Welsh plan to boost employability launched

The Welsh government has drafted a 63-point plan to bolster the employability of the country’s university graduates.

June 19, 2012

The Skills and Employability Framework was announced on 19 June in conjunction with Welsh universities, the Higher Education Funding Council for Wales, the Confederation of British Industry in Wales, and the National Union of Students.

The plan includes aims to:

• Increase the number of students enrolled on employer-approved courses, and the number of courses designed with employers

• Increase the number of students and graduates making “strong applications” to work placement opportunities

• Create an extra 300 to 400 six-month-long work experience placements for unemployed graduates under 24

Jeff Cuthbert, the deputy minister for skills, said that there was concern among employers that some graduates “lacked the basic employability skills” such as information technology, working with others, problem-solving and number skills.

Many targets in the framework have not yet been finalised, and the final document will be released in July.

Mr Cuthbert said that the organisations involved would look at whether universities should run functional literacy and numeracy classes for students.

He stressed that employers were “quite happy” with the “great majority” of graduates “but there was still a fairly significant proportion that identify problems as basic as [literacy and numeracy]”.

On 5 June Mr Cuthbert was reported as telling the Welsh assembly that he was “loath to give a direct assurance” that no campuses would be closed as part of the Welsh government’s plan to merge the country’s 10 universities into six.

However, he told Times Higher Education that there were no plans to close campuses as part of the reorganisation.

david.matthews@tsleducation.com

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