The Minister for Employment, The Rt Hon Priti Patel MP, praised BU’s placement and employment opportunities while visiting the university.
She met with BU students and staff from the Placements & Careers and Additional Learning Support services, and heard about the work placement and graduate employment opportunities and support available to students.
All full-time undergraduate students at BU have the opportunity to take a year-long work placement, and the latest national figures show that 93.3% of graduates are in work or further study six months after graduating from BU.
“I’d say Bournemouth is clearly leading the way when it comes to employability and employer placements as well," the Minister said.
“I don’t think I’ve been to a university of this kind before where the focus is very clearly on getting into work, on those employability schemes. What a wonderful opportunity to have a work placement for a year in a range of sectors, but importantly to get those skills while studying at the same time.”
She added: “Having spoken to some of the outstanding students here today I’ve seen that at first hand and have heard from them the great employment experiences that they have had, but also the opportunities that they will have going forward because they’ve had that experience of work.”
The Minister also heard about the additional support on offer for those who have disabilities - both on campus and while on placement - and spoke to students with additional learning needs about their own personal experiences in the workplace.
She was at Talbot Campus with Bournemouth West MP Conor Burns for a Department of Work and Pension event called Working Together to Grow Your Business – What we can offer employers who want to employ a diverse workforce.
Representatives from regional and national employers – alongside disability support services and charities – attended the event, which focused on what the government is doing to increase diverse workforces and the benefits of employing a person with a disability or health condition.
The Minister said: “We are speaking about the personalisation and the pathfinder that my department is running locally in the jobcentre with my colleagues from the Department of Work and Pensions.
“It’s a really important scheme because the pathfinder is all about how we can support people with disabilities to get back into work and achieve sustained employment outcomes as well.”
She added: “I’ve met some brilliant employers and people who can really identify and understand many of the barriers that some people will have, particularly those with disabilities, to get back into work.”
The Minister also had some words of advice for BU students and graduates making their way into the world of work.
“I’d say to them all to be highly motivated, and look at every opportunity that comes your way in a very positive light,” she said.
“You always have the opportunity to learn in the job that you are doing, you can never stand still - you constantly need to learn and just embrace the opportunities that come your way.”