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Graduate competences and relationships with the labour market: the UK case

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  • Economics
  • Education


The paper compares the early employment experiences of graduates from the shorter UK bachelors degree with those from the somewhat longer masters programmes to be found in continental Europe. The UK graduates appear to be less prepared for entry to employment and to find their degrees to be less appropriate to that employment. However, many of the differences between UK and other European graduates in the labour market have largely disappeared five years after graduation. And there are many similarities in the perceptions of graduates from different countries about the competences required by employers. The paper sets these differences and similarities within the context of the different higher education and labour market traditions of the UK and the rest of Europe and raises questions about the consequences of greater labour mobility across Europe and the Bologna harmonisation of qualification structures.

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