Graduate Recruitment Blog Australia

The School That We Need: A Lesson In Change

by David Jenkins August 11th, 2015

 

 

The School That We Need: A Lesson In Change 

 By Michaela Epstein, Alumna of Teach For Australia

Educational inequity is one of the most persistent and corrosive social problems that our country faces.

Teach For Australia is part of a global movement that is dedicated to breaking the cycle of disadvantage through teaching and leadership in education.

Teach For Australia attracts both graduates and professionals who represent a range of academic disciplines and career aspirations, to teach in an educationally disadvantaged school for at least two years.

Find out more and apply to join Teach For Australia before 23 August at http://bit.ly/tfa-apply

I

Forty percent. That’s the approximate proportion of Australian students who start Year 7 maths below curriculum expectations. These are students who typically don’t understand how addition and multiplication are connected. As a consequence, these students struggle to ‘get’ division, place value, fractions and other areas of maths that are reliant on these formative concepts.

So many students who are behind in maths have experienced failure after failure. If they haven’t had the opportunity to catch up, then what they learn in class becomes disconnected and often meaningless. Mathematics should be learned as you would a language or musical instrument, where new pieces of knowledge and skills build on top of what has previously been learned. When this is not the case, that struggling student has to rely more and more on rote learning to get by.

II.

In maths classrooms are children who just sit there. Apathetic. They are forced into that state out of their low self-belief and continual confusion about the lessons they are taught.

When asked to explain their thinking, they are stuck. That process of symbols and formulas laid out on the whiteboard is foreign.

These are the students who ask, “Why are we learning this? What’s the point?”

III.

“Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference”.

I am impatient for change in education.

To communicate through mathematics is to make sense of the patterns and puzzles that surround us. It is to use logic as a means of delving through complexity and solving – sometimes imperfectly – the problems that we encounter. When so many students struggle with and grow to fear what is a beautiful and mind-bendingly intriguing subject, I am impatient for change.

IV.

A teacher I know recently moved schools, from one where over 90% of students come from non-English-speaking backgrounds and many from some of the most dangerous conflict zones in the world. Students regularly enrol at the school with little or no past educational experience.

With the benefit of hindsight, the teacher has been able to step back from the day-to-day stresses he had experienced whilst there. There were the students who had difficulty coping in a classroom environment. It’s not uncommon in schools like this to find students who have never participated in a formal educational structure before or to have those with such severe trauma that a raised voice could send them cowering in the corner.

There were the lessons he would walk out of, feeling deflated by the discovery of severe gaps in his students’ knowledge that meant that in the lesson just gone, almost nothing would have been retained.

Despite these challenges, the school I describe is in fact known in education circles for its successful student outcomes and stands as an exemplar of good practice. Every year, the school changes lives. Students finish Year 12, they get into university, where just a few years before this had seemed an unimaginable dream.

With his new found perspective, the teacher is now able to acknowledge that “the short term difficulties were overshadowed by the long term contribution to those kids’ lives”.

V.

If you look closely enough, it’s possible to pick out evidence of change.

The boy that a few months ago was in trouble for making ‘sex noises’ in class (yeah, seriously) is now proudly sitting up the front, neatly doing his work. One morning he comes up to me in the hall: “Miss, Miss. Look! I’ve done my homework”. Such evident pride and sense of accomplishment is beaming from this young man’s face.

VI.

Ultimately there may be 40% of Australian students who begin high school already behind in mathematics. But that’s not what matters most. What we need to pay close attention to and really care about is what schools do with that figure.

The school that can change students’ lives and that helps them grow into young adults with a multitude of new options before them is the school that we need.

Author Bio:

Michaela's journey with TFA began in 2012 when she gave up the sea breezes and rolling hills of Sydney to live and teach in Mildura. Currently, Michaela is a Leading Teacher at Hume Central Secondary College, where she coaches teachers, is teaching maths and gets to play with data.

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Top 50 Most Popular Internships

by Reshan Perera July 23rd, 2015

Top 50 Most Popular Internships

Thousands of students each year across Australia apply for the lucrative opportunity to join some of the country’s top firms as an intern. And these aren’t the kind of internships where your main role is to make sure that the office coffee run runs smoothly. The top internships now offer their candidates real, value adding work as way to assess competency as method of feeding talent into the full time graduate entry levels roles the company offers.

Recognising the importance of internships for both students and employers has been a point of focus for GradConnection since its inception. So for the first time we are proud to announce in conjunction with the Australian Financial Review (AFR) the inaugural Top 50 Most Popular Internship Rankings.

The rankings were compiled using our data on the number of students that provided an expression of interest in internships listed on GradConnection. The greater the expressions of interest for a program, the higher the employer appears on the list. There was nearly 54,000 expressions of interest from over 18,000 unique users. Users could give an expression of interest to more than one employer’s internship program.

