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52 per cent of employers have never hired anyone with a history of mental illness
Doctors are not doing enough to help people with mental health problems return to work, according to a survey of more than 600 employers. Some 40 per cent of people claiming incapacity benefit suffer from depression or anxiety disorders. Reducing this level is essential if the government is to meet its “pledge to get 80 per cent of all people of working age into work”, finds the study by Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development and KPMG consultants.

Medical Careers Advisers Network

AGCAS recently funded a new task group to help it support the work of members offering IAG to medical students and graduates. Why has the group been set up and what does it do?  Fiona McNamara of University of Edinburgh explains...

National Guidance Research Forum Website
The National Guidance Research Forum Website is a resource and discussion site for all those interested in Career Guidance including researchers, practitioners, trainers, managers and policy makers. If you are looking for the latest research on any aspect of career guidance, this is where you will find it - great when you are preparing strategy documents, seeking to influence academic colleagues or just trying to keep yourself up to date.

Reading: New AGCAS Courses and Research Opportunities
Phil McCash, director of the AGCAS Certificate, Diploma and Postgrad courses at the University of Reading, was interviewed in the latest issue of Phoenix. If you missed the article, catch up with developments here.

Career Decision-Making: the 'class factor'
It is often assumed that working class students wanted to get a graduate level job pretty soon after graduation. A HECSU (Higher Education Careers Service Unit) funded research project at Edge Hill University might cause many people to think otherwise.

Graphic design interview on DVD - A Careers Adviser’s View
The AGCAS DVD Making an Impact: the graduate job interview includes a chapter showing two students being interviewed for a Junior Designer's post. Jackie Hartley of Staffordshire University watched the filming from a guidance practitioner's perspective.

Courses for Adults at Career Crossroads
How does an adult change career and plot a life course that they can look back on with some satisfaction? Paul Dowson, Senior Lecturer in Professional Development at Leeds Metropolitan University, was commissioned to develop a course to help.

Putting Research into Practice Conference
HECSU's annual conference is an annual high point for anyone interested in research. Jane Standley, Head of Careers at Brunel University attended on the 2007 conference.

Graduate Jobs Southampton
Each year approximately 6,000 of Southampton's 40,000 students enter the labour market, with about 30% staying within the area to seek career opportunities. This gives the region's employers access to a large pool of graduate talent from a wide range of sectors. Meredith Pollock, Project Officer, Graduate Jobs Southampton describes a local initiative to support graduates and employers.

Online Career Fairs – the Staffordshire experience
In January 2007 Staffordshire University began development of a software system that enables it to set up and manage online career fairs.  The intention, as with all fairs, was to bring exhibitors and graduates together at the same place and to facilitate meaningful dialogues between them. Mark Kent, Head of Careers and Employability Service, describes how it works.

Advanced Guidance - diary of a survivor
Zoë Mitton, Careers Adviser at the University of Huddersfield, attended the AGCAS Advanced Guidance Skills residential course in Bristol in 2007. Her report is a must-read if you're considering the course.

Museums - research shows up inequalities
Maurice Davies, Deputy Director of the Museums Association, spent 2006 researching entry to the museum workforce, with the help of a fellowship from the University of East Anglia and support from Creative and Cultural Skills.

Student Entrepreneurship – will the Brown era be Golden in East Anglia?
The University of East Anglia's knowledge transfer activities receive significant funding from the Higher Education Innovation Fund (HEIF) programme. Owned by the DTI (until the recent re-shuffle in Government gave birth to the new Department of Innovation, Universities and Skills) HEIF funding is what has enabled the UEA to get serious about the promotion of entrepreneurship as a genuine alternative career path over the years. Firstly, however, it may be worth spending a moment thinking about just a few of the reasons why this might be a good thing.

Enterprise success in Yorkshire and Humber
There has been growing recognition in recent years that regional economies will benefit not only from graduates employed within local companies, but from graduates staying in the region to work on a freelance basis or to start their own business. An Enterprise strand of the successful GraduatesYorkshire project was therefore launched last year, funded by the RDA Yorkshire Forward.

Enterprising Boris at Newcastle
Over the last five or six years, students' enterprise skills and entrepreneurial aspirations have been at the centre of a lot of development work inside and outside of the curriculum of UK universities. In June 2007, Boris Johnson, Shadow Minister for Higher Education, paid a visit to Newcastle University to find out how it had developed its provision and what changes these developments have made to the students' learning experience. 

Enterprise Week
Enterprise Week (12-18 November 2007) is a national week of activities and events inspiring young people to make their ideas happen. Last year was a huge success with 3184 events attended by 445,000 people, of which 261 events were university based. This year we want to make even more of an impact! Lauren Maleh, who is responsible for the initiative's marketing strategy, website and materials, explains how you can get involved.

Award for Lancaster
In 2006, the Centre for Employability, Enterprise and Careers at Lancaster University (CEEC) saw its endeavours in enterprise and entrepreneurship provision recognised by winning the first ever AGCAS Award for Excellence in Enterprise (sponsored by NCGE). Read Director of CEEC, Paul Blackmore's account of how they did it.

Enterprise Education at Reading
Becky Miller, Innovation and Entrepreneurship Manager, describes enterprise education at the University of Reading...

Enterprise at Swansea
Corina Edwards, Entrepreneurship Development Officer at Swansea University, is responsible for bringing together the range of activities on offer to students, graduates and staff at the university, as well as working with local employers and entrepreneurs. Here she describes how she and colleagues help students develop a more entrepreneurial approach to their working life.

Social Entrepreneurship at the University of York
Entrepreneurial individuals are not always motivated by the prospect of becoming rich.  Indeed, the University of York has found that the majority of the students coming into the Careers Service with ideas for potential ventures are actually seeking to establish social enterprises rather than commercial ones.   The government's new Office of the Third Sector says social enterprises "are businesses with primarily social objectives whose surpluses are principally reinvested for that purpose in the business or in the community, rather than being driven by the need to maximise profit for shareholders and owners." This means that the social entrepreneur has to embody all the traits of the commercial entrepreneur, principally the ability and drive to pull together the resources to make something happen; but also has to possess a strong motivation to make a positive difference.

Register of Practitioners Pilot
A model developed for the proposed AGCAS Register of Practitioners is expected to be piloted by a group of up to 30 AGCAS members early in 2008. The AGCAS Board has for some time been looking at the possibility of establishing a voluntary register as an initial step on the long road toward chartered status for the guidance profession.

Excellence Award for Heriot-Watt
Heriot-Watt University Careers Advisory Service in Edinburgh has been named as one of the recipients of a matrix Excellence Award. The awards are designed to acknowledge the achievements of organisations that have set an example for others in the use of the matrix Standard. Organised by ENTO and backed by the Department for Innovation University and Skills, the awards attract entries from all over the country and from all types and sizes of matrix-Accredited organisations.

MBE for Arti

AGCAS member Arti Kumar, CETL Associate Director of the Centre for Personal and Career Development at the University of Bedfordshire, has been awarded an MBE  as part of the 2008 New Year's Honours List in recognition of her services to higher education.

Arti's new book SOARing to Success: Personal, Academic and Career Development in Higher Education, published by Routledge Taylor & Francis, was launched in January. The book is particularly aimed at academics delivering employability and PDP in the curriculum, but is also a must-read for careers professionals as it's packed with theory, new models and practical exercises to undertake with students.  

Heads in Harrogate

Over 100 AGCAS heads of service gathered in Harrogate in January for their annual conference. Speakers included Professor David Eastwood, CEO of HEFCE, and Yorkshire entrepeneur, Barry Dodd of GSM Group.

AGCAS President, Graham Nicholson, expertly delivered edited highlights of a Bill Rammell speech when the minister had to reluctantly send his apologies the day before the conference.

It wasn't all passive listening - there were eight diverse workshops and, perhaps most important of all, lots of opportunities for networking, before the final speaker, Richard Reeves closed the conference on a high with an entertaining and thought provoking presentation on the subject of happiness at work.  Research has apparently proved that money isn't everything but if you bump into a colleague in the garden centre next Sunday, ask them why they're smiling.

Junior Doctors DVD coming soon

AGCAS has joined forces with the South West Peninsula Deanery to produce a resource which aims to help junior doctors shine in their selection tests. The difficulties that many experienced in the first year of the new procedure have been well-publicised but it's hoped that they will be better prepared this time round.

The new DVD will be distributed to every junior doctor in the South West via the deanery and will be made available to other deaneries and HE careers services by AGCAS. It is due to be released at the end of February 2008.


New Website at Reading
Have you seen the University of Reading's new CEIGHE course website? The new website will provide you with lots of information on administrative issues, the structure and content of the various modules and about other courses in the new Careers Studies department. Definitely one for your favourites folder!

Graduate Employers and Labour Markets - new eLearning programme
A distance learning module of the AGCAS/Reading Qualifications has been rewritten as an eLearning programme. Graduate Employers and Labour Markets replaces the old Employer Relations distance learning pack.

Career Education, Information and Guidance in Higher Education (CEIG HE) Qualifications
Becoming properly qualified is an important professional and personal achievement. People working with undergraduates, postgraduates and graduates in the fields of employability, work readiness and transition to work will often have a wide range of previous qualifications and experience.

International students - what do employers think and do?
More details from the PMI survey into the attitudes and practices of UK employers with respect to international students have just been released. A summary of employer comments on the issue of work permits is now available.

International students - survey of provision and needs
An AGCAS/NASES survey into careers service, student employment and job shop provision for international students and into the needs of those providing the above service has just been published.

AGCAS CEO in Parliament
Margaret Dane, AGCAS Chief Executive, was invited to make a presentation to the Skills Commission at the House of Commons in December.

China invite for AGCAS CEO

AGCAS Chief Executive, Margaret Dane, was invited to Beijing in January to speak at the first meeting of the new China-UK Employability and Entrepreneurship Forum.


Employability model from UCLAN

Staff at the University of Central Lancashire Centre for Employability have developed a new model of graduate employability.

Graduates Onward at Manchester Met
The Centre for Social Inclusion at Manchester Metropolitan University is in the process of completing an ESF-funded project, ‘Graduates Onward!' (GO!), which aims to develop employability amongst students.

Npower asks for Passion

Utility giant, npower, puts passion high on its list of requirements for graduate recruits. Bob Athwal, head of graduate recruitment and development at the company is also delighted to see how passionate careers professionals are about their work...

Supporting researchers? Book your conference place

AGCAS's conference, Working to Support Researchers - Effective Collaboration and Developing Good Practice, takes place on 29 April 2008 at the University of Warwick, and is sponsored by Research Councils UK.


Careers Services in England - government announces changes

The government has published white papers outlining its plans for careers provision in England for young people and adults respectively.

INGRADA - plans for the future

AGCAS continues to play a central role in the development of INGRADA, the international network of national associations involved in the business of graduate recruitment and careers development. 

Sector Briefings - latest news

Sector Briefings, recently updated by AGCAS writers on Hospitality, Sport and Leisure, Bank, Investment and Insurance, Legal Services, Manufacturing, Publishing, Science, Social Care, are now live on Prospects.

Postgraduate Toolkit

AGCAS's Postgraduate Students Task Group is currently reviewing its Postgraduate Toolkit particularly in the light of the development of the Research Staff Toolkit. 

Teaching and Related Professions Task Group Bulletin

The latest edition (May 2008) of the Teaching and Related Task Group's Bulletin is now available in Resources.

New faces in the AGCAS Publications Team

AGCAS recently welcomed three new members to its PublicationsTeam. They introduce themselves here...

New Skillset ALO

Marie O'Flaherty, Careers Adviser at the University of Bedfordshire, is the new AGCAS Liaison Officer for Skillset.

Disability Task Group on Prospects Forum

The AGCAS Disability Task Group will feature in a dedicated Disability Graduate Chat Forum to run on Prospects throughout February. The forum will be attended by a panel of experts in different fields.

Postgraduate Students Task Group seeks new member

The AGCAS Postgraduate Students Task Group is looking for a new member. It is a a very active group with a number of ongoing projects and some exciting new projects planned.

Putting Research into Practice (PROP)

Putting Research Outcomes into Practice (PROP) is part of the HECSU Career Making Research Project and has the remit to create a forum for practitioners and researchers to collaborate on the development and dissemination of practice in careers education and guidance (CEG) in higher education in the UK. It was founded on the consensus that work must be undertaken to bridge the research/practice divide. 

ICT Advisory Group's First Meeting

AGCAS's new ICT Advisory Group held its first meeting in January. The group's first task was to consider its remit and it would like members' views on what that should be.

Careers coaching - join the debate

Coaching is the hot topic of the moment. AGCAS members posted more than twenty messages to our new email discussion list, AGCAS-coaching, on its first three days. It's a place to debate the issues and share information, ideas, experiences and approaches.

New AGCAS website launched
AGCAS's new website was launched on February 9th 2008. It is aimed at AGCAS members, members of the wider careers education, advice, information and guidance community, graduate recruiters and anyone who is interested in the graduate labour market. 

Local news round up

As well as a general newsfeed covering media items to do with careers education, information, advice and guidance, AGCAS now has specific newsfeeds covering London and Scotland. Both are updated daily and can be found in the News section of the AGCAS website.


Nominate an employer for new award

Updated: Nominations for the award outlined below are now closed for 2008. Watch out for news of the shortlist.

AGCAS is seeking nominations for one of GTI's TARGETjobs National Graduate Recruitment Awards.

The AGCAS-supported award is The Award for the Outstanding Contribution to Developing Employability and Skills in the Curriculum and will be awarded to the employer or organisation that has demonstrated best practice in this area, made a real difference to the work of careers services and directly benefited students. The new award reflects the growing interest in employability and the recognition that employers are making a positive contribution to skills development in the curriculum.

Careerswebushka blog
Struggling to get to grips with ICT in a careers context, looking for inspiration or to share ideas?  Helen Pownall, Careers Consultant at the University of Manchester and a member of the AGCAS ICT Advisory Group, has started a blog on all matters ICT and careers.

New website helps grads shine at interview
Recruitment specialist Hobsons has teamed up with Jobsite to bring graduates a new way of preparing for that all-important interview!

"Altogether different " website
The Co-operative Group has a new website, which aims to make life easier for careers staff.

