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

04 May 2020

Over the past few weeks, our views and expertise have been sought by a number of sector bodies to support planning for the broader impact of Covid-19. As such, we have been feeding in collective AGCAS knowledge to explore the impact of Covid-19 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 is represented on a cross-sector advisory group, convened by UUK, to explore the impact of Covid-19 on prospective and recent graduates. The group is focusing on the role of universities in the economic recovery of the country and identifying the priority challenges facing graduates entering the world of work. The group will recommend specific proposals for support that could be provided, for example through government/policy asks, as well as identifying common expectations and promoting good practice in the sector. Some of the issues and areas the group intends to explore include:  

  • Areas where job market transition skills support could be enhanced
  • Work experience/placements and engagement with employers (including ways to avoid exploitation of recent graduates through the growth in unpaid internships)
  • The progression of disadvantaged groups and any specific support needed to avoid compounding graduate disparities
  • Support for postgraduate progression
  • Repurposing of funding streams into HEIs

Proposals will focus on practical actions and 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.

Office for Students (OfS)

AGCAS has recently been approached by the OfS to contribute to a series of briefing notes:

  • Information, advice and guidance (IAG): to highlight how institutions are continuing to provide IAG during the current crisis with a particular focus on tailored delivery to vulnerable/widening participation groups.
  • Regional: to highlight how institutions are supporting local graduate employability throughout the crisis.
  • Disabled students: to highlight how careers services are continuing to support disabled students' progression to employment during the current crisis through the delivery of targeted interventions and specific resources.

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

  • HEPI/JobTeaser: Students’ views on entering the labour market (29 April), Bob Gilworth, AGCAS President
  • Gradcore Leadership in Lockdown webinar, (19 May) Nalayini Thambar, AGCAS Quality Director
  • Accelerating the future: What will student outreach look like? (9 June), Paul Gratrick, AGCAS Regionalisation Director
  • CMI student webinar: tips and advice for new graduates entering the labour market (11 June)
    Shelagh Green, Director of Careers and Employability at The University of Edinburgh, and Kate Daubney, Head of King’s Careers and Employability

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