Talking shop

8 November 2004

Talking shop

THE DIRECTOR OF the National Council for Work Experience will explain the benefits of work experience for employers as well as employees at a lecture held in Birmingham, 29 November.

Anticipating the introduction of tuition fees for students, Liz Rhodes MBE will say that it is more important than ever that graduates are as well prepared as possible for their careers.

With the best record for graduate employment of any UK university during the past 15 years* Aston was seen as the ideal venue for Rhodes' lecture. A leading campaigner for national standards Rhodes supports Aston's shared approach to teaching and learning. During her lecture she will spell out the importance of graduates leaving university 'fit for purpose'.

'I am convinced that students with experience of work have a better understanding of what they want to do. Recent research** shows that an average of 70 per cent of work experience placements lead to a graduate job offer,' she said.

Rhodes, a firm believer in good academic qualifications, added that the skills gained at university develop the necessary creative thinking for a successful career: 'A work environment gives people the opportunity to put their theories into practise. Having the opportunity to show that you can think critically and that you are enterprising is a real advantage. This is what a university education gives you.'

And, for anyone concerned that the introduction of tuition fees will lead to more students needing to work part time to help fund their time at university, Rhodes said: 'part time work is where a lot of people gain practical skills that are likely to prove useful after they graduate.'

Liz Rhodes presents her lecture, The Transition from Learning to Earning, in the Lakeside conference centre at 5.30pm, Monday 29 November. Ticketing information is available from Jean Hasson on 0121 2044551 or via email: j.hasson@aston.ac.uk

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For further information please call 0121 204 4549 or email: b.a.l.coombes@aston.ac.uk

Notes for editors -

*The Sunday Times (12 September 2004) reported: 'In a world where a degree is no longer a passport to a well paid job, one from Aston counts as a notable exception. It boasts a graduate employment record better than that of any other institution over the past 15 years and is building on this success. The foundation of this huge success is the university's policy to encourage students to do a placement year to gain work experience.'

** Further information on the research conducted by is available via: http://archive.graduatecareersonline.com/workplace/survey/

Employable Graduates; Exploitable Research