Social bookmarking careers information
How do you keep track of the many websites and web pages which might be of interest to yourself, your colleagues and your students? Like an increasing number of careers services, LSE uses social bookmarking.

Final AGCAS service achieves quality mark

Trinity College Carmarthen has been awarded matrix Accreditation, becoming the final AGCAS service in Great Britain to achieve the quality mark. Trinity had been waiting for a Welsh-speaking assessor to be trained by EMQC, the awarding body.

Technophobe or technophile? Conference date for your diary

The Impact and Influence of Technology is the theme of the first collaborative conference between the AGCAS Careers Information and Employer Liaison Specialist Groups, which takes place in Nottingham 30 June to 2 July 2008. 

Changes to Prospects interactive services

This article has been removed pending further clarification from Graduate prospects about their new service.

New resource for would-be social entrepreneurs
The Social Enterprise Toolkit supports staff working with would-be social entrepreneurs and reflects the growing importance of social entrepreneurship in the UK economy. 

Writers wanted for Occupational Profiles
The AGCAS Publications Team is looking for writers to update a number of Occupational Profiles, covering a wide variety of employment areas. Anybody interested in updating a title should send an application to Kerrie Barnett by Tuesday 18 March. 

Medical student and junior doctor new DVD

Advising medical students or junior doctors? Unsure of just what they can expect at interview? AGCAS and South West Peninsula Deanery have collaborated on a dvd which provides support for medical students and junior doctors preparing for assessment stations.

Using genuine assessors and candidates, the new DVD shows what may happen in several different assessment stations and also includes feedback from the assessors and the candidates’ reflections, together with narration emphasising the key learning points. The new DVD is being distributed to every junior doctor in the South West via the deanery. AGCAS services, deaneries and others can buy it from AGCAS.

Vacancies on the AGCAS Board of Directors
AGCAS is now recruiting motivated and enthusiastic volunteers to join the Board of Directors from 1 August 2008. Do you want to get involved in the management of AGCAS and making key decisions about its future development? Have you got ideas about what AGCAS should be and what it should be able to provide for its staff, members and stakeholders? As a professional body, a company, a charity and an employer, AGCAS needs to be represented at the highest level by a diverse group of committed individuals. As a director you will be making a difference to the future of AGCAS. 

New website hits record figures

The new AGCAS website is being used by more people than ever before - our record number of users in a single day stands at over a thousand. Since going live in early February, there have been a number of changes made in response to user feedback. If you haven't used the site recently, take another look! 

UK-China Graduate Work Experience Programme Extends Contract
Recruitment specialist Hobsons will act as managing agent of a high-profile Government project for a further two years, following the success of the project’s first year. 

Shortlist for employer award announced

The shortlist has been announced for an award for graduate recruiters.The AGCAS Award is for the Outstanding Contribution to Developing Employability and Skills in the Curriculum and is one of GTI's TARGETjobs National Graduate Recruitment Awards.

Managing student work experience - new qualification

A new Postgraduate Certificate and Postgraduate Diploma in Managing Student Work Experience is now open for business. A modular professional qualification run and accredited by the University of Reading's Careers Study department, this new qualification will stand alongside the existing AGCAS qualifications.

Enterprise in AGCAS - opportunity to get involved
AGCAS is planning a new task group on entrepreneurship and is seeking expressions of interest from members who would like to become involved. If you are involved in entrepreneurial initiatives within your own service or work with groups most likely to become self employed such as art and design students or  have other relevant interests and experience, the group could be for you.

Business game win for Warwick
A student business game from recruitment specialist Hobsons been won by the Warwick Bears, a team from the University of Warwick. The winners of the Global Management Challenge were awarded £3,000 in prize money.

Skills Commission launches IAG report
The Skills Commission has completed a six-month inquiry into information, advice and guidance (IAG) services in England, culminating in a final report entitled Inspiration and Aspiration: Realising our Potential in the 21st Century. A copy of the full report (and an Executive Summary) can be downloaded from the Skills Commission website.

Careers Education Task Group seeks new member
The AGCAS Careers Education Task Group is looking for a new member. The purpose of this working group is to provide a focus within AGCAS for the exchange and dissemination of information on the development of careers education activities of member institutions, to raise awareness of relevant external developments and to liaise with other relevant organisations. The group would particularly welcome applications from members with an interest and background in IT or web development. Applications are by CV and covering letter to Chris Little by 2 May 2008.

Universities compete for entrepreneurial award

Nominations have opened for the Times Higher Awards, the largest annual award competition in UK higher education. The Entrepreneurial University of the Year Award 2008 will be awarded to institutions for, amongst other things, providing a supportive environment for student enterprise and graduate entrepreneurship, and will be sponsored by The National Council for Graduate Entrepreneurship (NCGE). The full criteria is available from the Times Higher Education website, including details of how to apply. The deadline for entries is 12 June 2008. 

More resources for international students planned

AGCAS, HECSU and NASES have been awarded further funding under the Prime Minister's Initiative Phase 2 (PMI 2) to develop a number of resources for international students and graduates seeking work in the UK and overseas, and for student advisory staff on matters relating to careers and employment.

Report published on destinations of disabled graduates

AGCAS's Disability Task Group has produced its annual report, What Happens Next? The report compares the employment outcomes of disabled and non-disabled university leavers six months after graduation and draws upon the Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education (DLHE) survey.

University of Reading to host careers research events
All AGCAS colleagues are invited to a series of talks, seminars and workshops designed to highlight new ideas and research-based practice in careers work. Sessions will feature speakers from the university careers service, the centre of excellence in teaching and learning, and the postgraduate career education and guidance centre. 

International Entrepreneurship Educators Conference
The third International Entrepreneurship Educators Conference (IEEC), to be held in London from 8-10 September 2008, will be of interest to many careers practitioners. It is now open for bookings and a call for abstracts will be issued shortly.

NCGE services for careers community
Does the AGCAS Enterprise Community leave you wanting even more on this topic? Did you know that the National Council for Graduate Entrepreneurship (NCGE) now produces a blog, a news feed and an intelligence bulletin for its careers community?

Nominate someone for lifetime achievement honour

Nominations have opened for the 2008 AGCAS Lifetime Achievement Awards. Up to five awards are made each year to recognise the exceptional and longstanding contribution to AGCAS of members through their professional activities. These awards are aimed primarily at those already retired or about to retire. This is your chance to nominate someone who deserves this AGCAS honour.

Encouraging engineers to get off to a Flying Start

Advising enterprising engineers? The National Council for Graduate Entrepreneurship (NCGE) has recently launched two programmes aimed at engineering students and graduates interested in starting their own business.

Vacancies on the AGCAS Board of Directors

Nominations are invited from Associate Members for the two remaining positions on the AGCAS Board of Directors: Company Secretary and Director (Quality and Membership). Both positions are for three years, from 1 August 2008 to 31 July 2011.

AGCAS website - three months on
Since we launched in February, we've added lots of content and made a number of changes which we hope will make life easier for users.

NAGCAS study: Work experience and career development learning
The National Association of Graduate Careers Advisory Services (NAGCAS) is conducting a study aimed at identifying activities or initiatives that provide university students with work experience incorporating elements of career development learning.

GTI acquires Hobsons division
The careers publisher Group GTI has agreed to purchase the UK and German graduate recruitment divisions of Hobsons plc.

Research into placement and work experience
AGCAS's Placement and Work Based Learning Task Group is undertaking research on behalf of AGCAS into work based learning related topics. If you have a specific interest in this area, or your institution is currently undertaking a project in this field and would like the task group to contribute ideas and information, please contact the group's Chair, Michelle Kavan

And the winner is ...
JPMorgan (Bournemouth office) was presented with the AGCAS Award for Outstanding Contribution to Developing Employability and Skills in the Curriculum at the 2008 TARGETjobs award ceremony at the Hilton Park Hotel.

Careers Information and Employer Liaison Conference: Book your place
Bookings are now open for the joint AGCAS Careers Information and Employer Liaison Conference: The Impact and Influence of Technology. The conference takes place at the University of Nottingham from 30 June to 2 July 2008. 

Careers services more popular than Facebook
New research reveals that students and recent graduates are far more likely to use their careers service than Facebook for careers information and advice.

Careers provision in HE not good enough?

A new DIUS report claims that information, advice and guidance for undergraduates in England is not good enough. AGCAS is preparing a response and invites members to comment.

League tables - how does government rate them?
A report has been published examining league tables and their impact on higher education. 

Survey to explore career paths of creative graduates
The Institute of Employment Studies (IES) is to undertake a study to explore the career paths of art, design and media graduates. The study, Creative Graduates - Creative Futures, will focus on their experiences of HE, preparation for the labour market, current activities and future aspirations.

New internationalisation resources launched
AGCAS has launched the first of several new resources to help careers services provide better services to international students and graduates.

Work permits and immigration - free AGCAS events announced

AGCAS is running two free events this autumn to help careers staff who work with international students develop a better understanding of immigration and work permit regulations.

'Radical changes ahead for careers services' NICEC report
A new report concludes that radical changes already taking place in some institutions will have significant implications for the roles and continuing professional development of higher education careers staff.  

Race Equality Task Group seeks new member

AGCAS's Race Equality Task Group is looking for a new member/Chair. The group works collaboratively with other diversity task groups and would like to hear from anybody with an interest in developing this important area of AGCAS work.

AGCAS report explores first destinations and ethnicity
AGCAS's Race Equality Task Group has produced a new report, which outlines the destinations of graduates from different ethnic groups. What Happens Next? compares the employment outcomes of first degree black and minority ethnic graduates with their white counterparts.

Research reveals IT sector too 'boring' for students
New research exploring the career intentions of undergraduates reveals that the main reason preventing students from entering the IT sector is their perception that working in IT would be boring.

Trainee teachers with disabilities on the rise
The number of people with disabilities training to become teachers has increased for the fifth year running, according to new research by Durham University. Survey results also show an increasing diversity in the types of people entering the teaching profession.

Do you work with landscape architects?
AGCAS has been asked to provide a liaison officer (ALO) for the Landscape Institute, the chartered body for landscape architects.

New Board members announced
Three new members have been elected to the AGCAS Board to replace this year's outgoing directors.

Sector Skills Councils launch 'time saving' careers portal
Skillfast-UK, the Sector Skills Council (SSC) for fashion and textiles, has created a careers information portal to help busy careers professionals find sector-specific careers information more easily.

New liaison officers in post
AGCAS has appointed new liaison officers (ALOs) to facilitate two-way communication between three external organisations and AGCAS members.

AGCAS at the ASET conference - international students and work experience
Representatives from AGCAS's Placement and Work Based Learning Task Group and Calli Amiras, International Careers Consultant at Brunel University, joined forces to deliver a workshop on the provision of work experience for international students at ASET's conference earlier this month. 

New date for Heads of Service Conference 2009
The AGCAS Heads of Service Conference will take place on 7 and 8 January 2009 in Bristol. This is a change from the previously announced date.

NAGCAS study puts spotlight on career development learning
The role of career development learning in making a positive contribution to work-integrated learning is being explored as part of an ongoing study led by NAGCAS, the National Association of Graduate Careers Advisory Services (Australia).

How to keep up-to-date with news of interest

There is a new way to keep up-to-date with news on topics of particular interest to you. Members and others can now opt to receive email alerts to news items on any of AGCAS's 20 interest and 12 regional communities as they are posted - or if you prefer, you can opt to subscribe to our RSS feeds.

Senior appointment at AGR
Gary Argent, formerly UK Graduate Recruitment Manager at Logica, has been appointed Operations Manager at AGR (The Association of Graduate Recruiters).

Discussion lists - time to review your membership?

More than 2,700 messages were sent through AGCAS's discussion lists in the year ending July 2008. The busiest by far was AGCAS-servicelink, with over 1,500 subscribers sending or receiving over 600 messages, but many more specialist lists were also very well used.

Eleanor bags student of the year award
The University of Reading has awarded the 2008 John Roberts Memorial Prize for the Student of the Year to Eleanor Donoghue, careers information officer at University College Cork.

Website winners

Congratulations to the Open University, the winners, and the University of Bedfordshire, the runners-up in this year's AGCAS/HECSU Careers Service Website of the Year competition. Oxford Brookes University was commended.

New points-based immigration system - how much do you know?
The first phase of the Home Office's new points-based system (PBS), Tier 1, was launched on 30 June 2008. Jo Holliday, international student adviser at the University of Sheffield, has compiled an overview of the new immigration system for AGCAS members.

Task group hail dyslexic training event a success
AGCAS's Disability Task Group held a successful training day in June, which covered a range of issues around dyslexia and the transition to employment. Delegates included staff from careers services and dyslexia support departments.

Top speakers lined up for Biennial 2009

Two prestigious speakers have been confirmed for AGCAS's next Biennial Conference. Dame Julia Cleverdon and Richard Reeves will both deliver keynote speeches at the event, which will be held at Brunel University in September 2009.

AGCAS honours lifetime achievers
We are delighted to announce this year's winners of the AGCAS Lifetime Achievement Award: Val Butcher, Lesley Knaggs, Wendy Llewelyn and Brian Read. The awards were presented at the very successful AGCAS Alumni Reunion in Oxford at the end of August.

Faith in the graduate labour market
What impact does religion and belief have on graduate employability? Are particular faith groups more disadvantaged than others? How are employers and institutions addressing this complex area of diversity? Monira Ahmed, Careers Adviser at the University of Liverpool, explores these issues further.

Careers education case study (1): Integrating careers into a media module at a new university in north-west England
This is the first of a new series of careers education case studies produced for the AGCAS Careers Education Community. The case studies are intended to give a flavour of how HE careers education is being developed across the UK. We hope they will give you ideas, help you to avoid 'reinventing the wheel', and give you an overview of the type of work going on in other universities.

NCWE awards - nominations open for best work experience provider
Careers advisers and placement tutors throughout the UK are invited to nominate employers for the Best Work Experience Provider Award as part of the annual National Council for Work Experience (NCWE) awards, which recognise employers for their good practice in work experience provision.

AGCAS ambassadors - new liaison officers appointed
AGCAS has established formal links with three external organistions - the Institue of Biology, the Financial Services Skills Council and the NHS - with the appointment of three new liaison officers (ALOs).

