University of Bath

Entering the Graduate Labour Market: The Challenge of Socio-Economic Class

You will hear about the Paired Peers Research, explore issues and consider strategies to support under-represented students into graduate employment.

4 May 20171.30pm
4 May 20174.30pm

There is growing concern in policy-making circles and society at large about the persistence of social class as an obstacle to social mobility in the UK. A university education is often seen as a key catalyst to enhancing a person’s social and economic life chances. However, graduate status for students from lower-income families does not always enable them to enter prestigious professional careers on an equal footing with better-off peers.

The Paired Peers study explored some of the reasons for this through a three-year qualitative study comparing students’ experiences at the University of Bristol and the University of the West of England. The follow-up study Paired Peers Moving On has tracked the same cohort into the next stages of career-building and employment revealing significant differences in student outcomes.

Universities are developing careers and employability programmes to support students into the graduate labour market using a variety of strategies. The University of Manchester is one example, providing a comprehensive programme of support, with careers planning to start in the first year of undergraduate study and extending beyond graduation.

At this seminar you will get the opportunity to

  • hear about the Paired Peers Research and the effect of socio-economic background on student experience and employment
  • explore some of the issues around aspirations, careers, placements and job hunting that arose from the research
  • consider practical strategies to support students from similar backgrounds into graduate employment


1.30pm Lunch

2.00pm Graduate Employment and Class: Findings from the Paired Peers Research Professor - Richard Waller, UWE Bristol

2.45pm Careers and Graduate Employment at the University of Manchester - Tammy Goldfeld, Head of Careers Service

3.30pm Discussion

4.00pm Practical Strategies for universities

4.30pm Close