/ The five categories of SOC (HE) are: Traditional graduate occupations These are the established professions for which a degree has historically been required. Solicitors, research scientists, architects and medical practitioners are all examples. They typically require the post-holder to be an expert in a very specific area. Modern graduate occupations The expansion of higher education in the 1960s, and the development of new professional fields in areas such as IT, have resulted in the development of a range of newer professions requiring graduate-level qualifications. Software programmers, journalists, primary school teachers and chief executives are all examples of modern graduate occupations. They require the post-holders to be ‘experts’, but also often to have more strategic or interactive responsibility than a traditional graduate job. New graduate occupations These are areas of employment that are often rapidly expanding in today’s labour market. The nature of these jobs has changed relatively recently to mean that the most accepted route into them is via a graduate-level qualification. Marketing, management accountancy, therapists and many forms of engineer are examples of new graduate occupations. They typically require a higher level of strategic responsibility or of ability to interact with others, and less need for them to be an expert in a topic. Niche graduate occupations This area is expanding. Many occupations do not require graduate-level qualifications, but contain within them specialist niches that do require degrees to enter. Nursing, retail managers, specialist electrical engineers and graphic designers all fall into this category. Often they require a combination of skills, such as managerial and expert skills, but equally often the need is for an ‘all-rounder’ with a range of abilities. Non-graduate occupations All jobs that do not fall into the previous four categories are considered ‘non-graduate occupations’. This does not automatically imply that it is not appropriate for a graduate to be doing them, or that a graduate in one of these occupations cannot enjoy a fulfilling job. It means that, in the main, a degree is not required to enter these occupations. The changing nature of the labour market means that there are efforts going on, led by HEFCE, to review the classifications of certain jobs, particularly on the boundary between ‘niche’ and ‘non-graduate’ jobs.
  • These are the questions that the findings prompted with HECSU, not being as familiar with the local labour market. HECSU has also recently undertaken some research into regional labour markets on behalf of BIS, which suggests that the final question, about the public sector, could be crucial for many parts of the UK in coming years.

David Draycott: Graduate Retention David Draycott: Graduate Retention Presentation Transcript

  • Graduate Retention in the West of England David Draycott Director, Employment and Skills Board
  • 1. West of England Loyals These are graduates who are domiciled in the West of England, went to study in the region, and remained to work in the West of England. 2. West of England Returners Returners were originally domiciled in the West of England, studied elsewhere, and then returned to the West of England to work. 3. West of England Stayers Stayers were originally from outside the West of England, but studied at an institution in the region and remained there to work. 4. West of England Incomers Incomers are those graduates who were working in the West of England, but had not been domiciled there and had not studied there. Graduate groupings
  • 2005/6 3815 2006/7 3855 2007/8 4275 Working in the region six months after graduation WoE Loyals 2635 WoE Returners 2880 WoE Stayers 2710 WoE Incomers 3715 Number of graduates in each migration group
  • Graduate employment categories for each group
  • Key findings (1)
      • The region is an effective exporter of graduates to other regional economies, most notably to the rest of the South West, but also to neighbouring regions of Wales and the South East.
      • However the largest group of graduates employed in the region six months after graduating were those with no prior direct connection to the region
  • Key findings (2)
      • The incoming graduates were concentrated in roles in medicine, engineering and business and finance
      • West of England seems compelled, by lack of local provision, to import some of their best paid new graduates
      • There are exceptions e.g. civil engineering
  • Key findings (3)
      • Those graduates who did stay within the region after finishing their degree were often employed in the public sector, and particularly in nursing and to a lesser extent, social work.
      • This does mean this group may be vulnerable to expected forthcoming cuts in public sector employment
  • Recommendations
      • examine the motivations of these different groups for choosing their employment location
      • -try to encourage local growth in certain sectors, particularly IT and finance, both to help boost graduate retention and immigration, and to reduce the dependency of the local graduate labour market on nursing and related professions
      • examine why certain groups of graduates educated locally, and for whom there is local demand, nevertheless leave for opportunities elsewhere
      • encourage young people from the region to study subjects for which there is significant local demand that is currently not met by local institutions, particularly in medicine and in engineering
  • How far do graduates actually travel for work on leaving university, and how far are they willing to go? Why do some graduates seem to leave the West of England when there appear to be jobs locally for them? Could it be possible to convince more West of England young people to study subjects that are in demand by the local labour market, but which are not covered by local institutions? To what extent is it desirable to retain local graduates if a reasonable number of able graduates from elsewhere are coming in? Is this actually more healthy than a local labour market dominated by local graduates? Does the level of public sector employment pose a danger to graduate retention in the current economic climate? Questions