Enterprise Week 2008 - a national celebration of enterprise
Enterprise Week 2008 will run 17-23 November. Events and activities are planned for the whole of the UK, aimed at unlocking the UK's enterprise potential and inspiring people to have ideas and make them happen.

AGCAS Publications Team welcomes new addition
AGCAS recently welcomed a new member to its Publications Team. Amy Newton, originally from New Orleans, Louisiana, has joined the team as editorial assistant.

Getting started with career education
AGCAS's Careers Education Task Group has produced a new guide to career education. Getting Started with Career Education offers tips and a recommended course of action to staff new to career education in higher education.

Ethnicity and degree attainment - can your institution contribute to research?

HE institutions are invited to share details of initiatives aimed at improving the degree attainment of black and minority ethnic students as part of wider research into the degree attainment of different groups. 

Careers education case study (2): Developing a generic careers module for use across subject areas at a ‘plate-glass’ university in north-west England
This is the second case study published as part of the careers education case study series, which aims to give an overview of the type of work going on in other universities and highlight the diversity of careers education practice across the UK.

IPA launch 'diagonal thinking' test
A new kind of psychometric test has been launched by the Institute of Practitioners in Advertising (IPA). The Diagonal Thinking Self-assessment Test has been designed to aid recruitment into the advertising and communication industries.

Prospects virtual fairs – a creative way to find a job
Graduate Prospects will be holding a series of virtual fairs in 2008/9. These innovative careers fairs allow students and graduates, recruiters and course providers to interact within a unique online environment.

Teaching and Related Professions Task Group Bulletin
The latest edition (October 2010) of the AGCAS Teaching and Related Professions Task Group Bulletin is now available. 

UKRC launch training grants scheme for women in SET
The UK Resource Centre (UKRC) is offering technical grants to help women progress in science, engineering and technology (SET). The focus of the new grants scheme is to support progression at professional and technical levels and increase retention at key stages in SET careers.

Heads of Service Conference 2009 - booking about to close
There is still just time to book for AGCAS's 2009 Heads of Service Conference, which will take place in Bristol on 7 and 8 January 2009. The conference gives heads and deputy heads of AGCAS member HE careers services the opportunity to meet with colleagues from across the UK and Ireland, as well as graduate recruiters, academics, guidance professionals and other interested parties.

NASES launch training programme for 2008/9

The National Association of Student Employment Services (NASES) has released details of a number of training and professional development opportunities, which may be of interest to AGCAS members.

TARGETjobs Awards night - win free tickets
The TARGETjobs National Graduate Recruitment Awards 2009 takes place in May and once again AGCAS is supporting one of the awards. The university that provides the greatest number of student/graduate votes will receive two free tickets to the event.

New step-by-step guide to making careers podcasts
A recent ICT survey by AGCAS shows that while 38% of HE careers services are currently making use of audio podcasts, at least as many again are considering doing so. But many services are held back by a perceived lack of technical expertise and have asked AGCAS to help them. 

Vacancy on the AGCAS Board of Directors
Nominations are invited from Associate Members of AGCAS for the position of Director (Quality and Membership) on the AGCAS Board of Directors. Responsibilities of the role include promoting, developing and monitoring quality standards in AGCAS services and advising on AGCAS membership criteria.

New university networks launched to boost entrepreneurship
A series of University Enterprise Networks (UENs) has been launched by the National Council for Graduate Entrepreneurship (NCGE), aimed at encouraging students and graduates to develop world-class skills as entrepreneurs and business leaders.

Vacancies on the AGCAS MCAN task group

The AGCAS Medical Careers Advisers' Network (MCAN) is seeking new members to join their task group, which is aimed at careers professionals who work with medical students and doctors in training.

'Work with careers services to improve efficiency', says AGR

AGR has published new advice to graduate recruiters, suggesting that they consider ways of working more closely with a wide range of careers services during the economic downturn. The advice comes in a briefing paper, which outlines how graduate recruiters can improve their efficiency in the areas of marketing and attraction, assessment and selection.

Careers education case study (3): Embedding careers education within a three-year business studies degree at a research-focused university
This is the third case study published as part of the careers education case study series, which aims to give a flavour of how HE careers education is being developed across the UK and allows careers professionals to read about the type of work taking place at other universities.

Graduate Jobs South - a regional graduate retention initiative
Graduate Jobs South (GJS) is a collaborative project between Southampton Solent University, the University of Southampton and the University of Winchester aimed at retaining graduate skills for the local economy in partnership with small to medium-sized employers in the region.

Second longitudinal survey of graduate destinations under way
Work has begun on HESA's second longitudinal survey to track the careers of graduates three and a half years after leaving higher education. It is anticipated that the survey will reveal to what extent the recession is affecting graduate choices.

Call for proposals for HECSU-funded practitioner research
HECSU is inviting proposals from AGCAS colleagues for small-scale practitioner research projects, which will be funded by HECSU as part of the Putting Research Outcomes into Practice (PROP) project.

New face in the AGCAS Publications Team
AGCAS recently welcomed another new member to its publications division. Francesca Bauer has joined the team as editorial assistant.

Careers education case study (4): Embedding work-related learning in the HE curriculum at a university in north-east England
This is the fourth case study published as part of the careers education case study series, which aims to give an overview of the type of work going on in other universities and highlight the diversity of careers education practice across the UK.

Applications to the public sector on the rise?

AGCAS is aware of the current media interest in the suggestion that more graduates are turning to the public sector as a result of the economic downturn - and would like your help.

Postgraduate study report published

A new HECSU report will interest AGCAS members who offer careers education, information, advice and guidance to postgraduate students. It has been produced for the Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills (DIUS).

My approach to guidance? Well, it depends ...
David Winter, Careers Adviser at the Careers Group, University of London, outlines his personal approach to guidance.

Lancaster plugs nuclear gap
The Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA) has awarded Lancaster University £2.3m to help run the most comprehensive graduate programme the nuclear industry has ever seen.

Students evaluate Leicester Medical School careers module
Leicester Medical School has introduced a Career Development Special Study Module for all fourth year clinical students. Students were involved in the evaluation of the workshops.

Study China - government funded opportunity for undergraduates

Do your students know about the Study China programme? The closing date for 2009 is 16 January.

Nottingham launches new award for students

The University of Nottingham's Centre for Career Development has launched a new product to help boost the employability of its undergraduates. Students can now gain credit for a range of extra-curricular activities and career planning, and will be rewarded with the Nottingham Advantage Award.

Newcastle evaluates start of semester campaign
Newcastle University Careers Service took a different approach to raising awareness of its services amongst students at the beginning of the academic year. The staff team descended on campus, armed with branded stationery, in an attempt to increase service usage. And the result?...

Exeter researches students' perceptions of guidance
The Careers and Employment Service at the University of Exeter recently ran a series of student focus groups as part of wider research into students' perceptions of guidance. 

New website explores life beyond arts and humanities PhDs

The Centre for Career Management Skills (CCMS) at the University of Reading has launched a new web-based careers resource tailored specifically for arts and humanities PhD researchers. Beyond the PhD brings together audio interviews, video discussions and articles aimed at making visible what happens to postgraduate researchers after they graduate.

Disability Task Group enters the political arena
The AGCAS Disability Task Group (DTG) was recently invited by SKILL, the National Bureau for Students with Disabilities, and the Employers Forum on Disabilities to attend round-table discussions on the topic of accessing skills and employment at each of the three main political party conferences.

Warwick announces new service for medical students
The University of Warwick has developed a model of careers provision for medical students and junior doctors in collaboration with Warwick Medical School and the Coventry and Warwick Foundation School.

Employability and emotional intelligence - new UCLan module
The University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) has launched a graduate employability module with an emphasis on developing emotional intelligence. Lorraine Dacre Pool, AGCAS member and Lecturer in Employability at UCLan, provides an overview of the CareerEDGE model and asks whether we can teach students to be more emotionally intelligent.

Derby reflects on first year of new award
The Award for Employability, Leadership and Management was launched by the University of Derby in 2007. Celia Beizsley, Career Development Centre Manager, reflects on its first year of operation.

Sheffield develops re-usable employability resources

The University of Sheffield Careers Service has developed a series of re-usable learning objects (RLOs), digital-based employability resources which can be modified and re-used on different courses.

Research resources reviewed

Phil McCash, a member of AGCAS's Research and Innovation Advisory Group, provides a critique of recently issued research publications, which will be of interest to many AGCAS members.

Interested in graduate destinations? Invitation to join AGCAS task group

The AGCAS Education Liaison Task Group currently has three vacancies and invites AGCAS members with an interest in graduate destinations to join their group.

Recession, graduate recruitment and the media
Media coverage of the impact of the recession on graduate employment has intensified in recent weeks. While not suggesting that graduates are going to have an easy ride in 2009, AGCAS feels it has a responsibility to put some of the coverage in perspective.

Work-life in balance?

Carol Wilson is a self-employed careers consultant who specialises in working with career changers. In 2007, Carol conducted research into work-life balance, viewing it from the perspective of the individual and using careers advisers as case studies.

How to make a podcast - part two published
The second part of the step-by-step guide to podcasting, produced by James Mears, ICT Officer at the University of Warwick and a member of AGCAS's ICT Advisory Group, has been published.

AGCAS plans China visit

AGCAS has secured funding as part of PMI2 for a short visit to China. AGCAS representatives will be visiting Beijing and Shanghai during the period 13 - 23 March 2009.

Be a winner - enter now for AGCAS Awards for Excellence 2009

AGCAS invites members to apply for its 2009 Awards for Excellence - and, for the first time, encourages members to nominate employers for two new awards. Employers can also nominate themselves for the awards, the winners of which will be chosen by the full AGCAS membership. Also new this year are awards for marketing and for staff recruitment and development, making 13 categories in total.

Careers education case study (5): Expanding an existing first year careers module to accommodate more students from more disciplines at a university in the West Midlands
This is the fifth case study published as part of the Careers Education Case Study Series.

Are you receiving all the information you need from AGCAS?
AGCAS's recent ICT survey told us that one of the things members value most from AGCAS is 'being kept up-to-date on things I need to know'. On the other hand, 53% found it difficult to deal with email overload. To give members more control over the volume and sort of information arriving in your inbox, we offer a range of discussion lists to which you can subscribe.

Recession - careers services' response
AGCAS has asked heads of university careers services around the UK what impact the recession appears to be having on their students and graduates, the employers they work with and on the services they offer.

AGCAS welcomes new staff member
AGCAS recently welcomed a new member to its Marketing and Communications Team. Adam Gleeson has joined as Website and ICT Support Officer.

Nominate an employer for a TARGETjobs Award
AGCAS member services are invited to nominate an employer for the AGCAS Award for Outstanding Contribution to Developing Employability and Skills in the Curriculum, part of GTI's annual TARGETjobs National Graduate Recruitment Awards. 

Postgraduate Toolkit re-launched
The AGCAS Postgraduate Students Task Group has re-launched their Postgraduate Toolkit. Now in its sixth year, this is a useful resource recently updated to include key reports, books and web links for those working with both research and taught postgraduates. 

AGCAS shares recession experiences at GTI breakfast meeting
Anne-Marie Martin of the Careers Group at the University of London has spoken, on behalf of AGCAS, to an audience of graduate recruiters and careers service heads. The occasion was a GTI Breakfast News meeting. Anne-Marie summarised research carried out amongst AGCAS members about the impact of the recession on campus and she told the audience what careers services are doing to help students. 

HECSU announces new practitioner research projects

HECSU has confirmed that it will fund further practitioner research during 2009/2010. Six research proposals submitted by AGCAS members will be funded as part of PROP (Putting Research Outcomes into Practice).

Graduate recruitment and the recession - a Scottish perspective
AGCAS Scotland has been asked by advisers to the Scottish government for its observations, given the current economic climate, on the state of graduate recruitment north of the border.

How to make a podcast - final part published
The final part of the step-by-step guide to podcasting has been published. How to make a podcast is designed to offer technical expertise and guidance to AGCAS members interested in learning about digital media.

Sharing resources - how to make your own contribution to the AGCAS website
All AGCAS members can now upload resources direct to the AGCAS website.

PWC economist booked for AGCAS conference
Alex Baker, an economist at PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, has agreed to give a keynote speech at the AGCAS Biennial Conference in September. Alex advises on and analyses macroeconomic trends and forecasts for individual countries and regions, and regularly gives presentations to clients on key macroeconomic issues.

Careers education case study (6): Developing career management skills and enterprise awareness with computing and engineering students at a midlands university
This is the sixth case study published as part of the Careers Education Case Study Series.

New employability report published
A new report has been produced jointly by the CBI and UUK. Future fit: Preparing graduates for the world of work outlines the importance of employability skills both to the economy and to individual students and graduates. 

Employers shortlisted for curriculum work with careers services

Six employers have been shortlisted for the AGCAS Award for the Outstanding Contribution to Developing Employability and Skills in the Curriculum. They were all nominated by higher education careers services. The award is one of the prestigious annual TARGETjob awards.

AGCAS representatives return from China visit
Two small groups of members and staff from AGCAS and the National Association of Student Employment Services (NASES) recently conducted an employment-focused visit to Beijing and Shanghai to meet with government bodies, employers and HR organisations, university careers staff and Chinese alumni from universities across the  UK.

AGCAS qualifications update
The University of Reading has recently announced that its School of Continuing Education, which houses the AGCAS qualifications, is to close. The Dean of Arts and Humanities cites financial reasons for this decision and assures AGCAS that it is not any reflection on its courses.

New report outlines UKCES employability drive

The UK Commission for Employment and Skills (UKCES) has launched The Employability Challenge in response to employers’ concerns about the lack of employability skills amongst prospective candidates.

Careers education case study (7): Using the SOAR model to develop employability in psychology undergraduates at a university in south-east England
This is the seventh case study in the series, which aims to give a flavour of how HE careers education is being developed across the UK.

Top award for AGCAS DVD
AGCAS's DVD Selection Centres for Specialty Training has won first prize in its category at the national Learning on Screen Awards 2009. The DVD was adjudged to be Best Non-Broadcast Education Programme. Other category winners include the British Library, the BBC, the Open University and Channel Four.

The catch-22 of media work experience
Laura Dean, Career Development Tutor, outlines Leeds Metropolitan University's innovative response to the shortage of media-related work experience.

