Students Staff

29 September 2014

Big leap for Essex leavers’ employability

Graduates of the University of Essex have a better chance than ever to secure good jobs according to the latest national statistics for graduate employability.

Analysis of figures compiled by The Complete University Guide show Essex graduates are finding more graduate-level employment or postgraduate opportunities than ever before, rising from 51.4% to 64.2%. Only three other universities have seen greater improvement.

Essex’s Director of Employability Dave Stanbury said: “We have worked hard in recent years to improve the job prospects of our graduates, recognising how important finding graduate-level jobs or postgraduate opportunities is to them.

“Significant growth of our internships programme has given our graduates valuable work experience, while our award-winning Frontrunners initiative increases the confidence, skills and employability of our current students.”

Essex has expanded its paid internships scheme for current students and recent graduates from 80 placements in 2011-12, to 118 in 2012-13, and 241 in 2013-14. Internships vary in length from six weeks to up to 12 months, are mostly external placements, and can be part-time or full-time.

The Frontrunners scheme, for which Essex won the 2013 Times Higher Education Award for Outstanding Student Support, sees current students employed for up to eight hours per week during term-time, and up to 20 hours per week in the summer holiday. In 2012-13 there were 245 individual frontrunner placements, rising to 347 in 2013-14.

Other initiatives include the Big Essex Employability Award which has helped 500 students reflect on the skills they have gained from volunteering, work experience, and involvement with student societies, and to articulate these to employers.

Dave Stanbury added: “We have also created dedicated posts in our faculties to promote work experience, developing one-to-one coaching programmes for final-year students, and expanding our programme of careers talks and employer presentations.

"The massive improvement is testament to the fantastic partnership between professional services and academics. There has been a huge amount of good work going on in departments, schools and Faculties by academics which is absolutely essential for embedding employability in the lived experience of students and helping to make vital connections between employability and the degree discipline."


More information

For further information please contact the University of Essex Communications Office, telephone: 01206 873529 or email:

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