Graduate Skills for Sustainability

With this research, we aim to help inform universities and businesses about the best way to build the skills profile of students and recent graduates.

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Business leaders have identified that the ‘graduate skills gap’, which impacts the employability of many students, also poses a barrier to the economic and industrial shift towards sustainability and the proposed low-carbon economy of the UK. This raises many questions, few of which have been answered:

  • What sustainability skills and knowledge are employers looking for in graduates? Do employers offer sustainability training to new or existing employees?

  • What sustainability teaching or training is available in universities, colleges, and schools? Is this accessible to everyone? And are the skills on offer those that employers value?

  • Who has the responsibility to close the skills gap: universities? Employers? The individual?

  • What is the most effective method of sustainability skills and knowledge training: extra-curricular workshops? Industrial placements/internships? Optional additional sustainability modules? Embedding sustainability within existing subject modules?

The number of unknowns means that this skills gap cannot be adequately addressed without significant research into each unique factor. Change Agents UK is currently undertaking a short exploratory study, in collaboration with the EAUC, to identify the scope of the issue and further our understanding in this area. The outcomes of this initial project will identify key gaps in our current knowledge surrounding the perceived and actual graduate skills gap with regards to sustainability. It will also help inform a more in-depth research programme that will established a framework for student and graduate sustainability skills development. This will be developed in collaboration with key organisations across multiple sectors and in response to the skills requirements identified in this scoping study.

For more information or to contribute to this study feel free to contact us or email our Projects Officer:

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