Not such polar opposites

In September 2008, Anna Wójcik, Careers Adviser at Jagiellonian University in Krakow, Poland, visited Cardiff University Careers Service to compare the work of careers services in Poland and the UK.

Stepping on from dance
The career destinations of students on dance courses has been the focus of recent research conducted by Sheila Cross, Head of Careers Service at York St John University. Research findings show that despite an increase in the number of degrees in dance on offer, this has not been matched by a similar expansion in related jobs.

Graduate internship plans announced

The government has made a long-awaited announcement on its plans for graduate internships. The package of measures to help combat graduate unemployment will include opportunities for both paid and unpaid work experience in the public, private and not-for-profit sectors.

AGCAS Lifetime Achievement Awards - nominations open

AGCAS is seeking nominations for the 2009 AGCAS Lifetime Achievement Awards. Up to five awards will be made to individuals who have made an exceptional and longstanding contribution to AGCAS through their professional activities.

Derby pilots online fair
The University of Derby recently piloted a three-day online careers fair to try to reach more of its diverse student body. Christine Dare, Employability Development Coordinator, outlines Derby's approach and shares the lessons learnt from the experience.

Staffordshire starts up careers bus

Staffordshire University Careers and Employability Service has launched Careers on Tour, a new venture in the form of a customised careers tour bus designed to generate awareness of the service and reach more students.

The e-learning advantage at UCA
The Careers Service at the University of the Creative Arts (UCA) has recently been recognised as an example of good practice for creating an effective online community through Blackboard, the university's virtual learning environment.

Liverpool hosts 'balloon debate' for medical students
The University of Liverpool recently ran a new interactive event for medical students. The balloon debate was organised as an alternative to a traditional careers fair to help medical students think more widely about future careers and areas of specialism.

Dundee first to offer internship graduate certificate
The University of Dundee's Careers Service has become the first in the UK to offer graduates an internship certificate. The Scottish Internship Graduate Certificate (SIGC) is designed to boost student employability and career prospects.

Stirling trials new mock assessment centre
The Careers Development Centre at the University of Stirling has developed an alternative, shorter version of their management training residential course in the form of a one-day mock assessment centre to meet the demands of their increasingly busy students.

Improving the fair experience at Sheffield
Sheffield Universities Recruitment Fairs, a jointly managed partnership between the careers services at the University of Sheffield and Sheffield Hallam University, has been using video technology to improve student and employer experiences at careers fairs.

Making Prospects better - an AGCAS member's experience
Andy Kay, Careers Adviser at the University of Salford, was seconded to the Prospects Web User Experience Project in 2007. 

AGR survey reveals employers 'still open for business'
A new survey published by AGR has revealed that many employers are still accepting job applications from graduates, despite a fall in recuiter confidence. A total of 124 graduate recruiters responded to the confidence snapshot survey.

Vacancy on the AGCAS Teaching and Related Professions Task Group
AGCAS's Teaching and Related Professions Task Group is looking for a new member with an interest in developing specialist knowledge of teacher training and recruitment and the teaching profession.

Strathclyde seminar offers recession advice
The University of Strathclyde Careers Service recently joined forces with their Students' Association to run a seminar aimed at helping students and graduates overcome the challenges of the graduate labour market in the current economic climate.

Civil Service newsletter for careers advisers

The Civil Service Fast Stream has published the latest edition of Fast Stream Focus, its newsletter for careers advisers, which offers the latest news on graduate recruitment into the Civil Service.

Careers education case study (8): Developing career management skills with business, accounting and management students at a university in south-east England
The eighth case study published as part of the Careers Education Case Study Series.

PwC win AGCAS award for work with careers services

PricewaterhouseCoopers has won the AGCAS Award for the Outstanding Contribution to Developing Employability and Skills in the Curriculum at the TARGETjobs National Graduate Recruitment Awards 2009.

They were presented with their award by Wilma Martinelli, AGCAS President, at the awards dinner hosted by the comedian Alan Carr at Grosvenor House, London. 

AGCAS announces new Board members
New appointments have been made to the AGCAS Board to replace this year's outgoing directors.

LSC to re-launch career development loans
The Learning and Skills Council (LSC) is making changes to career development loans in a bid to make them more attractive to potential learners seeking to improve their skills for work.

Pilot Projects Scheme: UKCISA invites bids for funding
The UKCISA Pilot Projects Scheme aims to encourage innovation and develop and publicise examples of best practice in international student support. Institutions are invited to bid for funding for projects which match this aim.

AGCAS Awards for Excellence - shortlist announced
AGCAS is delighted to announce that the judges have agreed the shortlists for the 2009 Excellence Awards. There was a record number of nominations with some services submitting entries under several award categories.

AGCAS employer awards - cast your vote
AGCAS members are invited to vote for the winners of two new employer awards, part of the 2009 AGCAS Awards for Excellence. The Employer Award for Careers Service Partnership and the Employer Award for Work-related Learning will be awarded to the shortlisted employers securing the highest number of votes in an online poll.

From China to the East Midlands
China - East Midlands: Business and Employment Possibilities, an event conceived by a group of careers advisers based at universities in the East Midlands, was organised to facilitate introductions and break down pre-conceived ideas held by both international students and potential employers of international students. Catherine Klimes, Head of Careers and Employability at the University of Northampton and one of the organisers, describes how they did it.           

China visit report launched

AGCAS and NASES are delighted to launch the report of their recent PMI2-funded visit to China. Representatives from both organisations visited Beijing and Shanghai in March 2009. The report outlines the overall aims of the visit, highlights the main findings and makes recommendations for the future. 

Top professions out of reach - government report
Top professions, such as medicine and law, are increasingly inaccessible to all but the most affluent, according to a new government report on social mobility. The report looks into widening access to high-status jobs and recommends that young people in England have access to much better careers advice.

Government launches new graduate internship service

The government's new initiative to increase the number of internships available to UK graduates has been officially launched by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS).

AGCAS e-induction launched

A new e-induction programme is now available for all new Associate and Affiliate members of AGCAS and HECSU, which aims to offer an introduction to careers work in HE and provide an overview of the supporting roles of AGCAS and HECSU.

Mayor launches new careers website for Londoners

The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, has launched a brand new employment and careers website for Londoners, Helping Graduates into Work, which has been developed in partnership with The Careers Group, University of London.

Bursary for graduates volunteering overseas
Recent graduates from low income families can now benefit from a bursary award offered by youth and education charity Raleigh in partnership with the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS). The scheme gives recent graduates the opportunity to enhance their employability skills through community and environmental work in remote communities overseas.

Longitudinal survey published

The Higher Education Statistical Agency (HESA) has published the results of its second large-scale longitudinal survey of the 2004/5 cohort of leavers of higher education. The report makes fascinating reading to anyone interested in the graduate labour market.

There is a huge amount of data including employment outcomes (after 3.5 years) by subject of study, qualification level, degree classification and ethnicity, as well as comparisons with the DLHE survey.

Do they mean us?
Careers services have a track record for attracting negative media coverage. Paul Redmond, Head of Careers and Employability at the University of Liverpool and Vice-President of AGCAS, has a research interest in the topic. Are the critics justified and what can services do to fight back?

Army recruits careers services
Around 30 university careers staff visited Sandhurst Military Academy earlier this year to hear presentations from Sandhurst staff about the new graduate recruitment strategy launched by the army at the end of 2008. Sam Rhodes, Student Services Manager at the University of Brighton, reports on the visit.

Bioscience training in Scotland
AGCAS Scotland's Science Advisers' Group recently held a Careers in Biosciences training day at the University of Dundee Careers Service. The event focused on graduate and postgraduate opportunities mainly within the biotech and pharmaceutical industries. Stephanie MacLean, Careers Adviser at the University of Dundee, reports on the training day.

To PhD or not to PhD?
Deciding whether or not to embark on a PhD can be daunting. Alice Young from the Society of Biology offers advice to students considering a PhD, covering areas such as the role of the supervisor, institution choice and opportunities abroad.

Lancaster goes Dutch for the day

Paul Blackmore, Director at Lancaster University's Centre for Employability, Enterprise and Careers (CEEC), reports on a recent visit to the centre by the directors of two careers services in the Netherlands.

Graduate employability - recent reports reviewed
Recent months have seen the publication of a number of influential reports on graduate employability. Robert Partridge, former Director of Careers Service at the University of York, has been reading two of them: Future Fit and The Employability Challenge.

AGCAS celebrates awards winners
The winners of the 2009 AGCAS Awards for Excellence were announced at the Biennial Conference, held at Brunel University earlier this month. The number of nominations received for each category is evidence of the high-quality, innovative and collaborative work taking place at AGCAS member services across the country.

Warwick celebrates new employability award
The Centre for Student Development at the University of Warwick ran its first Warwick Advantage Award celebration event earlier this year. The award is a unique collaboration between the centre and the Students’ Union designed to develop students’ employability skills. The event gave formal recognition of the extra-curricular achievements of 130 students, both undergraduates and postgraduates.

Welsh partnership offers virtual services
The South West Wales Higher Education Partnership (SWWHEP) has been working on new projects to help the three careers services it represents improve the employability of students and build relationships with employers.

New website helps Londoners into HE
The Careers Group, University of London has launched a new website to provide careers advice for individuals who have a vocational qualification, live in south-east London and are considering enrolling on a university course.

Greenwich targets international students
The Guidance and Employability Team (GET) at the University of Greenwich recently piloted a topical workshop to an international cohort of current MBA students. The aim of the workshop was to help international students bridge the cultural gap and to equip them with the employability tools needed to succeed in a fast-changing world.

Reading champions SMEs in the south-east
The University of Reading’s Careers Advisory Service has produced a new publication to help graduating students in south-east England find their first jobs in small and medium-sized organisations (SMEs). First Move South East 2009 offers careers advice to students and provides details of graduate opportunities in SMEs, as well as postgraduate courses in higher education.

National skills strategy published

Business Secretary Lord Mandelson has launched the government's new skills strategy. Skills for Growth - The National Skills Strategy sets out a government target for three quarters of the population to go to university or get an advanced technical qualification by the age of 30.

Employability central to government's HE framework
The government has unveiled its policy for higher education, setting out the role universities will play in securing the country's economic recovery and long term prosperity. The report includes recommendations that will affect careers services, including a requirement for universities to publish statements on how they promote employability and on the long term employment prospects of particular courses.

AGCAS Heads of Service Conference 2010 - booking open
Booking is now open for the 2010 AGCAS Heads of Service Conference. The title of this year's event is Re-Imagine. The conference will take place 6 - 7 January in Liverpool. It has been developed by heads of service in the North West and is open to all heads and deputy heads of AGCAS member services.

Employability - a key issue for students
The National Student Forum (NSF) has produced its second annual report in which it reports on students' current experiences and sets out its priorities. For the first time, employability receives a chapter of its own in which NSF recommendations to universities, government and national bodies are clearly laid out.

82% of first year students aware of careers service

According to a new report, awareness of university careers services among students, even during the first year of their course, is high. 38% of those questioned had visited their service during their first year and another 45%, although they did not visit the service, were aware of it. About half took part in events run by their careers service especially for first year students. 50,000 students were interviewed as part of FutureTrack, a longitudinal study of applicants to HE in 2006.


Chris Phillips' web seminar wins new AGCAS award

Chris Phillips, Publishing Director at Group GTI, has been announced as the winner of a new AGCAS award for his workshop on writing for the web. The John Franks Award, sponsored by Yorkshire and Humberside Heads of Service in memory of their colleague John Franks, who sadly died in service in Spring 2008, is awarded to the best workshop delivered at AGCAS Biennial.

Careers service heads and employers beat the snow
A hundred delegates attended AGCAS Heads Conference in Liverpool on Wednesday 6 and Thursday 7 January, despite the worst snow the city and most of the country had seen for almost 30 years. The delegates were mostly heads of HE careers services and their deputies, but we also welcomed graduate recruiters from Asda, The Co-operative, Enterprise Rent-A-Car, Npower, and Santander.

Nominate an employer for a 2010 TARGETjobs award
AGCAS has been invited by GTI to present an award at the annual TARGETjobs National Graduate Recruitment Awards to be presented in London on 18 March. AGCAS member services are invited to nominate an organisation or employer for the AGCAS Award for the Outstanding Contribution to Developing Employability and Skills in the Curriculum. 

Technology in careers work: Back to the future

We asked Richard Pethen (University of Sheffield Careers Service 1977-2004) to look back to an earlier era, when technology in careers work was quite different from what it is today.


When guidance sounds good

Email guidance helps to offer a more flexible service, but typing a response to a request for a CV review can be difficult within the time allocated to a duty interview. Judith Baines, Careers Adviser at the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE), has been looking at alternatives to e-guidance.

Government announces national internship service
The government has announced the creation of a national internship service, which will deliver undergraduate internships, partly with the aim of widening access to professions which Alan Milburn's report Unleashing Aspiration highlighted as being out of reach for less well-off or connected graduates.

Creating future proof graduates

Birmingham City University was awarded National Teaching Fellowship Scheme (NTFS) funding in 2007 for a project aimed at helping students identify and prepare for critical incidents, which according to employers epitomise the major problems that newly-qualified graduates encounter when they start work in the 'real world'.

The value of volunteering

Volunteering is by no means a novel concept in careers guidance and the benefits of the activity for career development are well articulated. However, with graduate unemployment levels rising and all sectors showing falls in vacancies, demonstrating the value of volunteering has never been more important.

MASIV in museums

Modular Accreditation for Students Invoved in Volunteering (MASIV) is a project at the University of Reading designed to develop a training and accreditation structure for students volunteering within the museums service.

Brand new careers in advertising

In September 2009, the Institute of Practitioners in Advertising (IPA) held a seminar for careers practitioners to update them on developments in the advertising industry.

A Sheffield journey into the virtual universe

The University of Sheffield's second Virtual International Careers Fair (VICF) ran in November 2009 as a collaborative venture with Sheffield Hallam University.

Promoting talent in Manchester

Manchester Metropolitan University (MMU) has developed a campaign, Talent@MMU, to help support current students and graduates, promote the Careers and Employability Service to new students, and generate new employer contacts in a wide range of professions.

