By Paul Hacking. A major impact of the economic slowdown has been the decreasing numbers of graduates working with large-sized employers. In the UK, for example, less than 10% of graduates in their first job are on a graduate scheme with a major employer. In addition to this, jobless rates among those with higher education qualifications for the period 2008–2010 have increased in every EU country except Germany. So how can universities respond to a changing graduate labour market to improve the employability of graduates?
The evidence that internships improve the employability of graduates is overwhelming. Internships are believed to improve the student’s self-confidence and help to develop a broader range of life-skills such as self-awareness, decision making and networking. So should higher education institutions do more to expand and develop internship opportunities? Traditionally, an internship has involved a full-time placement with a company for a period of 6 to 12 months or undertaking a 12-week work experience programme in the summer break. However, this is not a realistic goal for most university students given the higher numbers now in higher education. Read more...