New UUK report calls for action to support 2020 graduates and highlights the work of AGCAS member services

25 June 2020

Today sees the publication of Universities UK’s report Supporting Graduates in a Covid-19 Economy. The report discusses the challenging labour market for the class of 2020 and makes a series of recommendations to government, requesting further support to ensure graduates can play a central role in the recovery.

AGCAS has played a key part in the production of the report and recommendations. AGCAS was represented in a cross-sector advisory group by Elaine Boyes, Executive Director; Marc Lintern, President-Elect; Mark Stow, Director for Advocacy and Shelagh Green, Director for Careers and Employability at the University of Edinburgh. The advisory group was convened by Universities UK to explore the impact of Covid-19 on prospective and recent graduates. To inform the work of this group, AGCAS members provided a wide range of case studies to demonstrate how careers services responded to the crisis. These case studies included examples of new activities created and delivered in response to these challenging times, or existing initiatives that were adapted since lockdown began.

The recommendations to government from the report include:

  • Funding for universities and businesses to set-up paid internship opportunities for graduates
  • Greater support to co-ordinate graduate internship opportunities so they reach a wider audience
  • An in-study interest break on the Postgraduate Master’s Loan
  • Support to develop modular and bitesize learning opportunities for graduate skills development that supports recovery and meets immediate business needs.

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

We should describe the situation not as a cliff edge, but as a new frontier – undiscovered and challenging, but something the resilient 2020 graduate will have the tools and support to brave.