Gloucestershire County Council and the University of Gloucestershire have joined forces to promote the retention of graduate talent in the county, bringing together graduating students and representatives from local companies at a speed-networking event at the Park Campus in Cheltenham. Twenty local employers attended the Gloucestershire Graduate Job-Hunting Event to meet graduates from the University and those returning to their homes in the county from other institutions.

Gloucestershire County Council supported this event as part of their Youth Employment and Skills Strategy, which aims to improve the employment prospects of young people in Gloucestershire.

Before the networking session began, graduates attended a series of workshops on writing applications, presenting themselves at interview and job-hunting strategies delivered by the University Careers team in partnership with local training and development company, Consortio. The graduates also received coaching in the art of networking, before launching themselves into a series of conversations with employers keen to investigate their potential.

Feedback from graduates and employers was extremely positive. The graduates commented that their confidence levels were boosted by their first experience of networking for real and employers were impressed by the graduates’ passion, enthusiasm and talent.

Nicki Castello, Head of Careers at the University said, ‘This has proved to be a transformative experience for many of our graduates. Meeting employers to talk about your skills and abilities can be a daunting prospect, but they rose to the challenge and left feeling confident, energised and aware of employment possibilities they simply hadn’t known about or considered before this event.’

Tina Vaughan, a graduate in business management and event management commented, “The graduate job hunting event was amazing, I feel fully equipped in CV writing, job hunting and fantastic tips for interview! Better still, I was headhunted and given an interview for the following week.”

Paul Goring, Managing Director of Consortio, said: “Nicki Castello and her team did a brilliant job of making this a very energised, organised and purposeful day. We loved the engagement level from the students and we genuinely believe that this is a model for future successful events where graduates, employers, internal and external employability experts and the University come together to create skills, opportunity and genuine collaboration leading to retaining graduate talent in the county.”

An Image from the event, with Tina Vaughan (right), talking with employers.

About the University of Gloucestershire

The University of Gloucestershire gained official university status in 2001 but has existed as an educational establishment for nearly 200 years. Our heritage lies in the Mechanics Institutes of the 1830s, with our Francis Close Hall campus founded in 1847 as the Cheltenham Training College.

Today, we have three thriving campuses, Francis Close Hall and The Park in Cheltenham, and Oxstalls in Gloucester, which are occupied by approximately 10,000 students. In 2010, the University invested £5 million in teaching facilities including a new, state-of-the-art media and art and design studios.

The University of Gloucestershire delivers approximately 100 undergraduate course choices including accounting, law, business and management, fine art, TV production, humanities, leisure and tourism, social work and education plus and a diverse range of postgraduate and research degrees, and professional courses. For more information visit

Source: University of Gloucestershire