Research updates

Output 1: Literature review on employability and skills indicators

This paper sets out to identify where the research frontier sits on employability practice, intended as activities to improve employment outcomes of individual graduates and distribution of outcomes between privileged and disadvantaged groups of graduates. We examine three research questions: a) What are the key challenges for enhancing employability programmes and graduate outcomes? b) What is the stated or implied theory of change underpinning employability practice in HEIs? c) What methods are used to evaluate employability practice and how robust are they?

Interim report and webinar activity

 Final literature review report- Literature review final version

EU Reporting - Research Output 1 EU Activity Reports


Output 2: Employability pilot survey for informing the practice of HE professionals

This research strand gathers information from employers about what skills they require in the graduates they hire through  bespoke  pilot  surveys. There are three main activities included in the research, firstly the identification of detailed criteria for shortlisting sectors,  secondly conducting a series of employer focus groups and finally,  the design and piloting of an innovative survey to  inform universities of employability attributes important for recent graduates

  • Activity 1: Identification of detailed criteria for shortlisting sectors. This led to a decision to focus on the banking and finance sector and on the public sector. 
  • Activity 2: Interviewing Employers via focus groups. Between November 2021 and April 2022,  the University of Reading conducted a series of focus groups with employers  in the banking, finance,  accountancy and with the civil service, as well as with employers in other sectors. 
  • Activity 3: Innovative employer survey. The University of Reading are designing a dedicated survey of employers to inform academic and career services about the employability attributes that are important for the employment outcomes of recent graduates. 

Intellectual Output 2: Key findings from Employer Focus Groups - Interim Report

Take part in the Graduate Recruitment Survey: Graduate Recruitment Survey


Research Output 2 EU Activity Reports



Output 3: Employability dashboard for informing the practice of HE professional

This research output explores the potential of using innovative AI and data science techniques to develop a dashboard that helps HE practitioners (both in student support units and in course planning) boost the employability of students.

The research consists of three main activities.

Activity 1: An initial exploration of the Catalan Graduate Outcomes survey  in tandem with the Employers’ Satisfaction data. These two datasets allow for a periodical monitoring of graduates’ employment outcomes by HE course and the skills most demanded by the Catalan labour market.

Activity 2: The development of an «Insight Engine» with an interactive interface to make literature about employability more accessible by different professionals (i.e., researchers, HE practitioners, and policy makers).

Activity 3: The development of a tool for expert employability users, in which hypotheses to be tested, (expressed in a formal, domain-specific language (DSL) ), is converted to a data science / machine learning pipeline that outputs information on the hypothesis.


Research Output 3 EU Activity Reports

Output 4: Embedding Employability - Case Studies

There are many examples of good practice in embedding employability across the HE sector. However, there remains a lack of consistency in the approaches and processes which are adopted to implement and evaluate these initiatives. In addition, the direct utilisation of labour market intelligence in course and programme development remains rare across publicly funded HEIs.

The portfolio of case studies collected in Output 4 of our project will provide insight into the diverse ways that HEIs have accessed and interpreted labour market intelligence, how their programmes have been changed and enhanced by the process, and what processes and mechanisms have allowed these initiatives to take place. You can access this collection of case studies below: 

Research Output - Collated Case Studies


To review the criteria utilised in our selection of higher education case studies please see our Case Study Criteria,Format and Submission.

You can also see our broader collection of research Output 4 EU Activity Reports.