Tackling the disconnect between universities, Small businesses and graduates in cities and regions

Tackling the disconnect between universities, Small businesses and graduates in cities and regions by Martin Edmondson, Amy Ward, Version 2017, EURASHE_AC_LeHavre_170330-31_pres_EDMONDSON-WARD.pdf (1.1 MB) -

A review of the challenges facing companies, universities and places in retaining and utilising graduate talent and remaining competitive in the face of the 4th industrial revolution. Gradcore have been trying to understand the impact of graduates on economic growth for the last decade, and have developed some key principles: • Graduate utilisation is as important as graduate retention, • The disconnect between graduates and SMEs is two-way, • Graduate underemployment compromises productivity, • Graduates, appropriately used, create innovation and growth in businesses and economies, • Graduate recruitment processes should be designed to develop employability. Bearing all of this in mind, we asked: How can you turn a city or area into a graduate scheme, and better connect small businesses, universities and graduates, and equip them for the future? We created a pilot ‘city graduate scheme’ in 2011 in Sheffield. The scheme involves a partnership between the 2 universities in the city (University of Sheffield and Sheffield Hallam University), Gradcore and local government. Workshop content: • Challenges faced: Graduate retention, economic growth, skills development, SME leadership, enhancement and upskilling, • Outline of the model: Creation of a city wide brand, graduate recruitment methods for hundreds of SMEs and multiple universities through one single process, • Results : How we have made more than 6000 graduates more employable, supported more than 300 SMEs and generated a £6:1 return on investment for the local economy, • Lessons learned: Case study on applying the model in a second city with a different economic context. Learning on how this might apply in particular to areas such as digital skill shortages and future economic changes.