The Top 50 Most Popular Internships Rankings is a great way for employers to gain an indication of how their program is perceived from a student’s perspective and how strong their program’s brand is in the marketplace. For students the list provides an insight into some of the most prestigious, exciting and valuable internships available so that they can prioritize when their time comes to apply.

Congratulations to all our employers who made the list! And if you would like to be in the running for next year, make sure your internship programs are listed on GradConnection so that students can start applying.

Check out the Top 50 Most Popular Internship List here

Top 50 Internship

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Deloitte Access Economics

The 2014 Report Australia’s STEM Workforce: a survey of employers conducted by Deloitte Access Economics, has a series of key findings that reveal the role of STEM skills in Australian businesses.

With STEM-related industries changing rapidly, the report proposes the question of whether or not there is an adequate supply of people with such skills and henceforth, whether the skill needs that businesses demand are being adequately met.

STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) graduates are in demand in Australian workplaces. In the survey of the employers, over 80% of the survey respondents emphasized the value of STEM qualifications even if the qualifications were not necessary to carrying out the role. This demand exists because STEM skills are seen to correlate with higher capabilities in “active learning, critical thinking, complex problem-solving and creative problem-solving.” At the same time, many STEM graduates were said to possess shortfalls in “soft skills” such as interpersonal skills as well as issues in literacy and self-management.

Results indicating the skill rating (average) between STEM and non-STEM employees.

Skill Level (average rating) STEM and non-STEM

In addressing the issues, businesses want higher education institutions to implement methods that would see students develop work-relevant skills and also recommended tailoring undergraduate courses to be business-relevant. Work experience/placements were also put forward as an effective way to assist students in acquiring the necessary workplace skills.

Both globally, and in Australia, there is an increased focus on the importance of STEM skills, and it is projected that STEM-qualified individuals will play a crucial role in shaping the future of the Australian economy. This general expectation is supported by 45.1% of respondents expecting workplace requirements for STEM-qualified employees will increase in the coming 5-10 years, 8.8% expecting a decline and 36.0% expecting similar levels of staffing.

Workplace requirements for STEM qualified applicants over the next 5-10 years

Other countries are both a source of supply and in competition for STEM-qualified people, and the report states that domestically and internationally, the onus should be on ensuring an adequate supply of STEM skills. Australia should use policies from other countries in considering and providing direction to how we should develop our own national STEM strategy.

Download the full 2014 Report Australia’s STEM Workforce: a survey of employers conducted by Deloitte Access Economics

Deloitte Access Economics was commissioned by the Australian Office of the Chief Scientist to seek an understand of the skills requirements of Australian businesses with regards to Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM).

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A sneak peak into the stats behind GradConnection

by Andrew Purchas March 24th, 2015

Towards the end of the February, months of hard work and planning springs into life with many of the graduate programs around Australia opening up their applications to students across the country. 

For many of you, this isn’t enough and there is never a shortage of things to do from onboarding last years graduates through to assessment and selection of the next generation of future leaders. On our side of the fence we are scrambling to make sure our servers keep running and graduates can apply for the hundreds of companies on our site.

In the last 30 days we have had: 

  • 167,714 unique visits to the GradConnection Australia website
  • These 167,714 students have visited the site 291,512 times in that time
  • On Average they spend 5:04 on the site
  • Every time they visit they view on average 7.5 web pages such as an employer graduate program
  • A staggering 2.2 million pages viewed

The only people we know who work as hard as the graduate recruiters over this peak season is our IT team who work tirelessly to make sure GradConnection keeps on running and as the data suggests, it’s no easy task over March.

Good luck finalizing all your applications and we look forward to providing a lot more insight to you with full demographic breakdowns 

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Welcome to the 1st post in our 4 part series on creating your first graduate program! Graduate programs are structured, 2-3 year development programs designed to embed recent graduates into an organisation. 

  1. The Value Graduates Can Bring to Your Organisation
  2. Building your Business Case for Hiring Graduates
  3. Attracting Graduates to Your Organisation
  4. Key Considerations When Creating a Graduate Program

 

One of the biggest challenges to confront any manager wishing to hire graduates is gaining key stakeholder endorsement and funding approval for a graduate program. So, what do managers need to include in a strategy to get their program, funding and graduate numbers approved?

Put yourself in your stakeholder’s shoes and ask yourself: why you would invest a significant amount of money, time and resources in recruiting relatively inexperienced, fresh-out-of-university employees who need to be transitioned to corporate life?

The answer is simple: graduates have potential. Combine that with the fact that they are energetic, innovative, tech savvy and, let’s face it, a very cost-effective resource, and it all culminates in a strong business case for injecting any talent pipeline with graduates.

