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Plymouth University

UK universities growing global graduates

Enterprise as employability

“The calibre of the students was really strong and the organisation and commitment from the careers service demonstrate their dedication to raising the employability of their students and ensuring they have the best opportunity to move in to the world of work as smoothly as possible. I would definitely work with them again.”

Rachel Rotherham, Co-operative Group

Plymouth University offers a range of opportunities, support and encouragement for students to consider self-employment and enterprise as a graduate career.

The University runs enterprise competitions, events and workshops and provides professional advice for those developing business ideas and social enterprises. Plymouth has successfully used the FLUX business idea competition to increase interest in entrepreneurship and to develop students’ skills and experience beneficial for long term employability. In the past six years over 2,000 Plymouth University students and 300 employers have participated and the University has hosted two, and won three, national finals. As well as participating in the events, students are trained to deliver them, adding to their experience and skills and giving them a different insight into business start-up.

FLUX events are an excellent platform for experiential learning, engaging students and staff in enterprise and providing a perfect vehicle for engaging employers in the student learning experience. The challenge can be quite general such as ‘develop a business that would help Plymouth bite back from recession’, discipline specific or based on real business challenges. Students then work in teams to develop a business idea, meet with business experts to develop and refine their ideas, and pitch their ideas to business experts.

The events are an excellent opportunity for students to make an impression on employers. To take advantage of this, Plymouth has combined a recruitment event alongside the competition explicitly inviting employers to use these events to spot talent. This has greatly benefited students looking for graduate employment and has increased employer and student interest.

An additional benefit is that FLUX has helped to raise the profile of the Careers & Employability Service with students. This is prompting students to engage with many other activities provided by the team helping students make the most of the support available to them.

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