GradForce might be a name you’ve heard floating around Canterbury Christ Church University in the last year. Think of us as an extra branch of the Careers & Enterprise service! We have a very specific yet important purpose.

GradForce helps final year students, postgraduates and recent graduates from under-represented groups with the transition into the graduate workplace. In recent years, our University, like many others, has recognised that we need to more to help our students, particularly those from under-represented groups (BAME, disabled students and those from low socio-economic backgrounds) successfully land a graduate-level job once they have finished University. The project has been funded by the Office for Students (OfS) to help equal the playing field and close the attainment gap. Sadly, even in 2021, we still have to talk about the attainment gap and together in collective society the conversations and discussions and opening more widely addressing inequalities, unconscious bias and structural racism.

Did you know?

  • 49% of recent graduates are currently working in a non-graduate role (Office for National Statistics, 2017)
  • On average, British citizens from ethnic minority backgrounds have to send approximately 60% more job applications than their white counterparts (Nuffield College’s Centre for Social Investigation, 2019
  • Disabled people are twice as likely to be unemployed than non-disabled people (Office for National Statistics, 2019)
  • 64%% of graduates believe that disclosing past-current mental health issues will hinder their chances of securing their first graduate job (CMHA, 2018)

At GradForce, we have aimed to address these alarming statistics by breaking down the barriers to graduate employment. We have created a self-development and employability skills programme called Get Hired! – we enrol students once a year for a virtually-hosted course that we run from January – April to develop the key skills and attributes you need for entering the graduate job market.

By taking part in Get Hired!, you’ll learn what employers are looking for in a good employee, build confidence in yourself and realise what skills and strengths you have to offer an employer. And finally, you will understand exactly how to nail the graduate job recruitment process. If you are reading this and you are not yet in your final year of study at CCCU but recognise that you are from an under-represented group and would like to take advantage of that extra support, keep your eyes peeled when we go into the next academic year for our annual recruitment drive in Semester One.

GradForce is here to help close the gap! You can read more about GradForce here: www.canterbury.ac.uk/gradforce

Getting further support from The Careers and Enterprise Team at CCCU

You can get ongoing careers support via the following ways: