THE south coast economy could be set for a boost with the arrival of hundreds of skilled students from the University of Chichester.
As many as 200 undergraduates met with leading businesses at a careers fair to talk about graduate job openings once they finish their degrees later this year. More than 100 employment opportunities where posted by businesses from across the south of England, which is one of the top locations for graduate work in the UK according to careers advice service Prospects.
Final-year student Onwa Wonci (below), studying accounting and finance at Chichester, will start a job at the West Sussex branch of Enterprise Rent-A-Car in the summer. She was offered a fulltime position at after completing a year-long placement, arranged at the University's careers fair last year.
Onwa said: "It's been a simple transition from university to the workplace, thanks partly to the skillset I learnt on my degree. I'd recommend doing a placement to any student, as it's offered me a pathway into work and means I can look to a future after university."
More than 96 per cent of students from the University of Chichester have found employment or are undertaking postgraduate courses just six months after graduating, according to 2018 figures published by the Destination of Leavers from Higher Education.
Head of Employability Liz George said that large and small enterprises are now searching for a new generation of skilled workers who can help navigate the post-Brexit economy. She added: "Employers are looking at our students as they leave Chichester not only with high-level qualifications but the experience to hit the ground running in the workplace."
The University launched a new employability strategy last year to support students into professional-level jobs. A new centre opened in a high-footfall area of campus to offer students more contact with careers and employability professions, job-hunting sessions, and greater access to employers.
One student who has already benefitted from the University's new approach to careers is sport business and management graduate Josh Henderson, who recently started a job at Chichester-based global marketing agency iLex.
He said: "I know Chichester well having studied here for a number of years so I've been able to settle into the job quite quickly. I'm now helping to market some of the biggest brand names around the world."
Manager and iLex director Matthew Whalley said the business has steadily grown during the last four years with help from University graduates. He added: "It's great for us because they bring new skills and a new perspective into the business. We look to bring in new skills with every appointment."
For more about how the University of Chichester helping to forge careers for its graduates visit www.chi.ac.uk/careers. Businesses with graduate opportunities can find out more about working with the University of Chichester by contacting Head of Employability Liz George .