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The Careers Service has launched a new set of Career Development initiatives to help students gain better insight and experience to enable them to be more prepared for the competitive graduate job market.
Among some of the new initiatives is the Graduate Internships piloted last summer that saw 10 Lancaster graduates given 12-week placements within the University in an effort to boost the chances of application success to further employment. One of the graduates told the Careers Service that “Looking back I believe the reason I was unemployed before this internship was simply my lack of experience and my lack of confidence in applying for jobs.”After the success of the initiative the scheme is looking to be extended to accommodate 25 graduates this year.
As well as graduate internships the University offers a wide range of opportunities to work part-time for the University and shells out a massive £1.9 million on casual labour per year. Two thirds of this is spent on employing students to be tour guides, work in Hospitality or on help desks, and in admin support.
To increase accessibility to this kind of work for students, the University is introducing an Employment & Recruitment Service for the new academic year. This new service will work with internal and external managers to promote the student and graduate talent that Lancaster offers.
As well as opening up opportunities on-campus, the Careers Service aims to develop its focus on job brokering – this process involves helping recently graduated students with job applications and preparation. The Career Service also intends on creating stronger links with SMEs (Small to Medium Sized Enterprises) as many of the jobs never get advertised, instead recruitment takes place through networks and trusted contacts.
The forming of reliable and trusted networks in larger corporate companies is also an aim for the Careers Service. This year they have launched “The London Connection” to try and work more closely with alumni and the Work Foundation to give current Lancaster students a great start in the graduate market. Mark Diggle, Head of the Careers Service told SCAN that this was a particularly important part of their new schemes because “understanding [top graduate employer’s] needs, how and when they recruit, what they look for in their graduate hires – this helps us and helps you as we share this knowledge and promote the University and graduates. Lancaster’s alumni offer us the chance to open some doors and build the relationship.”
As well as providing for the students on and off campus through these initiatives, the Careers Service has pledged to make more of an offline presence in faculty departments and has launched their revamped website which gives students greater support online. The new website offers video resources, knowledge and skill banks as well as employer information, CV writing guides and psychometric tests. Diggle told SCAN that the Digital Services “is a growing resource and we would welcome any contributions based on your own experiences applying for jobs.”