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Supporting graduates during the downturn

05 August 2009

Group of Graduates

A joint University project designed to help graduates gain advice and skills during the economic downturn, has been launched.

The new £1.2M project, involving the five St David’s Day Group partners and Glyndwr University, will extend the provision of careers advice to new graduates on accessing the difficult jobs market place.

The project is the first signed under the St David’s Day declaration. It will run for the next 18 months and extend the provision of careers advice to some 3000 graduates.

It will also assist up to 1000 unemployed graduates to access vital training from the partner universities under an Individual Learning Voucher scheme.

The scheme is open to all graduates who live in Wales, regardless of where they studied for their degree.

Professor Ken Woodhouse, Pro Vice-Chancellor for Engagement said: "Whilst our graduates remain well placed and highly sought after in the job market, the current economic downturn has added additional pressure for new and unemployed graduates seeking to access an already highly competitive job market.

"This project will enable the University and others to help protect and improve the employment prospects of the recently unemployed and graduates entering employment for the first time.

"In the current economic climate it is essential that we do everything we can to help businesses and individuals gain the training and skills they need so that we are prepared for the economic upturn when it arrives."

The University project is part of a £2.15M package of four projects announced under the Higher Education Funding Council for Wales’s (HEFCW) Economic Support Initiative.

The initiative is designed to allow Wales’s universities help individuals and businesses weather the economic downturn and enable Welsh higher education institutions to further protect or improve the employment prospects of employees in the Welsh economy.

The University is also a partner in a £440,000 project designed to meet the skills and needs of individuals and companies in the Creative Media industries in Wales.

The project will see the University work jointly with other Welsh universities and Skillset, the sector skills council for the creative media industry, in targeting training for individuals who are freelancing, unemployed or at risk of redundancy.

Professor Philip Gummett, Chief Executive of HEFCW, said: "The funding will allow Wales’s universities and colleges to respond quickly to situations as they emerge and to target areas most at need of help.

"We always emphasise the wealth of knowledge and expertise in Wales’s higher education institutions, and the current economic downturn means that Wales needs to tap into this valuable resource more than ever."

Graduates wanting advice can contact the University’s Careers Service on 029 2087 4828 or e-mail: