AGCAS involvement in sector-wide collaborations: sharing knowledge and expertise in post Covid-19 discussions

21 July 2020

Over the past few months, our views and expertise have been sought by a number of sector bodies to support planning for the broader impact of Covid-19. We have fed in collective AGCAS knowledge to explore the impact of the pandemic on the graduate labour market, the responses of the sector to the challenges ahead, and to support the political positioning of our profession and members.

Universities UK (UUK) cross-sector advisory group - Supporting graduates in a post-Covid economy

AGCAS was part of the cross-sector advisory group, convened by UUK, to explore the impact of Covid-19 on prospective and recent graduates. The group's focus was the role of universities in the economic recovery of the country and the challenges facing graduates entering the world of work.

UUK published Supporting Graduates in a Covid-19 Economy on 25 June, which makes a series of recommendations, including calling for government-backed graduate internships. The advisory group recommended specific proposals for support and identified practical actions where value can be added to the work already taking place across the sector, including through the delivery of existing careers and employability provision to students and recent graduates. AGCAS played a key part in the production of the report and provided case studies from members to demonstrate how careers services have responded to the Covid-19 crisis. Read more about AGCAS's involvement.

To accompany the report's publication, AGCAS Policy and Research Manager Gabi Binnie produced a blog post for UUK, demonstrating the innovation shown by careers services and warning of the need to be mindful of the language used to discuss graduate prospects.

We are running a joint, free webinar with UUK on 28 July 2020. Supporting Graduates: The class of 2020 will share insight into what we can expect from the near future, as well as profile the strategies institutions have adopted to support the careers and employability of their graduates. The session will be Chaired by Marc Lintern, Director of Student Experience at Newcastle University and AGCAS President. Mark Stow, Director of Business Engagement, Careers & Employability at Leeds Beckett University and AGCAS Advocacy Director will be a speaker.

We are supporting UUK's National Graduate Day (NGD) campaign on Thursday 30 July 2020. The campaign will highlight why a university education is valuable and will share success stories, achievements and the resilience of graduates in the current climate.
Learn more about the campaign and how you can lend your support.

Office for Students (OfS)

AGCAS has contributed to a series of OfS briefing notes, which outline how universities and other higher education providers have responded to the coronavirus pandemic:

  • Graduate employment: to highlight how institutions are supporting graduate employability throughout the pandemic. Read the briefing note.
  • Disabled students: to highlight how careers services are continuing to support disabled students' progression to employment during the pandemic through the delivery of targeted interventions and specific resources. Read the briefing note.

ISE – the impact of Covid-19 on student and graduate employers

AGCAS supported the Institute of Student Employers (ISE) with the second in a series of research reports designed to understand the impact of Covid-19 on how employers recruit and develop students and graduates. This report is based on the findings of a survey with 179 student employers. Respondents included both large employers and SMEs and represented a broad sectorial and geographical spread.

UK Council for International Student Affairs (UKCISA)/Universities UK International (UUKi) – international student employability

AGCAS representatives are part of a special interest cross-sector group to explore international student employability. The group will explore strategies for collaboration in the current climate, drawing on the recommendations from the Supporting International Graduate Employability report published earlier this year.

AGCAS webinars

Over the past month, we have run webinars on a wide range of topics. Recordings are available to AGCAS members who have signed into the website.

AGCAS contributions to recent/forthcoming webinars

Please contact us via if you would like more details about AGCAS activity in the areas highlighted above.