How UK universities are supporting graduates

As we gradually emerge from lockdown, the early signs of an economic recovery are appearing. However, there is still a lot of uncertainty and a challenging and changed labour market for graduates. That is why universities are putting in place all possible measures to support graduates.


Working with institutions, employers, the Office for Students (OfS) and the Department for Education (DfE), we are encouraging graduates to take advantage of the support and resources that are available through their universities.

This statement outlines what universities are doing to support graduates and there are excellent examples available on the OfS website. In collaboration with the sector, the DfE and OfS have also produced a helpful student guide to additional resources and opportunities.

This statement gives an idea of the extensive support that universities are offering, supported by a considerable investment of time and resources. There is more that can be done both nationally and locally and we will continue to encourage institutions, employers and the government to consider ways in which they can support graduates. 

What support are universities providing? 

Universities are: 

  • Expanding the support and resources available to graduates to support their early careers. Universities offer support to graduates for a number of years after graduation and in many cases offer lifetime access.

  • Delivering support in different, innovative, and more accessible ways. Resources and a wide range of support activities, including training and development, have been made available online to increase access and reach more graduates.

  • Developing specific support packages for graduates. This includes skills development, coaching, mentoring and focused weeks of engagement and support.

  • Engaging employers in the support packages. In many institutions, alumni are providing mentoring and coaching to graduates and employers are participating in workshops and supporting training.

  • Innovating and investing in how they can enhance the skills and work experience of students. Universities have developed virtual internships and invested in developing enterprise skills and startup support. They are also engaging with small and medium-sized companies to help them take advantage of graduate skills.

  • Reassuring students and employers about the achievements of graduating students. Universities can provide reassuring statements to graduates that they can use with employers to highlight their achievements and skills. This is to ensure that employers value the resilience and flexibility they have developed. 

We encourage all graduates to stay in contact with their university career services to take advantage of the support available. We encourage all employers to consider how they can work with universities to support and recruit the talented graduates they will need.

Quote from Michelle Donelan, Minister of State for Universities 

"I realise that this year has been incredibly difficult for students, staff and their families, and I want to assure them that providing support is our top priority. Graduates will provide critical skills and talent that will be vital to the UK's economic recovery from COVID-19. We want to celebrate the fact that graduates who have lived through COVID will have developed many skills, including resilience, adaptability and digital, which employers will value and use to innovate and grow."

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