Lessons for 2018: after reviewing our year, we set out our plans for 2018

Monday, January 8, 2018

Reflecting on 2017 brings into focus some lessons for us for 2018. Here we review the year just gone, and identify areas for development for the coming year.

A Year in Review

January 2017 saw us reach for the skies with a new partnership with WEAF – the West of England Aerospace Forum.

February brought the first ever Gradsouthwest Recruiter Update – our now monthly update for employers recruiting graduates in the region. It also saw the launch of our new Degree Apprenticeship service – Grow your own graduate, with the first University of Exeter Digital and Technology Solutions Degree Apprenticeship roles being advertised in March.

The #TalentSW campaign with Devon & Cornwall Business Council (DCBC) and the Western Morning News launched in April.

Creative talent came to the fore in May, as we judged Plymouth College of Art’s Creative CV competition – reviewing amazingly designed CVs presented on paper, in boxes and on coffee mugs.

1st June 2017 was Gradsouthwest’s 16th birthday as a service, and 2nd birthday as a company after spinning out from the Universities. June also saw our partnership conference with DCBC, Attracting & Retaining Talent in the SW.

July saw us celebrating the graduation of 10,000s of students across the region, and working with Plymouth University on student employability – supporting a student project for business students completing their 2nd year of study.

August saw the launch of our Postgraduate Open Days Calendar – helping those wanting to continue their studies in the region by providing all the PG Open Day dates in one place

September brought the launch of our first SW Grads Scheme Directory – and compliments flowed from students, Colleges and Universities for pulling together all the information into one place. We aim to release v2 this year – so let us know if you are an employer offering a graduate scheme in the region and we’ll include you (it’s free).

October brought the annual round of careers fairs – with one exception – the Grads Love Bristol event had a focus on those wanting the remain in the region for work. The growing sense that local is important to graduates supported our work earlier in the year on graduate retention and #backthesouthwest.

November saw us start mentoring at the University of Exeter – and we fully recommend that you follow suit and either mentor a student / get a mentor if you are a student.

In December we signed off our web development project – so watch this space for the go-live of our new website in February 2018.

Plans for 2018

Three key areas for 2018 jump out from our work in 2017:

Partnership was a key strand to our work in 2017 – and we commit to continuing to work with those that can support graduate attraction and retention in the region – helping employers source the graduates they require, and helping graduates remain in the region.

Employability of students and graduates is fundamental – and we commit to continuing our support for employability work in Colleges and Universities to help ensure employers are getting the employees they need, with the skills they require.

Reach – our employers say they need us to provide excellent access to students and graduates, and we commit to growing our reach so that more students and graduates know about the benefits of working in south west England.

We look forward to continuing to work with you in 2018 to deliver great graduates into great graduate jobs!