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“If Only I’d Known”. making the most of higher education with The Association of Graduate Recruiters

 AGR

The Association of Graduate Recruiters (AGR) http://www.agr.org.uk/Home

teamed up with Windmills to create a practical, inspiring guide for sixth form students and their parents.

Issue

Over the past 20 years, countless employer surveys have highlighted the ‘skills gaps’ of graduates entering the labour market.  Coupled with an increasing and more diverse student population paying greater fees and a reduction in careers provision there has never been a more urgent need to help students make the most of their higher education experience.

The Association of Graduate Recruiters (AGR) representing the top 600 recruiters of graduate talent partnered with the Windmills team to address this critical need.

Solution

AGR have enjoyed a fifteen year relationship with the Windmills Team.  ‘If Only I’d Known’ was born from a realisation from both partners that young people and their parents require more advice and guidance to maximise the employability benefits of their higher education experience.  Windmills surveyed over 250 AGR members and asked them to highlight three things they wished they were told before they went to University.  Their feedback was translated into a 60 page colourful guide comprising practical advice, case study examples, handy hints and tips.  Sections include ‘The Skills Employers are looking for’  ‘Who’s your Hero?’ ‘Learn to Sell Your Skills’ through to “1000 New Faces’.  Key messages focus on the importance of work experience, volunteering, self reflection and relationship building as well as achieving academic success. Take a look at the resource from our portfolio insert link to portfolio of If Only I’d known

To maximise impact and accessibility of the resource, Windmills and AGR collaborated with UCAS, Prospects, Connexions and the Royal Bank of Scotland Group.

Impact

To date over 60,000 students have benefitted from ‘If Only I’d known’.   Carl Gilleard, Chief Executive of AGR highlights  ‘If Only I’d known’ inspires young people to aspire, and at the same time gives invaluable, practical advice on how to make the most of higher education in easy to read, bite-sized chunks”.  The key messages within this guide have been delivered to a further 100+ schools, colleges and associations over the past five years via interactive workshops, keynote presentations and training sessions.  Content and learning from this resource have also been utilised by AGR in their consultation with Government Ministers on policy issues relating to graduate employability, social inclusion and careers advice and guidance.  Carl Gilleard reflects that “In my time as Chief Executive of AGR, ‘If Only Id known’ stands as one of the greatest legacies I’ll leave”.

Windmills donated all proceeds from the national roadshow of workshops and presentations from If Only I’d Known to purchase a minibus for a local voluntary organisation providing social care for people with learning disabilities.