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Employers check out students at university recruitment fairs

Students met with more than 50 external employers across a range of sectors, including FDM Group, ACCA, Hilton International, the Armed Forces, TUI, Hertfordshire County Council, Runaway Media and Focus Residential Childcare Services.

Employability is one of Bedfordshire’s biggest priorities and the university is proud to work closely with employers to ensure that its courses are addressing the future needs of the workforce.

Enterprise Rent-A-Car’s talent acquisition specialist Paul Phillips explained the importance and uniqueness of Bedfordshire’s focus on student employability.

“It’s really important,” he said. “We’ve been to universities and spoken to people who don’t place employability high up there.

“Students need to think ahead of the game throughout their studies. It’s great to see what the University of Bedfordshire is doing and the emphasis that it puts on what to do after your degree.”

Capita’s Gemma Shane, who admitted to being on a ‘scouting mission’ for newly qualified teachers, went one step further in her praise.

She said: “This is the best organised and busiest event I’ve been to. The information we have been given, in terms of places and times, has been very clear.

“I’ve found it a very friendly environment and the students are very keen and enthusiastic. Employability is clearly very strong at this university, which is excellent.”

The graduate and employability fairs are designed to inform students about career opportunities and how to put their forthcoming degrees to best use, as well as teaching them core employability skills.

Students took advantage of over 15 different employability workshops, ranging from how to write a great CV through to self-employment support.

Cathy Hyde, head of the University of Bedfordshire’s careers and employability service, said: “We are delighted with how well our events have gone this week.
"Over 100 students attended the Graduate Futures Fair in Bedford on Tuesday while 200 first years took part in the Employability Fair at our Luton Campus.
"On Thursday we had over 600 second and final year students registered for the Graduate Futures Fair in Luton.

“Part of our ‘EmployAble Week’, these activities demonstrate our continued commitment to ensuring our students develop the skills that employers are seeking, and to supporting our students in gaining relevant work experience and graduate level employment.”

During EmployAble Week students have been able to speak to employers first hand to get advice on how to gain relevant skills and experience to secure employment in today’s competitive job markets.

Voluntary bodies and gap year organisations also attended to enable students to build valuable work experience. Support and information was also provided on further study, finding job vacancies and self-employment.

Susan Adeyboye, a final-year journalism student, said: “It’s been a great event to find out about a variety of different companies and the sorts of opportunities that they offer.

“If I hadn’t have come here I would have thought that my only option was to apply for journalism roles, but I have found out about a number of other jobs where my writing skills would be an advantage, such as PR and Marketing.

“It’s opened my eyes to other possibilities and broadened my horizons.”

Echoing that sentiment was Ofsana Miah, a third year in Accounting and Finance: “I have been given some great support and guidance and it’s been wonderful to develop core skills such as CV writing.

“There are companies here today that you don’t even think about when applying for a graduate placement.

“I have recently been on an assessment centre for a graduate placement – it was really tough but I feel that I couldn’t have been prepared any better from the support and guidance I received from the Careers and Employability Service.”

Students can sign up for job vacancies from the University’s Careers and Employability Service and find out how to receive continued support finding work and study after their degree.

For more information about future employability events, visit http://www.beds.ac.uk/student-experience2/studying-at-bedfordshire/student-services/careers/whats-on