Graduate employment and skills guide

Develop your skills

Once you know more about your current skills and interests, you should consider what additional skills you might need to develop.

Skills development

You can get experience and develop skills in lots of different ways, including through academic course or work experience.

Online courses, short courses and evening classes are also ways to build your skills – which don’t have to be a full-time commitment.

The Skills Toolkit provides free online courses to help you learn new skills.

One in three people have used online learning to help them get a better job. On average, online learning can boost your annual pay by £3,640.

You can use the Skills Toolkit to brush up on numeracy and digital skills, or even learn something new in business or coding. There are also courses on personal growth and wellbeing.

The Turing Scheme is the UK government’s global programme to study and work abroad.

Recent graduates can do an international traineeship within 12 months of graduating. You can get funding towards your work placement abroad, helping you to develop transferable skills, gain international experience and boost your employability.

Ask your university or college for more information and what funding is available.

bp and The Smarty Train have created free learning experiences that can help you to develop the key skills required for the workforce of the future.

The Skills Accelerator allows you to watch short videos that help you with Acute Emotional Intelligence, Leveraging Change, Learning to Unlearn, Partnering with Artificial Intelligence and Resilience.

Keep an eye on the website for live virtual sessions that allow for extended learning.

If you want help to identify and articulate your skills, you can use the Cappfinity Strengths Profile tool.

This is an online assessment that helps you to identify your strengths, learned behaviours, and weaknesses, along with career sectors that match your strengths.

The tool is free to use until the end of June 2021.

Cappfinity also offers free resources to help develop your strengths further.

Graduates who want to develop their commercial awareness, improve their interview and networking skills, and hear from professionals across a diverse range of industries can access the KPMG student events page.

KPMG has resources and events that can help induct you into a broad range of career pathways.

Graduates who are interested in working in film, television, animation, and other screen industries can use ScreenSkills for information about the different roles and skills required.

ScreenSkills provides a package of support for those entering the industry. It includes bursaries, mentoring and a trainee scheme, Trainee Finder, which provides placements on high-end TV and film productions. 

Training and mentoring opportunities

Training and mentoring can help you to develop skills, build you network and learn more about sectors or careers you might be interested in.

Graduate Mentoring Opportunity is a free one-to-one mentoring programme. Its mission is to support students and graduates, particularly from diverse and underrepresented groups, to build their network and launch their careers.

It has over 100 mentors, who are inspiring business leaders, senior graduate recruiters, professional coaches, career counsellors, industry experts and university alumni.

This initiative is run by Graduate Recruitment Bureau, where you can find out more about graduate job opportunities and access careers advice.

The 1 Hour Project is a free non-profit organisation that enables industry experts (employers) to donate their time to help students from less advantaged backgrounds who typically have limited access to professional networks.

The project matches students with industry experts who will help demystify their professions and provide invaluable insights.

Register your interest via the 1 Hour Project website

Sponsors for Educational Opportunity (SEO) London provides training and mentoring opportunities for students from ethnic minority or low socioeconomic backgrounds, to help you realise your potential and get into the career you want.

You can access a range of industries including consulting, corporates, technology, engineering, finance and law, and firms including Goldman Sachs, Google, McKinsey, Microsoft and the National Grid.

Published 10 May 2021

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