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Tackling employability with upskilling – CQU's Graduate Guarantee

October 22, 2021

Interesting news has come from the higher education sector – CQUniversity, which ranks second for Australian universities for graduate full-time employability rates, is the first in Australia to offer a ‘Graduate Guarantee’ in order to support graduates to gain employment. 

What is CQU’s Graduate Guarantee? 

The Guarantee means that students graduating from CQU from 2022 onwards who haven’t found a job in their industry after six months of graduating will be able to sign up for a free post graduate course (including international students). This course is a Graduate Certificate in Leadership and Entrepreneurship, and it aims to further boost these graduates’ skills and experience. CQU states the course is worth over $5000, and it is fully flexible and online, allowing students to start their studies online at any time and to complete it at their own pace. CQU has expressed that they see this Guarantee as the first step in a ‘lifelong career partnership’ with their students. 

The increasing importance of upskilling

In a competitive and unpredictable jobs market, CQU’s Guarantee aims to ensure all of their graduates have the opportunity to increase their employability with entrepreneurial skills and an innovative mindset. 

Recent research has shown that employers are increasingly prioritising these types of soft skills and character traits, including adaptability, emotional intelligence, resilience, flexibility, innovation, creativity, self-management and a willingness to learn[1]. Other research from the Australian Government has found job seekers need to be experts in being able to learn new tasks and thrive in different working environments[2]. Additionally, industry needs workers who embrace change, can adapt to new technologies and ways of doing business, and maintain skill relevancy. In fact, according to Seek[3], more than ever hiring managers appreciate people who have taken the initiative to learn new skills and take new opportunities.

With many industries going through rapid change due to COVID-19, including technology requirements and changes in demand, employers need workers who can not only cope with change, but also be leaders in dealing with change. CQU’s Graduate Certificate in Leadership and Entrepreneurship aims to give their students these industry-desired skills, and also the potential to be job creators rather than ‘job takers’. 

How is CQU measuring the success of this program?

A high level of success means a low level of enrolments – CQU’s employability track record has shown that the vast majority of their students probably won’t need to enrol in this Certificate. 

This is a bold and interesting initiative, and we’re looking forward to seeing it’s impact and outcomes in the future. 

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  1. National Skills Overview | National Industry Insights Report
  2. Employers’ Recruitment Insights COVID-19 update
  3. The 5 skills employers want now (and how to show them)

Want to learn more about the role industry plays in education? Check out these articles: 

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