Letter: Volunteering

April 20, 2001

The debate about graduate employability rates ("UK degrees top tickets to jobs market", THES , April 6) reflects the need for greater understanding of what makes a graduate employable.

Volunteering is proving to give students a feel for work and for the workplace ethos. It is increasingly viewed as a premier form of work experience. The experience of volunteering and opportunity for reflective learning it offers is open to academic assessment.

A recent employers' forum concluded that one of the most important things employers seek in graduates and future employees is enthusiasm. Simple but true. The education sector needs to think carefully about how to turn out graduates who not only have the academic prowess, but are also curious, active participants and able to reflect and develop their self-awareness.

Zoe Speakman
Student Volunteering UK

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