Guiding students through the online information maze

Many career services’ websites have a wealth of untapped riches that students don’t always find their way to. So what can we do to help the self-directed user find the resources they need?

Creative Living - supporting creative graduates

Creative Living is an interactive employability web tool specifically designed by Creative Careers at the University of the Arts London to support the needs and demands of creative graduates.

Helping medical students with career planning

Leicester Medical School and the careers team at the East Midlands Healthcare Workforce Deanery ran a series of career sessions for final year medical students in September 2009. Designed as a mandatory requirement, the sessions helped students to explore their career aspirations and consider their wider career management skills and interests.

Employers shortlisted for curriculum work with careers services
Six employers have been shortlisted for the 2010 AGCAS Award for the Outstanding Contribution to Developing Employability and Skills in the Curriculum. They were all nominated by higher education careers services. The award is one of the prestigious annual TARGETjob awards offered by GTI.

Having fun with feeds

Les Waters, a member of the AGCAS ICT Advisory Group, has written a short guide to using RSS feeds. Adding Valuable Content by Having Fun with Feeds outlines the possibilities RSS feeds offer for presenting and selecting tailored web content.

PMI2 delegation to India – a tale of three cities

In the first week of February 2010, a team of nine careers professionals representing AGCAS and NASES undertook a range of visits in three major cities of India – Delhi, Mumbai and Bangalore.

ICG launches new campaign for careers
The Institute of Career Guidance (ICG) has just launched CREATE, a UK-wide campaign for careers. AGCAS supports the campaign's aims to raise awareness of high-quality careers work, to ensure that first-class careers information, advice and guidance for all is seen as a priority.

Bursary for graduates volunteering overseas

Youth and education charity Raleigh is offering over 300 bursary places between summer 2010 and spring 2011 to graduates from low income families interested in volunteering overseas. The Raleigh Graduate Bursary Award gives recent graduates the opportunity to develop key employability skills through community and environmental work in remote communities.

Careers in the EU Institutions
On 16 March 2010, the European Personnel Selection Office will launch a procedure to select graduates to work in the EU Institutions. This selection procedure will comprise the fields of European public administration, law, audit, economics, and information and communication technology. 

Government announces tougher rules for foreign students

Home Secretary Alan Johnson has announced a package of changes to Tier 4 of the points-based system, the category dealing with student visas. Foreign students from outside Europe wanting to come to the UK to study will now be required to meet stricter entry criteria.

GTI Targetjobs Award goes to Enterprise

Enterprise Rent-A-Car has been declared winner of the 2010 GTI Targetjobs Award for the Outstanding Contribution to Developing Employability and Skills in the Curriculum. AGCAS services nominate and shortlist the entries for this award. Enterprise Rent-A-Car were nominated in recognition of the work it is doing in partnership with careers services to design, develop and deliver career management sessions for students. The judges were particularly looking for evidence of positive feedback from students and innovation in materials or delivery.

Online recruitment services - are they safe?

Jo Davies, Information Manager at the University of Swansea, has a number of concerns to do with the privacy of online recruitment websites. She would like to hear the views of AGCAS members - and anyone in the industry.

Birmingham wins AGR accolade for graduate development

The University of Birmingham’s Personal Skills Award (PSA) has won the award for Graduate Development Preparation in Higher Education from the Association of Graduate Recruiters (AGR). The accolade was received at AGR’s first ever Graduate Development Award Ceremony, which recognised best practice in graduate development.

Transfer of AGCAS qualifications to Warwick University
The transfer of AGCAS qualifications from the University of Reading to the University of Warwick will take place on 1 August 2010. Trainees, applicants and heads of service will be kept informed as progress is made. If you have any queries in the meantime, please contact Linda Byrne.

Nominations open for lifetime achievement award

AGCAS is seeking nominations for the 2010 AGCAS Lifetime Achievement Awards. Up to five awards will be made to individuals who have made an exceptional and longstanding contribution to AGCAS through their professional activities.

Working with academics: The Good, the Bad and the ...?

David Stanbury, Director at the University of Reading's Centre for Career Management Skills (CCMS), reflects on his journey of working with academics and outlines how his view has altered over time.

Working with academics: Partnership at Edge Hill

Debby Murray, Careers Adviser at Edge Hill University, has a positive tale of collaboration to tell, which has benefited geography and geology students.

Working with academics: How Edinburgh survived the bumpy ride

Ruth Saville, Careers Adviser at the University of Edinburgh, reflects on the challenge of working with academics in institutions with differing attitudes towards collaborative careers education within academic programmes.

Students offered industry insights at Heriot-Watt

Heriot-Watt University Careers Service has produced a series of industry simulation case studies to help international students, and others, gain industry awareness without having to undertake a formal placement.

Enterprise champions in Wales
The Welsh Academic Champions of Enterprise Conference 2010 brought together academic staff, careers staff and young graduate entrepreneurs to explore the possibilities for enterprise learning and skills development.

Opportunities on the AGCAS Board of Directors

AGCAS is now recruiting motivated and enthusiastic members to join the Board of Directors from 1 August 2010. These are challenging times and you can make a real difference. It is vital that we continue to have a full and capable team to lead our association.

Work permits - new ruling affects recruiters

Employers who reject job applications on the basis of the need to obtain a work permit could be acting illegally. AGCAS has obtained the view of a leading business immigration lawyer on the implications of the Osborne Clarke Services v Purohit case, which highlights the conflict between UK immigration law and employment law.

Salford graduates offered 'gateway' to employment

The University of Salford's Careers and Employability team are offering graduates a lifeline through funding won from the European Social Fund (ESF) and HEFCE. Graduate Gateway is a programme of training and work placements for graduates who have been unable to find a job after leaving university, or who are under-employed.

Graduate Day in Newcastle
Newcastle University’s Careers Service recently piloted a new all-day event aimed at recent graduates looking for their big break in the world of graduate employment. Graduate Day featured inspirational talks, interactive sessions and one-to-one advice aimed at increasing the confidence and employability of under and unemployed graduates.

Leicester outlines recession-beating approach
The University of Leicester's Student Support and Development Service has developed a new package of recession-beating initiatives, aimed at helping its students and graduates in the employment market.

From Liverpool to China
Justin Richardson, Careers Adviser at the University of Liverpool, recently visited XJTLU University in Suzhou, China, an international university run in partnership between the University of Liverpool and Xi'an Jiaotong University. The main aims of the visit were to develop links with the University and its careers service to see how they could work more effectively with students based both in the UK and China.

AGCAS seeks new ALOs
AGCAS has vacancies for AGCAS Liaison Officers (ALO) with the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS), Lantra and The Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy (CIPFA).

AGCAS poll on unpaid internships

AGCAS would like to know its members' view on unpaid internships. Do they show which students and graduates are prepared to go the extra mile? Or do they exploit graduates who feel forced to play along and discriminate against those who can't afford to take them up? Are they unfair but a fact of life? Or should the next government have the courage to enforce existing legislation?


Hearing about the student experience at Reading
A new web resource for students that will help support personal reflection has been developed by the Centre for Career Management Skills (CCMS) at the University of Reading. Student Stories gives students access to authentic accounts of university life from those who have experienced it first hand.

Crunching DLHE data online

St Mary’s University College (part of The Careers Group, University of London), is one of the first colleges in the UK to use Destinations Interactive, a new online DLHE system, which allows careers professionals and other HE staff to 'crunch' DLHE data easily and effectively. 

Unpaid internships - the AGCAS view
AGCAS has been canvassing its members' views on unpaid internships. The poll is still open, but of the 170 members who had voted by 24 May, 86% agreed that the government should clamp down on unpaid internships.

Media studies - Mickey Mouse or yellow brick road?

Speaking at the Hay Festival last week, historian Antony Beevor said: "Media studies is seen as a bad joke as far as employers are concerned ... The 'soft' subjects make me rather a...

India visit report launched

AGCAS is very pleased to launch the report of the PMI 2 funded visit to India by representatives from AGCAS and NASES during February 2010. A team of nine careers professionals undertook a range of visits in three major cities: Delhi, Mumbai and Bangalore.

Mentoring at Bradford

The University of Bradford is offering students a unique opportunity to develop employability skills through their Career Mentoring Scheme. The scheme matches students with mentors who can offer advice, networking opportunities and a true insight into job roles and industry culture.

Election for AGCAS Director of ICT
AGCAS Associate Members are invited to vote in an online poll to decide who should be elected to the post of Director of ICT on the AGCAS Board.

Males fare worse initially as graduate unemployment rises
Male and female graduate unemployment worsened between December 2008 and December 2009. Graduate unemployment rose by 25 per cent, from 11.1 per cent to 14.0 per cent. But the position is far worse for males than for females.

Services and opportunities for part time students
AGCAS members want part time students to know that careers education, information, advice and guidance is there for them. AGCAS has today issued a press release, encouraging the media to broadcast the message as widely as possible - and recruiters not to miss out on talented and motivated graduates.

Survey figures don't add up

Graduates can be forgiven for being confused by the messages about their job prospects that they're reading in the media.

At this week's AGR conference, delegates apparently heard that there are over 70 applicants for every job; that 78% of employers will only recruit graduates with a 2:1 or above; the number recruiting only from the Russell Group has tripled; salaries have been frozen; and the number of vacancies has fallen by 2%.

LSE surveys students about social networking for careers purposes

Engaging the 2010 graduate - a changing landscape was the theme for LSE's annual recruiter conference, held on campus in May. As part of an afternoon of discussion about the use of social media in recruitment, the findings of a survey of 177 LSE students and graduates were presented, investigating the where, when, how and whys of their usage of social networking sites.

Transfer of AGCAS qualifications to Warwick

AGCAS is delighted to announce that The University of Warwick has become the host institution for the AGCAS Career Education, Information and Guidance in HE (CEIGHE) qualifications. From 1 August 2010 the AGCAS qualifications (at Postgraduate Certificate, Diploma and MA level) will all be cared for by The University of Warwick’s Centre for Lifelong Learning (CLL).


Take action on unpaid internships, says AGCAS

A letter outlining AGCAS's position on unpaid graduate internships has been published in the Guardian. The letter was based on a position paper, which will be disseminated shortly.

AGCAS welcomes new Board members

New appointments have been made to the AGCAS Board to replace this year's outgoing directors. The new board of directors took office on 1 August 2010.

Unpaid internships - your views

The AGCAS poll asking whether the government should clamp down on unpaid internships generated a lively response from AGCAS members. Here, we publish the views of some of our members.

We can work it out?
AGCAS director, Martin Pennington, has written to the Times Higher with an AGCAS response to issues relating to graduate employability, employers’ expectations and the place of work experience and careers education within higher education.

Demos recommends recruitment consultancy model for HE careers services

Class of 2010: a report into the attitudes and aspirations of this year's graduates, produced for Endsleigh Insurance by Demos, recommends that university careers services 'should reconfigure themselves as not-for-profit recruitment consultancies'.

The recommendation has been given prominence on the THES website, where a number of AGCAS members and Chris Jackson, on behalf of AGCAS itself, have already posted responses.

Witch way for historians?

The University of York Careers Service and Department of History have been collaborating on an innovative project aimed at helping history students relate their skills as academic historians to the outside world.

History Dragons' Den

A new initiative at University College Dublin (UCD), which involves the careers service and the history department working in partnership to add some work-related spice to the curriculum, was launched earlier this year.

Derby historians turn to Xing

History students at the University of Derby recently got to grips with Xing, a visual planning tool that helps users learn how about how businesses are created and grown, during an annual Employability Day organised by history academics and careers advisers based at the Career Development Centre.

DonauForum 2010 - Employability challenges in Europe

The DonauForum 2010, held in Germany in May, focussed on the employability challenges facing universities from across Germany to the Ukraine, Albania, Hungary, Poland, Croatia, Romania and Serbia.

Nordic networking - a conference report

The 12th annual Nordic Careers Network Conference was held in Aalborg, northern Denmark, in June. Helen Pownall, Careers Consultant at the University of Manchester, delivered the opening keynote speech and a workshop on social media and new technologies.

Gender equality training - an event report

The UK Resource Centre for Women (UKRC) recently held gender equality training for careers professionals working with adult women either entering or returning to Science, Technology and Engineering (SET) careers.

'Gradvantage' for Merseyside job seekers

Since April 2009, more than 700 graduates in Merseyside have received a major boost to their job prospects through high-quality internship and career management programmes delivered at the University of Liverpool’s Careers and Employability Service.

Improving DLHE analysis - the GEMS approach

The Careers Service at the University of Huddersfield has developed powerful software called GEMS, which can produce different DLHE reports at the click of a button in order to make data available to different groups in different ways.

Chester launch employability course

Along with a number of other universities, the University of Chester was successful in bidding for funding from HEFCE’s Economic Challenge Investment Fund (ECIF) in 2009. The funding was used to set up an employability course for recent graduates with 20 Masters-level credits for successful completion of the course portfolio.

Glasgow Caledonian gets 'Graduates 2 Work'

Graduate 2 Work was launched earlier this year by Glasgow Caledonian University (GCU) Careers Service as a new career development programme designed specifically to offer further support to unemployed recent graduates.

Salford graduates offered university internships lifeline

The University of Salford has responded to a considerable demand for work experience from amongst graduates, especially those who are struggling to even get on the first rung of their career ladder, by offering graduates internships within their university of study.

UCLan graduates benefit from internships fund

Economic Challenge Investment Fund (ECIF) funding has enabled the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) to develop opportunities for graduates to work on short term projects with businesses.

Derby offers ‘OnetoOne’ service

The University of Derby, in collaboration with four local FE colleges, has secured funding from the Economic Challenge Investment Fund (ECIF) through HEFCE. The bid provides several new services to clients who have been affected by the change in the economic climate, whether they are redundant, facing redundancy or a graduate unable to get their career started.

Aston launch enterprise award

Aston University Careers and Employability Centre recently collaborated with SIFE Aston and Aston Entrepreneurs to launch a new enterprise award, which encourages students to pitch innovative business ideas. Aston Idol 2010 achieved support and sponsorship from a wide range of employers.

Edge Hill celebrates employability programme graduates

The first twenty students of Edge Hill University's pilot Employability Programme have graduated. The programme is supported by Enterprise Rent-A-Car and is endorsed by the Institute of Leadership and Management (ILM).