The strategic intent of any organisation’s graduate hiring is to bring in energetic, innovative and fresh talent who will create a pool of potential future leaders. Increasingly, employers will seize the opportunity to gain a competitive advantage through their people strategies. Top graduates are well educated, highly innovative and ready to prove their worth in a real working environment, and all for a much lower salary than a standard employee.

The reality is that not every new graduate will become your next CEO. But statistics do show that graduates who have been with an organisation for more than five to seven years are more likely to grow into future leaders and take on senior positions.

 

Want to start targeting graduates in your area? Click here. 

Want to talk to the experts about starting your new graduate program? Talk to Fusion Graduate Consultancy

 

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Welcome to the 3rd post in our 4 part series on creating your first graduate program! Graduate programs are structured, 2-3 year development programs designed to embed recent graduates into an organisation. 

  1. The Value Graduates Can Bring to Your Organisation
  2. Building your Business Case for Hiring Graduates
  3. Attracting Graduates to Your Organisation
  4. Key Considerations When Creating a Graduate Program

 

A graduate program aims to:

  • attract quality applicants, most suitable to the environment
  • assess, identify and select the applicants most likely to succeed in a given organisation
  • build on the graduates base competence with a structured development program
  • provide graduates with real job experience to improve their technical capabilities
  • help graduates to realise their potential from career perspective
  • expose graduates to a range of facets and roles with in the organisation
  • coach and mentor graduates through the early stages of their career

Considerations

  • Building a brand in the graduate marketplace so graduates know you as a graduate employer
  • The long term benefits of a graduate program (how it fits in your organisations people/talent strategy)
  • Creating and supporting a graduate culture within the organisation and the capability to sustain and manage annual intakes of new graduates
  • Graduate starting salaries are approximately $60k plus super depending on industry
  • Timing and workforce planning. The majority of graduate employers open applications in Feb/March and make offers by May for an intake in January of the following year
  • The commitment to complete a full life cycle – Attraction, Selection and Development

AAGE Industry Statistics

  • On average, 81 per cent of graduates who started in 2011 are still with their employer.
  • A third of employers operate graduate programs that last two years
  • On average, employers receive 1100 applications
  • Employers spend $10-15K on online branding and the median spend for print was $8000
  • Employers visited 4 careers fairs on average
  • The median spend on careers fairs was $7,800, with an extra $4,500 being spent by employers on their own campus events

 

Want to start targeting graduates in your area? Click here. 

Want to talk to the experts about starting your new graduate program? Talk to Fusion Graduate Consultancy

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Welcome to the 2nd post in our 4 part series on creating your first graduate program! Graduate programs are structured, 2-3 year development programs designed to embed recent graduates into an organisation. 

  1. The Value Graduates Can Bring to Your Organisation
  2. Building your Business Case for Hiring Graduates
  3. Attracting Graduates to Your Organisation
  4. Key Considerations When Creating a Graduate Program

 

You need to put together a Graduate Strategy. 

Your Graduate strategy, or business case for key stakeholders, will need to address:

  • your Graduate Value Proposition (GVP)
  • how quickly graduates will progress to take on critical roles in the organisation
  • how graduate talent will be developed
  • the type of real and challenging roles that will be available for graduates
  • how graduates will be managed
  • pay structures
  • the provision of career pathways for graduates to realise their potential
  • the required investment

These key elements are required to engage and manage the expectations of your stakeholders or senior management. It is critical that they support the graduate strategy and throw their full support behind the program.

Stakeholders need to be passionate and excited about championing the program and will ultimately set the tone for how the rest of the organisation views the program and supports the graduates. Explaining the positive impact on brand and reputation and the Return On Investment is pivotal to gaining their support.

 

Brand and reputation

The reputation your organisation can build in the graduate market should never be undervalued. Positioning your brand as an employer of choice can go a long way in helping to convince key stakeholders of the longer-term value of the program. Aim to position your program with the universities, especially if you are a product or service-related organisation, as it will benefit from the additional brand exposure they can provide. Imagine the value of thousands of university students responding to your brand’s positioning at careers fairs, in careers advisory units or on GradConnection.

 

Return on investment

Any group of key stakeholders will want to see the associated costs or investment required to fund a leading graduate program.

The elements for consideration are:

  • your attraction, marketing and branding campaign budget
  • cost per hire for your selection methodology
  • competitive graduate salaries and progression scales
  • graduate on-boarding, induction and development program costs
  • talent identification and talent program costs.

Demonstrating return on investment is arguably the most essential component. Show your stakeholders the actual, and the potential, return.

It is vital that you support your cost analysis with statistical information relating to:

 

Want to start targeting graduates in your area? Click here. 

