News & Events
Hope for unemployed graduates
- Posted by: pembscollegesuperadmin
An innovate project being run by Pembrokeshire College in collaboration with Gower College Swansea and TSSG (the Telecommunications, Software and Systems Group in Ireland) is helping unemployed graduates to boost their skills and increase their chances of finding work.
With an increasing number of graduates returning home after being unable to find employment, the experience of graduates in both Pembrokeshire and the City and County of Swansea reflects that of graduates nationwide. The latest data from the Office for National Statistics showed that in 2011 25% of 21 year olds who left university with a degree were unemployed compared to 20% of 18 year olds who left school with A-levels and 26% of 16 year olds who left school with GCSEs, as youth unemployment reached its highest level since the 1980s.
Hoping to help local graduates buck this trend, the mCommunity project is using mobile technology along with personal tutors to engage with graduates and analyse the skills they need to improve to increase their level of employability. So far the project has found that, although many graduates have the academic ability to do the job, they often lack some of the softer skills needed to secure employment such as effective communication, productivity and basic life skills – it is these skills that the personal tutors are helping graduates to develop.
With graduates often claiming Job Seekers Allowance, the project is working alongside Job Centres across Pembrokeshire and the City and County of Swansea to identify individuals who could benefit from the expertise of the mCommunity team.
The project has also found that many graduates leave university with unrealistic expectations of the jobs and level of pay that they should be looking for. Through the project these expectations are reviewed and more realistic expectations are developed.
Gower College Swansea have successfully implemented a graduate initiative as part of the mCommunity Project to deliver a Leadership and Management qualification to sit alongside their existing degree to improve employability. There are currently 25 graduates working towards this qualification. This was identified by the SME organisations on the project as a definite advantage when receiving graduate job applications.
Nicola Horne was one of the first graduates to join the programme through Pembrokeshire College and was helped to find a work placement with the European Centre for Training and Regional Co-operation in Seville, Spain. Nicola graduated from Durham University in 2012 with a 2.1 BA Combined Arts degree: English, Philosophy and History of Art but was finding it difficult to find employment. Nicola joined the project in September 2012 after returning to Pembrokeshire and commented: “It was so helpful and reassuring to have an mTutor who really cared about what I was doing and gave me the support and encouragement I wouldn’t have found elsewhere. I’m really sad to leave the scheme but I know I’ll always be able to contact Emma (mCommunity tutor).”
mCommunity Project Manager, Caroline Griffiths, added: “Working with unemployed graduates has been a real eye opener and thanks to our dedicated tutors, we have been able to offer flexible one-to-one support and core skills coaching through the use of mobile technology to graduates on the mCommunity project who would otherwise still be struggling to enter the job market.”
To find out more about the mCommunity project call 01437 753 202 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
This project has received funding from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) through the Ireland Wales Cross Border Programme 2007 – 2013 (INTERREG 4A)