gradireland partnered with the Union of Students in Ireland (USI) and the Association of Higher Education Careers Services (AHECS) respond to concerns from students on their employability prospects.

Latest gradireland research (conducted by international research company trendence) reveals that over 62% of Ireland’s students are “worried about their future career” and only 61% believe that their course provides them “with the right skills for the labour market”.

On 12 April at the RDS, gradireland #FYI will actively seek to address the key area of ‘employability skills’ at a unique, experiential Careers Showcase. Register on Eventbrite now:

“USI is delighted to be on board with the #FYI event,” Kevin Donoghue, USI President, said, “Its aim is  increase awareness of the many career paths available to students and to broaden their minds, and, in turn, their horizons, by forward-planning and thinking about their future careers. USI is always happy to be involved in projects like these, such as the Student Summit and the Grad Fair. We welcome opportunities which focus on the future of the students in Ireland.”

gradireland #FYI is a ground-breaking initiative designed to enable students to understand their career options and to help them make better-informed career decisions. Developed in partnership with AHECS, gradireland #FYI has created a series of videos with recent graduates demystifying some of the jargon around modern careers; telling students what working in various sectors is really like; and detailing the skills they’ll need to be successful. This practical, straight-talking advice is backed up by careerpath graphics, showing students exactly where their skills can take them, providing much-needed aspiration and inspiration during what can be a daunting time for students.

Alongside the #FYI video and graphic content, the gradireland #FYI Careers Showcase event will feature live interactive workshops and one-to-one advice from careers experts for students.

gradireland #FYI also commissioned trendence to conduct research on graduate employers’ attitudes towards the work-readiness of Irish graduates. 50% of employers anticipate difficulty filling graduate roles in 2016; and of these, 52% cited “a lack of candidates with the right employability skills” as the number one reason.

Students will also be able to meet with over 40 major employers to hear first-hand what opportunities exist for Ireland’s students; what skills they will need to access these opportunities; and what are the best ways of developing these skills during college. “This event’s aim is to increase awareness of the many career paths available to students and to broaden their minds, and in turn, their horizon, by forward-planning and thinking about their future careers”, says USI President, Kevin Donoghue.

#FYI_Email-Header_V2 (1)Patrick Guiney was a student who experienced first-hand the need for better information around course choice and career pathways. His experiences led him to establish the Slingshot Academy, which is supported by gradireland. “I hadn’t really done my research before starting my course” said Guiney. “ There isn’t really a solid knowledge bridge from second to third level, or from third level to the world of work, so it’s really important that initiatives like the Slingshot Academy and gradireland #FYI exist to help students think about their career choices from an early stage.”

gradireland #FYI meets a clear need for early-stage career engagement for Ireland’s students, educational institutions and employers.

Supporting careers to reduce College dropout rates

Recent HEA data shows that 6,414 students dropped out of their first year courses at third level institutions across Ireland between 2012 and 2014. Ironically, many of the courses in sectors being championed by government and employer groups to meet the skills shortage in the Irish economy suffer higher-than-average dropout rates – about one third of computer science students across all ITs drop their course before the end of their first year.

“Many students complete their journey through higher education but regret their degree subject choice; 16% of students drop their course in first year; and over 20% of students graduate with no clear idea of what they want to do career-wise. Many factors contribute to these statistics but there is no doubt that initiatives to promote early engagement with students are a strategic priority for HE institutions.”

Brendan Baker, Chairman of AHECS and Head of Careers, Maynooth University

In summary:

“The jobs market is coming back, but not as it existed pre-recession. There are more diverse careers and career paths than ever before; and for all students graduating into this modern economy, new skills are required.

The gradireland #FYI Careers Showcase advises students on the skills they will need (and shows them how to acquire them) in order to help them decide what they want to do, and to get their career off to the best possible start when they graduate.”

Mark Mitchell, Director, gradireland.