Our Employment Alliance project aims to empower young unemployed or underemployed graduates to become entrepreneurs and high value employees in a short period after leaving university.
In order to do so we will firstly create two Regional Employment and Education Alliances. This new strategy involves bringing together stakeholders in employment, education and economic development – such as VET providers, universities and colleges, enterprise development agencies and local authorities) – to jointly explore the structural issues that generate a skills mismatch between university educated students and the current labour market, inventory existing resources and commit to collaborative actions to address these issues in an Employment Alliance Action Plan. We will systematize the process and lessons learned in the form of an Employment Alliance Toolkit, which will be published and actively promoted as a means of replicating the Alliances in other regions.
As a first concrete outcome of the collaboration espoused by the Alliance, we will then develop, test, publish and promote a dynamic training course, “Innovation for Enterprise and Employment” directly targeted at recent graduates, and especially at arts and humanities graduates, among whom the rate of un/der employment is greatest. Unlike current innovation courses which are highly academic in focus or aimed at start up entrepreneurs with a fixed business idea, and which too often teach innovation based on technological invention, our course will introduce learners to the contemporary understanding of innovation, focussing on the psychological/personality drivers of creativity as the basis of innovation and which acknowledge the importance of non-technological innovation to create value. This approach is of utmost relevance to arts and humanities graduates whose skills are likely to be of great use in the service sector; indeed, the course will particularly highlight the opportunities for innovative graduates in the creative industries, a high growth area in partners’ own regions.