Choices and Transitions: A Study of the Graduate Labour Market in the South West Policy Issues for the SW Region Sean Mackney HERDA-SW Secretariat Overview • Why are graduates important? • What policy responses can be made? • What can the report tell us? • Five possible areas for action • Making it happen – next steps Why Graduates? • The Knowledge Economy needs knowledge workers and entrepreneurs • Projected demand • +ve impact on productivity, innovation, growth • Who wants them? – the case for graduate push • Non-economic benefits: active citizens, better health, lower domestic violence, less racism • Value of graduates reflected in premium employers pay Graduates are generally good news for economy and society Typical Policy Responses • All regions in UK taking action with graduates • Five policy lines to pursue – Increase supply of graduates to meet current and projected demand – Market the region to graduates – Assist in matching supply and demand – Stimulate employer demand for graduates in priority sectors – Maximise the value graduates add • Highlight messages in the study that inform our understanding of each policy line What can the report tell us? • Starting point: We want more graduates – (SW graduate strategy, RES, FRESA) • Strong team and methodology: – Institute of Employment Studies – Survey of 4000 leavers, 300 graduates, 100 interviews – Detailed look at secondary data: UCAS, HESA, LFS, New Earnings Survey, Employers Skill Survey, CSU graduate salaries and vacancies • Outputs: Full report; Exec. Summary; sector and subregional briefings; institutional reports; raw data • Everything available via www.herda-sw.ac.uk What can the report tell us (cont.) Many different stories: • Patterns of application for HE applicants FROM the South West • Student demand for SW HEIs; SW HEI primary competitors; subjects demanded and places taken up, by institution • Student satisfaction with SW HE experience, by institution, subject, age, ethnic group, and family experience of HE - a range of institutional services are rated, with in depth questions asked relating to employability-related activities • Graduating students (2002) career plans, anticipated salaries, intended region for work, attitudes to businesses by size and by sector and to self employment responses from over 4000 students graduating from SW HEIs. • Detailed information about graduating students perceptions and attitudes towards the SW region as a place to work and live, comparison with factual information on living costs by region, reasons for favouring or not favouring SW as region to work • Information on graduating students' views on what support they would welcome on graduation in relation to professional development and employment What can the report tell us (cont. 2) – Graduates in employment (3 years in) perceptions of SW region, career plans, attitudes to professional development, sectoral base, employment by type – Analysis of SW graduate labour market in terms of proportion of graduates, earnings comparisons against other regions, proportions employed, economically active, self-employed, sectoral densities of graduates in employment, earnings levels over lifetimes – Recommendations for how to increase the numbers of graduates in the SW. • Messages for LEAs, LSCs, LLPs, SRPs, REF FSO groups, HEIs, Employers, Sector groups, RDA, SW Marketing Team • Access is available to the original datasets to conduct more targeted analyses • The Full Report and datasets warrant detailed study for many organisations • Wide dissemination by HERDA-SW with support of SWRDA Increase regional supply of graduates • Widen and increase participation in the SW – an economic, not just a social agenda • Expand higher education provision in the SW – below av. places/head of pop. • Increase SW applications to SW HEIs • Offer what graduate leavers demand in a job – Interesting/challenging; dev. and training; small firm; progression • The right HE output? – 65% SW HE output directly relevant to priority sectors – 48% work experience built in; 84% work while studying; 1% self-employed. Market the region to graduates • What is the SW to UK graduates? – The playground & retirement home for UK professionals • Graduate views of the region: – Great for study; Poor job opportunities; low salary; high cost of living; poor place to work – …pretty accurate in many ways – Career oriented high fliers leave, most don’t even look in SW – BUT some positive messages to stress • Segment market and change perceptions – SW not seen as ‘the place’ for jobs in priority sectors even though prospects good in some sectors – Not just graduate leavers – young, experienced professionals too Assist in matching supply and demand • Increase the visibility of SW jobs – Priority sectors – Especially SMEs with training & development opportunities (favoured grad. option) • Graduatesouthwest.com is key strategic tool; esp. for returners and small firms • Getting a ‘graduate job’ is hard work • Work placements schemes facilitate quality employment, add value and aid retention – expand student and graduate schemes with priority sectors: 0-3yrs after graduation is key Stimulate employer demand • Comparatively low levels of demand – 15% workforce in SW, below nat. average BUT…20% in priority sectors =Scotland, after SEast (28%) and London (56%) – good in ICT, Creative Industries and Engineering & Marine. – 40% employ new grads from eng., technology, computing, biological and physical sciences ; 10% creative arts; 13% business & admin – 31% skills gaps in management and professional occupations • Black and Minority Ethnic graduates not fully utilised in SW • Increasing inward investment increases demand for graduates • Market the value of graduates to business bottom line, particularly with smaller firms Maximise the value graduates add • Under-employment and Graduate Expectations • Management Development – utilising high level skills in business + increasing salaries! • Graduates are ready for work, but prepare late • A SW Graduate Development Programme • Facilitate professional networking • Encourage and support graduate entrepreneurship • Drive up continuing professional development Making it happen Next steps: • Region revises Graduates Strategy and develops Business Plan for implementation • A regional champion and strategic agent for this agenda Questions for the REF: • Should this strategy and action programme be incorporated into the FRESA? • How does the REF wish to see the agenda progressed?