Connecting graduates with employers

A new scheme has been launched to connect West Yorkshire graduates with employers in the region.

GradSkills is run by Leeds Trinity University  – executive members of West & North Yorkshire Chamber of Commerce – and is open to anyone who has graduated since 2018.

To qualify, you need to be living in West Yorkshire and have the right to work in the UK, whether you are unemployed or employed.

Around 30,000 graduates have left West Yorkshire universities and higher education institutions this summer.

The GradSkills project offers two short courses to help graduates who are looking for a job and making their homes here in West Yorkshire.  “Jumpstart Your Career”  is a set of online modules that cover self-awareness and career decision-making, navigating application processes and succeeding once you’re there. It’s available online and can be completed whenever best suits you. Participants also receive one-to-one coaching and an opportunity to meet graduate employers.

The modules were designed by GradConsult, a Yorkshire-based company which specialises in working with universities and graduate employers.

Juliet Hayes, a Project Consultant at GradConsult and a recent graduate herself, says, “When I graduated in 2019, I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do, or even could do, with a geography degree! This course would have been really useful for me back then, as I would have been introduced to all the different types of job role I could go into, and started to really consider my values and purpose in life and how my career path would align with these.”

GradSkills is also launching a second course, Graduate Accelerator, which offers up to five one-to-one coaching sessions and a full day of face-to-face training on one of three topics: Working in the UK for International Graduates, Making a Difference, or Leadership and Management.  Graduates who are interested in either course can find out more and register their interest at [link to GradSkills – Leeds Trinity University]

Alongside these courses, GradSkills runs regular employer networking events, includes employers in our training days and collects case studies from anyone who employs international graduates on Graduate or Skilled Worker visas or graduates working on Graduate or Skilled Worker visas. Anyone who is interested in helping with any of these activities can find out more at [link to GradSkills – Leeds Trinity University]

Mark Casci, head of policy at the Chamber, said: “Recruitment remains a real hot-button issue for our members, and graduates are in serious demand by firms of all sizes.

“We have some of the best universities in Europe in Yorkshire and, as such, we all have a vested interest in keeping as many of their graduates as possible in our economy.

“GradSkills is intended to do just that.”

GradSkills is a three-year project funded by West Yorkshire Combined Authority, delivered in partnership with Go Higher West Yorkshire and 11 higher education institutions and led by Leeds Trinity University. To find out more, visit the GradSkills page.