Developing careers education at London South Bank
London South Bank University (LSBU) has developed five new accredited professional development units, aimed at giving careers professionals the competence and confidence to lead and manage the provision of impartial careers education in schools and colleges.

Browne - fit for purpose employability information and careers advice needed

AGCAS believes the Browne Report to be broadly progressive and welcomes its emphasis on informed decision making. However, it is concerned that some of the employability information and careers advice that it says is so important to prospective students, is not currently fit for purpose. It also calls on the government to monitor diversity in higher education, and especially in some high status professions, and act if the Browne proposals do not improve access.

Government plea to careers advisers: inspire students to consider EU careers
Graduate careers advisers from approximately 60 universities around the country recently attended an event at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in London. Speakers, including the Foreign Secretary William Hague, addressed them about the need to encourage graduates to consider a career in the European Union (EU).

Lifetime achievement winners announced
AGCAS is delighted to announce the winners of the 2010 Lifetime Achievement Awards, which are made in recognition of an individual’s significant and sustained contribution to AGCAS over the course of their professional lives.  

Graduate employment statistics: AGCAS response
AGCAS says that figures reported in the media based on a recent press release for What Do Graduates Do 2010? are almost a year out of date. Employer surveys and anecdotal evidence from HE careers services suggests that the position has improved considerably since this time last year. Graduates shouldn't be complacent as reduced funding for the public sector may well change the picture again, but neither should they feel demoralised.

New all-age careers service for England

An all-age careers service for England has been announced by Skills Minister John Hayes MP. Young people aged 13-19, and adults, will be able to begin accessing the new arrangements from September 2011. The service will be fully operational by April 2012.

AGCAS president on Today programme

AGCAS president, Anne-Marie Martin, accepted an invitation onto BBC Radio 4's Today programme. She discussed with a representative of the Association of Colleges whether students opting to study for a degree at an FE college would have the same experience and be just as employable - for less money - as those studying at a university.

MCAN to be represented on new UKFPO Medical Careers Working Group

The AGAS Medical Careers Advisers Network (MCAN) task group has been invited to be represented on the newly-formed United Kingdom Foundation Programme Office (UKFPO) Medical Careers Working Group. The group, which met for the first time this summer, includes representatives from all the major stakeholders in the UK with an interest in medical careers. The group will act as a forum to discuss developments in medical career planning for medical students and junior doctors.

Careers services in Wales - review and ministerial response

A report has been published, which sets out a vision for the development of careers services in Wales. Its sixty recommendations cover many aspects of careers-related provision, embrace a wide range of service providers, including higher education careers services, and entail some fundamental changes in approach.

Heads of Service Conference 2011 - book your place

Booking is now open for the AGCAS Heads of Service Conference 2011. The conference will take place at the Aston University Business School Conference Centre in Birmingham, 5 - 6 January 2011. The conference programme has been developed by heads of service in the West Midlands and is open to all heads and deputy heads of AGCAS member services. 

New awards group formed

A new AGCAS task group focusing on skills and employability awards has been set up. The AGCAS Awards Task Group intends to utilise the AGCAS network to map out what is happening across HE as awards continue to develop and grow.

Would-be politicians need high quality careers advice, says AGCAS

AGCAS calls upon the government to ensure that young people are equipped to make life-changing and potentially costly decisions about higher education and their future career. Ahead of Thursday's parliamentary vote on tuition fees, the association stresses the importance of fit-for-purpose data alongside high-quality careers education, information, advice and guidance. It calls upon the government, educational institutions, professional bodies and employers to act together to make sure that young people are able to make career decisions that are right for them.

UKCES appoints Michael Davis as interim CEO

The UK Commission for Employment and Skills (UKCES) has announced that Michael Davis, currently Director of Strategy and Performance, will take over the helm as interim Chief Executive from 1 January 2011.

MCAN seeks new members

The AGCAS Medical Careers Advisers' Network (MCAN) currently has vacancies on the group. MCAN is a welcoming, helpful and practical task group who meet three times a year to share best practice, discuss changes in medical training and organise networking events (and occasional conferences) aimed at those who work with medical students and doctors in training from a careers perspective, from across the UK. MCAN includes both HE careers advisers and those who work for deaneries and the group is eager to keep this breadth of experience and perspective within the membership.

Student immigration system - consultation open

A consultation document outlining major changes to the student immigration system has been published by the Home Office. The consultation sets out the government's aim to ensure that only genuine students who are committed to their academic study come to the UK.

Nominate an employer for careers service engagement

AGCAS is inviting nominations for one of GTI's annual TARGETjobs National Graduate Recruitment Awards. The AGCAS Award for Excellence in Careers Service Engagement will be awarded to the employer or organisation who has developed or sustained good working relationships with AGCAS member services over the last year.

Graduate skills in mathematics

A series of case studies is being compiled in order to highlight ways in which specific graduate skills can be developed in mathematics. Jeff Waldock, Senior Lecturer in Mathematics at Sheffield Hallam University, and Peter Rowlett, HE Curriculum Innovation Advisor in the Maths, Stats and OR (MSOR) Network at the University of Birmingham, are collecting case studies of successful practice and plan to evaluate why techniques have worked - and make suggestions for how they may be used elsewhere.

'Emotional labour' and careers guidance practice

The emotional demands of careers guidance work is absent in careers guidance literature. However, Dr Janice Smith, Careers Adviser and Lecturer in Sociology at Coventry University, argues that careers guidance work is emotional labour.

MCAN on tour

Members of the AGCAS Medical Careers Advisers Network (MCAN) attended a series of events during 2010 to help spread the word about the group's recent activity aimed at supporting colleagues who work with undergraduate medical students and junior doctors.

Chester graduates top North West employability table

Graduates from the University of Chester are more likely to find suitable employment than those from almost every other higher education institution in the region, in spite of the recession. According to annual data just published by Unistats, which compares official information about the performance of universities and colleges, the university shares top North West billing with Cumbria, with 78% of its employed graduates from 2009 finding graduate-level jobs.

Rise in UWE graduate employment

Graduates at the University of the West of England (UWE) found more jobs despite a very difficult employment climate last year. Last year there were 4 per cent fewer UWE graduates unemployed compared to over 20 per cent more graduates unemployed across the UK as a whole, according to figures released by the Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA).

Bradford launches employability course for unemployed graduates

The University of Bradford has launched a postgraduate course designed specifically to help unemployed graduates in the region. The Postgraduate Certificate in Employability and Entrepreneurship has been running for just over a year. The course is linked to a funded internship project.

Changing attitudes towards career decision-making

Two reports have been published recently, which look at how undergraduates make career decisions. Dr Paul Greenbank, Reader in Educational Development in the Teaching and Learning Development Unit at Edge Hill University, produced the reports for the Higher Education Careers Service Unit (HECSU) as part of the PROP (Putting Research Outcomes into Practice) project.

Curriculum reform at Aberdeen

The University of Aberdeen is undergoing a process of ‘curriculum reform’. The careers service has played a major role in this by supporting the university in PDP and providing a variety of credit-bearing careers education courses. One of its key activities since 2007 has been supporting placement activity, with the establishment of its Placement Development Unit whose remit has been to develop summer placement opportunities for the university’s penultimate year undergraduate students. And, in January 2010, the Aberdeen Internship was launched.   

Liverpool John Moores launches Careers Plus for alumni

Liverpool John Moores University has launched a new career development and jobs portal, Careers Plus, for alumni to be able to access information, career development modules, master classes, networking opportunities and jobs. It is aimed at alumni wanting to secure their first job, re-enter the working world or gain a promotion. The service is provided by a partnership between LJMU's Graduate Development Centre and recruitment specialists Hays.

AGCAS responds to student immigration consultation

AGCAS has published its response to the Home Office's student immigration system consultation, which sets out the government's aim to ensure that only genuine students who are committed to their academic study come to the UK.

Measuring the impact of HE careers services

The AGCAS Impact Measurement and Positioning Task Group was set up to take forward a number of key issues and challenges facing HE careers services in the context of rapid change, restructuring and demands to show value for money. Margaret Dane, AGCAS Chief Executive, assesses the impact the group is having.

Legal Profession Task Group seeks new members

AGCAS's Legal Profession Task Group has vacancies for two new members. Membership of the group offers the opportunity to make a significant contribution to the work of a key AGCAS task group.

Report published on career destinations of disabled graduates

The 2011 report on the first destinations of disabled graduates, What Happens Next?,  based on data collected from the 2008/09 cohort, has been published. Findings reported suggest that the proportion of both disabled and non-disabled graduates entering employment in 2009 fell, although the decrease for disabled graduates overall was marginally less than for their non-disabled peers.

Skills and employability awards survey

The AGCAS Awards Task Group is conducting research into skills and employability awards across UK universities and invites AGCAS members to participate in a survey. The survey aims to identify key information, which will be of use to colleagues who are either at the initial stages of developing awards or who are responsible for managing or developing existing awards.

Request for case studies

The AGCAS Publications Team is looking for your help with some of our publications. As many members already know, we research, write and update careers-related content, which is published on the Graduate Prospects website. The majority of our publications include case studies from recent graduates, which are used to provide a personal insight into a particular role or profession.

Vacancies on the Education Liaison Task Group

Do you have an interest in graduate destinations? The AGCAS Education Liaison Task Group is looking to recruit an AGCAS member who can bring their expertise, contacts, and a fresh perspective to advise and inform the activity of the group.

Employers shortlisted for careers service engagement award
Six employers have been shortlisted for The AGCAS Award for Excellence in Careers Service Engagement. They were all nominated by higher education careers services for their commitment and contribution to the careers and employability education, information, advice and guidance offered at each AGCAS member service. The award is one of the prestigious annual TARGETjobs National Graduate Recruitment Awards.

Supporting care leavers in HE

The AGCAS Diversity Task Group is in the process of devising a Good Practice Guide for Careers Professionals: Working with Care Leavers, which will be available in late spring. Here, Andy Howells, Careers Adviser at the Open University and a member of the task group, introduces the planned content for the guide.

Diversity Task Group establishes link with AGR

Members of the AGCAS Diversity Task Group have met with Gary Argent, Business Operations Manager at AGR, to discuss facilitating a better working relationship with employers and to identify joint areas of key concern relating to diversity in the workplace.

Welsh careers services respond to government report

The Welsh Higher Education Careers Services (WHECS) committee has responded to the Welsh Assembly Government report, Future Ambitions: Developing careers services in Wales, which sets out a vision for the development of careers services in Wales.

Launch of improved job search facility for international students and graduates
AGCAS, HECSU, NASES and The Careers Group, University of London, working in partnership, have undertaken enhancements to the International Graduate Jobs on as a result of research with international students and graduates, employers and careers professionals. The work has been funded by the Prime Minister’s Initiative for International Education (PMI 2) and develops the work undertaken in a previous PMI 2 project which saw The Careers Group, University of London’s International Job Online made available through

CISG launches Resources Register

The AGCAS Careers Information Specialists Group (CISG) has created a new resource for AGCAS colleagues as a way of facilitating discussions between those members who have experience of using a resource/service, and those who are exploring their options.

Vacancy on the AGCAS Internationalisation Task Group

A vacancy has arisen on the AGCAS Internationalisation Task Group. Applications are invited from AGCAS members who possess expertise in and a passion for developing the employability of international students and home students with an international career focus. 

Vacancy on the Awards Task Group

The AGCAS Awards Task Group is seeking a new member with an interest in developing knowledge of skills and employability awards to undertake the role of secretary.

International students crucial to UK graduates’ prospects

AGCAS has warned that a government clampdown on the sort of work international students are allowed to do while in the UK will affect the experience UK universities can offer both international and home-based students. It would also impact upon the job prospects of UK students and the economy as a whole.

AGCAS Awards for Excellence 2011 - nominations open

AGCAS is proud to launch the 2011 AGCAS Awards for Excellence for the UK and Ireland. Bids and nominations are welcomed from AGCAS services, groups and individual members or employers, as appropriate for the different awards. These prestigious national awards encourage, reward and share good practice amongst HE careers professionals and graduate recruiters working with HE careers services.

HBJ Gateley Wareing win careers service engagement award

Law firm HBJ Gateley Wareing has won the AGCAS Award for Excellence in Careers Service Engagement at the TARGETjobs National Graduate Recruitment Awards 2011. They were presented with their award by Anne-Marie Martin, AGCAS President, at the awards dinner in London on 31 March.

Margaret honoured with lifetime achievement award

Margaret Dane, AGCAS CEO, has won the Lifetime Achievement Award at the TARGETjobs National Graduate Recruitment Awards 2011. Margaret was presented with the award by Donna Miller, European HR Director at Enterprise Rent-A-Car, at the awards dinner in London on 31 March.

Vacancies on the AGCAS Board of Directors
AGCAS is now recruiting motivated and enthusiastic volunteers to join the Board of Directors from 1 August 2011. Do you want to get involved in the strategic management of AGCAS and making key decisions about its future development? Have you got ideas about what AGCAS should be and what it should be able to provide for its members, staff and stakeholders? As a professional body, a company, a charity and an employer, AGCAS needs to be represented at the highest level by a diverse group of committed individuals. As a director you will be making a difference to the future of AGCAS.  

ALO vacancy with CILIP

AGCAS is seeking a liaison officer (ALO) for the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals (CILIP), the professional body representing librarians, information specialists and knowledge managers.

Care leaver support: guide launched by AGCAS Diversity Task Group

A good practice guide for careers professional working with care leavers has been produced by the AGCAS Diversity Task Group. In the guide, Debbie Laing, Careers Adviser at the University of Huddersfield and a member of the task group, makes recommendations for how such students might be supported through university to achieve successful outcomes.

Employers engage with diversity

Lizzie Darlington, a member of the AGCAS Diversity Task Group, has been liaising with AGR. She reports that diversity issues are rising up the agenda, with employers receiving recognition for the work they do to encourage and support a diverse workforce.

Would Prince William be better off with a law degree?

As the government prepares to make salary data within six months of graduation available to prospective students, new research suggests that it is a poor predictor of lifetime earnings. The imminent royal wedding offers an opportunity to consider the factors that might make a difference to an individual's earnings and career success.

