Using part-time working to support graduate employment: Needs and perceptions of employers.

This source preferred by Gbola Gbadamosi

Authors: Evans, C., Maxfield, T. and Gbadamosi, G.

Journal: Industry and Higher Education

Volume: 29

Issue: 4

Pages: 305-314

Publisher: IP Publishing

ISSN: 0950-4222

DOI: 10.5367/ihe.2015.0260

An exploration of the value attached to the work experience of graduates, and particularly the value of part-time working whilst studying for a degree, from an employer’s perspective, is reported. A documentary analysis of graduate recruiters was conducted to assess the extent to which work experience was specified for graduate employment programmes. Further interviews were then carried out with a sample of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to explore how the part-time working of graduates is perceived by employers. Work experience is deemed to be important to employers, not only as a differentiator but also as a measure of how graduates will perform in-post. Employers generally signalled the value of work experience, but indicated that graduates did not make best use of it in their job applications. It is argued that the findings will provide information to universities and educators about the contribution and importance of students’ part-time working in terms of graduate employment prospects and with respect to the employability agenda in the HE curriculum in the UK.

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