Internships and the minimum wage - AGCAS consulted

The government is currently updating its guidance on work experience, internships and the national minimum wage. AGCAS has been invited to comment on the drafts of guidance aimed at employers and workers/interns, and on the appropriateness of case studies.

Student immigration: Developing employability and the economy, or a burden on society?
In the May 2011 issue of Phoenix, Yasmina Mallam-Hassam, Chair of the AGCAS Internationalisation Task Group, outlined the recent changes to the immigration system and explained how the new rules will affect AGCAS members in their work with international students.

Loughborough explores Chinese graduate employability

Loughborough University recently completed the first phase of a two-year project with Tsinghua University, Beijing, in China, looking at the employability of UK-educated Chinese graduates.

Writing CVs - support for international students

Carol Ellis, Careers Consultant at The College of Law, has been exploring the main issues facing international students drafting their CVs alongside UK/EEA contenders in a competitive jobs market.

Collaborative working to support international students

Staff at the University of Sheffield Careers Service have been working collaboratively with colleagues from other sections within the university, and organisations outside the university, to provide enhanced services to international students.

Operation Malta - employability advice for junior doctors

Charlene Binding, Senior Career Planning Adviser for the East Midlands Deanery, and Dr Pierre Ellul, Career Lead for the Malta Foundation Programme, discuss the rewards and challenges of integrating careers support into junior doctors' training in Malta.

Developing transferable skills in language students

Dublin City University, Trinity College Dublin and Waterford Institute of Technology recently ran a project, Transferable Skills in Third-Level Modern Language Curricula, to raise undergraduate language students' awareness of their transferable skills and their competence in these skills.

Communicating EU careers

The Communicating EU Careers event held at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) in October last year was attended by AGCAS member Fiona Christie, Senior Careers Consultant in Careers and Employability at the University of Salford. Speakers included the Foreign Secretary, William Hague, who addressed representatives from university language departments and careers services about the need to encourage graduates to consider a career in the European Union (EU).

Employability through languages

Peter Fox, Careers Adviser at Durham University Careers, Employability and Enterprise Centre, has been working with language departments to help spread the message about the importance of employability. As the modern languages link adviser, he recently delivered a session to staff on enhancing the employability of graduates from the School of Modern Languages and Cultures, exploring how crucial skills can be developed through course-related academic activities.

John Moores WoWs with skills certificate in Malaysia

The Graduate Development Centre at Liverpool John Moores University is working with Malaysia's largest public university, Universiti Teknologi Mara (UiTM), to deliver a one-year pilot programme, funded by the Malaysian Ministry of Higher Education, to offer the World of Work (WoW®) Skills Certificate to 100 students.

Nottingham helps students dress for career success

The Centre for Career Development at the University of Nottingham recently hosted a fashion show to illustrate how students should present themselves in a variety of professional environments.

Employability Awards Case Study Series

The Skills and Employability Awards Task Group recently sent out a request across AGCAS for case studies, articles and resources, and following a hugely positive response from colleagues, we are pleased to launch our new Employability Awards Case Study Series.

Bookings open for AGCAS Biennial 2011

Booking for the AGCAS Biennial Conference 2011 is now open. The conference will take place from Tuesday 13 to Thursday 15 September at The University of Nottingham. It's a fantastic chance to network with fellow AGCAS members, international colleagues, graduate recruiters and many other delegates. This is the premier event in the HE careers calendar, comprising three stand-alone days. It will be of interest to anyone interested in careers information, advice and guidance, employability and/or the graduate labour market. The conference theme is Working Smarter for Sustainability and Success.

Careers provision for young people in England

Profound changes are taking place to the financing of and legislation covering the delivery of careers education, information, advice and guidance (CEIAG) to young people via schools, sixth forms, FE colleges and youth services in England. Things are moving very fast: the second reading in the Lords took place on 14 June, so there isn't much time to try to safeguard, let alone improve, the CEIAG on offer.

This article is intended to update members on what we're doing as an organisation, invite your feedback about what we should do next, and encourage you to take action yourself.

AGCAS Awards for Excellence shortlists announced

The shortlisted nominations for the AGCAS Awards for Excellence 2011 have been announced. Nominations were received in 15 different categories for a wide range of projects from AGCAS member services in all parts of the UK.

HE white paper - AGCAS response

AGCAS welcomes the emphasis on employability and high-quality careers education, information, advice and guidance (CEIAG) in the government's higher education white paper, published today. AGCAS believes that access to high-quality CEIAG should start at school and continue through and beyond college and university.

Cautious welcome for graduate employment figures

The latest figures released by the Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA) show a slight improvement in graduate employment outcomes over last year. They show that, within six months of graduating, 86% of 2009/10 UK leavers of higher education were either working or in further study, and 9% (down from 10% in 2008/9) were unemployed. Average salaries were unchanged at £19,000 (median) and £20,000 (mean).

Election to AGCAS Board of Directors

Following the recent advertisement for a Director of Products and Services to serve on the AGCAS Board, from 1st August 2011 to 31st July 2014, nominations were received from two members. In accordance with the Memorandum and Articles of Association of AGCAS, an election is being held. Associate Members of AGCAS are now invited to vote to decide which nominee should be elected.

Skills awards survey report published

The AGCAS Skills Awards Task Group would like to thank all colleagues who contributed to our online survey. We have now produced the initial data summary and we will be producing some further evaluation of free text comments later in the year.

AGCAS announces Board election result

Following the recent poll of Associate Members of AGCAS, Jane Standley, Director of the Placement and Careers Centre at Brunel University, has been elected as the next Director of Products and Services on the AGCAS Board. Jane will take up her position on 1 August 2011 and will serve for a period of three years.

Jane will be joined on the Board by incoming AGCAS President-Elect, Paul Redmond, Head of Careers and Employability at the University of Liverpool. Paul will take up his position as AGCAS President from 1 August 2012.

Call for new members for the Careers Information Specialists Group (CISG)

The AGCAS Careers Information Specialists Group (CISG) is currently seeking new members. Each CISG member plays a specifi role within the group but works together to ensure the successful delivery of the group's remit.

Concerns over reduced careers services for young people

A group of experts has warned that government plans to reorganise careers services will be damaging to young people. Planned cuts will reduce the availability of face-to-face guidance to young people, with services confined to telephone and web-based services. The National Careers Service Advisory Group, formerly the Advisory Group on the All-Age Careers Service, have issued a press release outlining their concerns about the 'widespread destruction' of careers services for young people.


Changes to permission to work for international students

From April 2012, the Tier 1 Post-Study Work Scheme will be closed and 'replaced' by a new provision under Tier 2 Sponsored Skilled Workers. Full details have not yet been announced by the UK Border Agency (UKBA) and may not be released until as late as March 2012. The AGCAS Internationaisation Task Group is gathering examples of how all of these proposed changes will affect students, with a view to submitting evidence via Universities UK before April 2012.

Disability Task Group seeks new members

The AGCAS Disability Task Group is seeking new members to join the group and help shape the careers support available to disabled students at UK universities. There are currently two vacancies on the group.

Postgraduate Students Task Group vacancy

The AGCAS Postgraduate Students Task Group has another vacancy on the group and hopes to recruit an AGCAS member who will be able to bring their expertise and a fresh perspective to advise and inform the group's activity.

Vacancy in the Psychometric Assessment Task Group

There is currently a vacancy on the AGCAS Psychometric Assessment Task Group. This is an active and enthusiastic group, very keen to welcome a new member who has a genuine interest in psychometric assessment.

Opportunity to join the Internationalisation Task Group

A vacancy has arisen in the AGCAS Internationalisation Task Group. Applications are invited from members who possess expertise in and a passion for developing the employability of international students and home students with an international career focus.

Quality and Membership Committee vacancies

The AGCAS Quality and Membership Committee currently has five vacancies available. These vacancies have arisen as a result of members completing their term of office, as well as the AGCAS Board approving the increase in size of the committee group to address two key issues facing AGCAS and its members: quality of career management provision within HEIs; and a growing and diversified membership of AGCAS.

AGCAS celebrates Awards for Excellence winners

The results of the 2011 AGCAS Awards for Excellence have been announced. Winners were presented with their awards at an official ceremony and dinner, held at the East Midlands Conference Centre as part of the AGCAS Biennial Conference at The University of Nottingham, earlier this month.

The number of nominations received for each category is evidence of the high-quality, innovative and collaborative work taking place at AGCAS member services across the country.

AGCAS bids farewell to Margaret

Margaret Dane has retired after almost 10 years as AGCAS Chief Executive. Her membership of AGCAS spans 34 years, including three as AGCAS President, as well as serving periods of office on a wide range of sub-committees and working groups.

The AGCAS Board is in the process of reviewing the structure of AGCAS to ensure that it continues to be as effective over the next ten years as it has in the last ten years. All AGCAS Heads of Service have received an invitation to participate in the initial stages of planning this future.

Launch of Lifelong Learning Accounts

The government has launched Lifelong Learning Accounts - a free, personalised online service for adults that allows them to take greater control of their learning and working life by providing clear information and advice on skills, careers and financial support all in one place.  


Biennial Conference 2011 photo gallery - day 1
Biennial Conference 2011 photo gallery - day 1

Biennial Conference 2011 photo gallery - day 2
Biennial Conference 2011 photo gallery - day 2

Biennial Conference 2011 photo gallery - day 3
Biennial Conference 2011 photo gallery - day 3

Biennial Conference 2011 photo gallery - Awards
Biennial Conference 2011 photo gallery - Awards

Fireworks and networks

The difference of opinion on brokering unpaid internships is just one example of tensions in the coalition government: Nick Clegg has condemned them, saying 'we want a fair job market based on merit, not networks'; David Cameron is 'very relaxed' about offering work placements to people he knows. Gill Frigerio, Course Director of the Management of Student Work Experience programme at The University of Warwick, considers the theory behind the recent debates on social mobility and asks if it really is all about who you know.

Access and widening participation within transnational education

Provision of quality education and a commitment to principles of social mobility and fair access, coupled with rising fee levels, can be a challenge to HEIs in their home country, but how are these addressed, if at all, at branch campuses abroad?

Edinburgh researches widening participation destinations

The University of Edinburgh is among the first HEI to have conducted research to examine what happens to students from under-represented groups after graduation. The aim of a 2008 pilot project was to determine if there were any significant differences in the move from university to employment between so-called 'traditional' students and students who entered university through a widening access route.

Showcasing skills through Sussex Plus

The Sussex Plus project at the University of Sussex began as a small pilot in 2009. Using Sussex Plus, users can create their own personalised 'webfolio', similar to an online CV, to demonstrate skills and achievements in an innovative way, which can help to give them a competitive edge when applying for jobs or postgraduate courses.

Canterbury launches media awards

Employability and Careers Services at Canterbury Christ Church University recently launched its first Media Campaign Awards, jointly organised with the Department of Media. The competition was the culmination of the efforts of second year media and cultural studies students working on volunteer projects with Kent-based charities.

Progress towards a National Careers Service for England

The National Careers Service Advisory Group, which was formed to advise government on its proposals to develop and implement a National Careers Service for England, met on Friday 7 October 2011. AGCAS was represented, with Communications and Marketing Manager, Chris Jackson, standing in for President, Anne-Marie Martin.

AGCAS and the Careers Profession Alliance

AGCAS has decided not to continue to be part of the Careers Profession Alliance (CPA). The AGCAS Board of Directors took the decision after consulting member services and taking into consideration their views and priorities.

Latest labour market statistics - AGCAS view

The latest unemployment statistics show how challenging the current UK labour market is for jobseekers. The worst ever figures for young people between the age of 16 and 24 are particularly concerning.

Getting creative with CVs

Art and design students at North Hertfordshire College have been participating in a series of creative CV workshops. Led by AGCAS member Emma Bumpus, Careers Guidance Officer, participating students produced a range of interesting and very individual CVs as part of a BTEC personal development module.

Careers section of Education Bill 2011 - suggested amendments

The Education Bill 2010-2011 is now at the report stage in the House of Lords, where it is being examined line by line. The next meeting will take place on 18 October 2011. Among the proposed amendments are some concerning Section 27 on Careers Guidance in Schools In England.

Is there a shortage of scientists?

An article looking at some of the official concerns about the supply of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) graduates has been published. Is there a shortage of scientists? A re-analysis of supply for the UK, published in the British Journal of Educational Studies, provides a summary of a series of recent research projects looking at the educational trajectories of prospective STEM professionals in the UK.

Revised matrix Standard launched

The revised matrix Standard was launched on 12 October 2011. The launch event was opened by Ian Greenaway, Chair of EMQC Ltd, and Dave Allan, Managing Director of EMQC Ltd, culminating with an address by John Hayes MP, Minister of State for Further Education, Skills and Lifelong Learning. AGCAS was represented by Lucy Madahar, Assistant Director of Student Services at Birmingham City University and AGCAS Director of Quality and Membership.

Vacancy for AGCAS Company Law Member

Nominations are invited from members of Plenary Committee (heads of service) for the role of AGCAS Company Law Member. AGCAS, the company, has eight Company Law Members. One of the existing members nominated by Plenary Committee has resigned from this position and we need a volunteer to fill this vacancy. The role provides an interesting career development opportunity and a chance to contribute to the success of AGCAS without it being an onerous responsibility.

Scottish Government proposals for post-16 education reform

The Scottish Government has set out proposals for wide wide-ranging reform of the full range of Government-funded post-16 education in Scotland. Proposals outlined in Putting Learners at the Centre, the Government’s pre-legislative paper that takes forward the discussion generated by their Green Paper: Building a Smarter Scotland, cover higher education, further education and skills, as well as community learning and development which is delivered by local authorities and the Third Sector.

AGCAS contributes to research into European graduate prospects

Research to inform policies aiming to improve the employment and career prospects of high-skilled graduates throughout Europe has been commissioned by the European Commission. Jane Standley, AGCAS Director of Products and Services and Director of SEECC (Student Employment, Experience and Careers Centre) at the University of Reading, represented AGCAS at a national seminar for key informants in the UK, organised by the Institute for Employment Studies (IES), which is carrying out the research in partnership with Centro de Estudios Económicos Tomillo S.L. of Spain and the University of Trento and Istituto per la Ricerca Socialein Italy.

Mixed picture on graduate jobs front - HE careers services

University careers services across the UK have reported a mixed picture during the third quarter of 2011, both in the messages they are getting from employers and in the number of jobs they are advertising. While vacancies in some sectors are said to be up, there is increased competition for most positions.

Sir Alex Ferguson's employability audit

Sir Alex Ferguson this week celebrates 25 years as Manchester United manager. To be continually employed for a quarter of a century is quite an achievement, especially in a field where job security is rare. From a careers professional's point of view though, it's interesting to consider what would happen if, perhaps through no fault of his own, Sir Alex had to look for work. Would he readily find another position in the same or another field? Is he still employable?

Social mobility toolkit for the professions

Professions for Good, a public information campaign to which many professional bodies have signed up, is developing a Social Mobility Toolkit on behalf of the Gateways to the Professions Collaborative Forum and the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS).

New paper highlights impact of permission to work regulations

A briefing paper analysing the implications of the closure of the Tier 1 Post-Study Work Scheme, and also of the new Tier 2 proposals, on universities and businesses in the UK has been published by Universities UK. The paper, Impact analysis of the closure of Tier 1 Post-Study Work Route, was produced following consultation with the AGCAS Internationalisation Task Group and university departments throughout the country.

Bookings open for Heads of Service Conference 2012

Booking is now open for the AGCAS Heads of Service Conference 2012. The conference will take place at Bewley's Hotel Ballsbridge in Dublin, Ireland, on January 5th and 6th. The conference programme has been developed by heads of service in Ireland and is open to all heads and deputy heads of AGCAS member services.

Huddersfield's GEMS - winner of top AGCAS award

The Graduate Employment-Market Statistics (GEMS) software package is an innovative and widely-used method of disseminating information from the annual Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education Survey (DLHE) to universities' key stakeholders including senior management, academic staff, careers researchers, graduates and current and prospective students. It was developed by the Careers Service at the University of Huddersfield in collaboration with academics and senior managers and with careers services nationally.

BSEEN to be a winner in Birmingham

BSEEN promotes entrepreneurship among students and graduates in the Birmingham area, whilst also meeting regional priorities including increasing higher skills, enhancing innovation and enterprise and supporting SMEs. It was jointly conceived by three partner university careers services: Aston, Birmingham City and Birmingham.

Asidua's a winner for Ulster students

The relationship between the University of Ulster and Asidua Ltd, a software consultancy and services company based in Belfast, is a clear example of how effective collaboration between an employer, academic staff and a careers service can operate in the best interests of students.

Edge Hill University and Enterprise Rent-A-Car's winning partnership

The partnership between Edge Hill University and Enterprise Rent-A-Car (ERAC) has developed over ten years and is grounded in the excellent relationships that exist between the employer and the institution's Careers Centre. Beginning with one-off visits by the employer to careers events, this has now progressed to the integration of ERAC into the curriculum across diverse academic disciplines including sport, geography and business.

UCLAN and Shanghai's winning partnership

This is designed to help interaction between Chinese and British students, to enhance British students' international experience and employability and entrepreneurship competence. It is a joint programme between UCLan Business School, Futures (UCLan's Careers and Employability Service) and Shanghai International Foreign Trade (SIFT).

Leicester's research shows benefit of placements

The Careers Service and the Department of Engineering at the University of Leicester conducted statistical research to investigate the relationship between engineering students undertaking a placement and improved academic performance.

Positive Futures for Northumbria graduates

Positive Futures – Developing Career Confidence in Challenging Times is a programme comprising a masterclass, workshops and coaching, developed by the Careers Service at Northumbria University to inspire recent graduates to approach their job seeking with confidence in their employability. It was developed in collaboration with the university's Enterprise Unit and Alumni Association.

Portsmouth opens Purple Door online

The Purple Door Careers and Recruitment website is central to the delivery of careers employability services offered at the University of Portsmouth, where there is increasing demand for 24/7 access to information and advice on career and employability issues from students and graduates.

Staff development success for Leeds

The Careers Centre Strategy Team at the University of Leeds, rather than solely increasing online provision to meet the challenges of the economic downturn, chose to train support staff to provide initial information and advice to students and graduates.

Aberystwyth's 'Pitch for Pudsey' earns Radio 2 coverage

Staff at Aberystwyth University Careers Service have been helping students to explore possible career paths, and the employability skills needed to develop a career, by asking them to choose a future job for Pudsey bear in addition to the voluntary work he already undertakes as part of the Children In Need campaign.

Northumbria's innovative animation

Northumbria University's dynamic animated clip, which outlines the service Careers and Employment at the institution provides, is an excellent example of collaboration across a university working in the interests of students. When a need was identified for a low-cost, succinct, high-quality advertisement for careers and employability services, the department employed a collaborative approach both within the service and externally.

Leeds engages the unengaged

The University of Leeds Careers Centre has developed a successful marketing strategy with materials to 'engage the unengaged', which uses a minimum of staff time but has raised the service's profile and usage.

TARGETjobs Breakfast News: Graduate recruitment and the labour market
TARGETjobs Breakfast News this month focused on the changing nature of graduate recruitment along with the current state of the graduate labour market. AGCAS was represented by board member Stephen McAuliffe, Director of the Careers and Employability Service at The University of Nottingham.

Nominations open for TARGETjobs award

For the eighth time, AGCAS has been asked by GTI to judge and present an award at the annual TARGETjobs National Graduate Recruitment Awards to be presented in London in April 2012. AGCAS member services are invited to nominate an employer or organisation for the AGCAS Award for Excellence in Careers Service Engagement.

Chester shortlisted for UK Excellence Award

Careers and Employability at the University of Chester, in partnership with Student Support and Guidance, was recently shortlisted as a finalist for a 2011 UK Excellence Award by the British Quality Foundation (BQF).

The Open University: Fees 2012-13

In July, The Open University (OU) announced that it had set a new fee level for new students in England starting after 1 September 2012. The new fee is £5,000 for a full-time year (120 credits), but as most OU students study part time, this figure will be scaled down in proportion to the intensity of their study.

AGCAS new year resolution: Make ARENA even better

Here at AGCAS, we're always trying to improve our communications with members. Recently, we seem to have got better at reporting things that interest you. What we are working on now is being quicker off the mark so that, with our help, AGCAS members are recognised as the most up-to-date and well-informed people anywhere on any issue to do with the graduate labour market, employability and careers information, education, advice and guidance.

Vacancy on AGCAS Board of Directors - Company Secretary

AGCAS is looking for an enthusiastic member to join its Board of Directors in the role of Company Secretary. This is a great opportunity to get involved in the strategic management of AGCAS and to help the organisation make key decisions about its future development, especially how it can best support member services. The role of Company Secretary involves a number of administrative, legal and statutory responsibilities. A full induction will be given, however, and there is plenty of support available both from experienced AGCAS staff and from other members of the AGCAS Board.

Vacancy on the Research Staff Task Group

The AGCAS Research Staff Task Group is looking for a new member to join the group. The task group has been busy producing resources for careers advisers and for early career researchers and is also active in the researcher development community to raise the profile of the work of careers advisers and to feed into policy and developments such as the Researcher Development Framework (RDF) and the Concordat to Support the Career Development of Researchers.

First career destinations of disabled graduates - research published

The AGCAS Disability Task Group has produced its annual report on the first destinations of disabled graduates nationally, What Happens Next? This year's report indicates a certain level of stability returning to the graduate labour market following last year’s downturn.

Case studies highlight award-winning work

A series of case studies has been produced to showcase the winning projects and initiatives recently commended as part of the AGCAS Awards for Excellence 2011.

The case studies have been compiled using the original submissions received from each AGCAS member service. They are intended to encourage and share good practice amongst HE careers professionals to help promote excellence in careers and employability work.

Hull targets SMEs for internships

The University of Hull Careers Service has been encouraging the region's smaller businesses to employ graduates on an internship basis. As a result, Hull's allocation of internships to small businesses exceeded their target by over 600%, with internships allocated over a range of industry sectors.

Work while studying: blessing or curse?

Research into undergraduates' experiences of working has been conducted by AGCAS member Angela Vesey, Senior Lecturer in the School of Social Sciences at Nottingham Trent University (NTU) and winner of the 2011 AGCAS John Roberts Memorial Prize. Angela's study, as part of her MA in Career Education, Information and Guidance in HE (CEIGHE), explored the nature and extent of undergraduates working at NTU, their motivations for working and its perceived impact.

My other job

Working a full-time job alongside running your own business can test your organisational and time management skills to the limit. Sam Doud, IT and Web Services Manager at the University of Leeds Careers Centre, also runs his own web design and consultancy business.

100 companies open up work experience places

One hundred companies have signed up to Nick Clegg's social mobility strategy, pledging their firms will open up opportunities for work experience to try to bring an end to career advancement by 'who you know'.

AGCAS represented at diversity careers events

Percy Ngcobo, a member of the AGCAS Diversity Task Group, attended various LGBT careers events in the autumn of 2011, including the CASS LGBT Society Careers Panel Networking event, the Careers Diversity Show, and the Inside and Out Investment Banking event.

New careers council seeks members

The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) is establishing a new group, a National Council for Careers, to advise the government on improving the quality of careers advice. The Council will provide independent advice to help drive the success of the National Careers Service, due to be launched in In April 2012, and is now looking for nominations from prospective members from a variety of backgrounds, including the careers guidance sector, the education sector, and business.

HEA announces funding for internationalisation projects

The Higher Education Academy (HEA), in partnership with the UK Council for International Student Affairs (UKCISA), is inviting HE and FE institutions to submit applications for funding for pilot projects supporting internationalisation.

Employability at the heart of University of Derby development

The careers team at the University of Derby is committed to providing a holistic service to their student body, which, like other Million+ institutions, includes students from a broad spectrum of backgrounds undertaking full time, part time and distance learning courses. They are also committed to reaching out to those students, often from widening participation backgrounds, who can most benefit from the services provided.

The modern university careers service

What sort of careers service do you want? One size doesn't fit all. Catherine Klimeš, Head of Careers and Employability at the University of Northampton, outlines what careers services can offer their vice chancellors in a diverse and fast-changing sector.

JobSavviGrad helps University of Bedfordshire improve graduate employment outcomes

The University of Bedfordshire Careers and Employment Service has joined forces with JobSavviGrad to face up to the challenge of improving graduate employability outcomes. 

Mentoring boosts employability at Birmingham City University

Birmingham City University (BCU) Careers Service has developed two high-quality mentoring programmes to give students a real-life insight into the world of work and enhance their employability. The programmes were shortlisted for both the 2011 Times Higher Education Awards and the AGCAS Awards for Excellence. 

New University of Bolton initiative improves commercial awareness

The careers service at the University of Bolton is working with Gradcore to deliver an innovative four-day programme aimed at final year students and graduates. The programme aims to improve the employability of students and grow links with employers and local businesses.

'Great careers start' at the University of Cumbria

The University of Cumbria's strapline 'Great careers start here...' reflects its commitment in supporting students to realise their career ambitions in a challenging economic context. 

Developing employable Gloucestershire graduates

The University of Gloucestershire's Careers and Employability team and the Department of Teaching and Learning Innovation have jointly developed an award, which gives formal recognition to students' achievement outside of their academic programme.

Coaching complements University of Sunderland provision

The University of Sunderland's Careers and Employability Service identified a need to improve students' confidence and better prepare them for graduate selection processes. Feedback for the new coaching service is very positive and demand is expected to grow. 

Funding to put universities at the heart of social change

UnLtd and the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) have launched a programme of support for social entrepreneurship in English universities and colleges. The initiative will help universities and colleges to develop their support structures for social entrepreneurship, making it easier for students and staff to start up a social venture and thrive within the HE environment. The programme aims to encourage a social entrepreneurship culture across the HE sector.

The National Placement & Internship Awards 2012

This year's National Placement & Internship Awards took place at City University, London on 18 January 2012. The awards were created by to recognise and celebrate the outstanding achievements of all stakeholders involved in undergraduate work placements and internships. Now in its third year, the event was supported for the first time by AGCAS.

University of West London embraces social media

The University of West London's Careers and Employment Service has conducted research into the sometimes contrasting ways that employers and students make use of social media and has tailored its services accordingly. 

AGR invites careers service award nominations

The Association of Graduate Recruiters (AGR) is inviting higher education careers and employability services, which are members of AGR, to nominate themselves for a new award. The award, which is called Preparation for Work by Higher Education, recognises the contribution of university careers services in preparing students to succeed in the world of work. It is given to higher education institutions for outstanding commitment to improving the employability and long-term career success of their graduates.

Canterbury Christ Church University JobFair

Over 2,500 students from Canterbury Christ Church University took the opportunity to meet with representatives from 50 companies to discuss graduate employment opportunities at JobFair 2011.

Temps service makes recruitment easy at Canterbury Christ Church

Canterbury Christ Church University's TempShop provides an easy-access service to staff by removing the administrative burden of temp recruitment.

Coventry University develops Add+vantage employability programme

Coventry has one of the biggest university employability initiatives in the country, with more than 11,000 students taking one 10-credit employability module in each year of study. The Add+vantage Scheme is centrally coordinated by the Careers and Employability Service and involves all schools, faculties and other departments and employers. 

Demystifying the PhD process

The AGCAS Postgraduate Students Task Group has produced a new resource aimed at practitioners working with postgraduate students. Demystifying the PhD Process evaluates the different approaches to helping students considering PhD study as their next step, outlines the differences in application procedures, and identifies strategies for careers professionals to apply when dealing with this client group.

Single admissions process for postgraduate initial teacher training (ITT): Consultation

The Department for Education announced in its Initial Teacher Training (ITT) Implementation Plan published last November that it would introduce a single application system for postgraduate teacher training courses, rather than having different systems for different training routes. The improved system is due to be operational from September 2013 for courses starting in 2014. The Graduate Teacher Training Registry (GTTR) has now launched a consultation on a new model to create this single admissions process.

'Graduate labour market holding up' AGCAS survey

More employers are looking for graduates according to university careers and employability professionals. Responding to the regular vacancy survey carried out by the Association of Graduate Careers Advisory Services (AGCAS), 87.5% of heads of careers services said that in their experience the graduate labour market was more buoyant (50%) or the same (37.5%) in the quarter ending 31 December 2011 compared to the same period in 2010.