Want to talk to the experts about starting your new graduate program? Talk to Fusion Graduate Consultancy

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Attracting Graduates to your Organisation

by Dan Jones March 9th, 2015

 

Welcome to the 3rd post in our 4 part series on creating your first graduate program! Graduate programs are structured, 2-3 year development programs designed to embed recent graduates into an organisation. 

  1. The Value Graduates Can Bring to Your Organisation
  2. Building your Business Case for Hiring Graduates
  3. Attracting Graduates to Your Organisation
  4. Key Considerations When Creating a Graduate Program

 

You need to know why graduates should, and would, join your organisation. This is effectively your Graduate Value Proposition (GVP), which will underpin your business case as well as your attraction strategy.

Overall, the proposition being offered to the market (GVP) should address the following questions:

  • What will your graduate brand look like in the market place?
  • How will your brand be perceived?
  • What are you offering and promising?
  • Importantly - can you deliver on that promise, and how?

 To address the above, managers must showcase their strategic intent and vision for a graduate program that includes:

  • an attraction campaign that showcases the organisation, its people, values and culture
  • a selection methodology that identifies the best available candidates
  • a ‘keep warm’ phase that engages offered graduates prior to them starting with your organisation
  • a comprehensive technical and skill-enhancing induction program to transition new graduates from university to corporate life
  • a structured graduate development program
  • a plan for rotations, mentoring and buddy programs and community partnerships
  • clarification of the jobs that graduates will be performing and   transitioning through
  • clear and realistic career pathways
  • identification and development of talent.

All of these elements combined (if planned and executed effectively) will form a convincing GVP.

Your key stakeholders and business leaders need to understand what the GVP is and how it relates to the organisation’s Employee Value Proposition. They need to believe in it and become ambassadors who are both actively involved throughout the program and ultimately responsible for driving approval for the program. Imagine the influence and strength of a program when a CEO and other senior executives endorse and foster the program. When this key initiative is overlooked, it is often the biggest downfall of a graduate program.

 

Want to start targeting graduates in your area? Click here. 

Want to talk to the experts about starting your new graduate program? Talk to Fusion Graduate Consultancy

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Top 25 Accounting Graduate Employers

by James Fan February 26th, 2015

 

About GradConnection’s Top Employers Rankings

As Australia’s biggest graduate jobs site, we feature over 200 major graduate employers to an audience of 150,000 registered graduates each year.

This gives us a rich, detailed dataset from which to develop rankings for the top graduate employers for each capital city and each discipline based on applications made through our website. This data was anonymised prior to analysis.

 

The Top 25 Accounting Graduate Employer Rankings 2014

Here’s the Top 25 Accounting graduate employers ranked by the number of applications made to their Accounting  graduate program in 2014. To check out the Top 25 employers for each of the other capital cities, and for each discipline e.g. Arts, Commerce, Engineering and more check out the interactive

The Big4 Accounting firms were very well represented, with KPMG (1st), Deloitte (2nd) and EY (6th). PwC didn’t appear in the rankings, as they chose to rely more heavily on their internship program for their graduate recruitment needs in 2014 but have traditionally been a very popular graduate employer.

The Big4 were followed by the mid-tier accounting firms, with Protiviti, Grant Thornton, Nexia and BDO the most popular. It’s interesting to note that firms in non-accounting industries such as Accenture, Pitcher Partners, Ford Motor Company and Procter & Gamble also had a strong showing, with their in-house accounting function graduate programs even beating out some of the mid-tier accounting firms. Finally, there was some interest in government accounting programs too, with the Audit Office of NSW< Queensland Government and Australian Taxation Office appearing in the rankings too. 

 

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Top 25 Arts Graduate Employers

by James Fan February 26th, 2015

 

About GradConnection’s Top Employers Rankings

As Australia’s biggest graduate jobs site, we feature over 200 major graduate employers to an audience of 150,000 registered graduates each year.

This gives us a rich, detailed dataset from which to develop rankings for the top graduate employers for each capital city and each discipline based on applications made through our website. This data was anonymised prior to analysis.

 

The Top 25 Arts Graduate Employer Rankings 2014

Here’s the Top 25 Arts graduate employers ranked by the number of applications made to their Arts graduate program in 2014. To check out the Top 25 employers for each of the other capital cities, and for each discipline e.g. Arts, Commerce, Engineering and more check out the interactive

When it came to the arts, there was strong interest in the private sector with the professional services firms, fast moving consumer goods companies and banks ranking quite well. Whilst none of these companies have an explicitly named ‘Arts & Humanities’ graduate stream, they still hire arts graduates who have paired their degree with a more vocationally focused major, or standalone arts graduates who show sufficient interest in their industry and transferrable skills. There would also be the tendency for arts graduates to apply to the generalist management streams of corporates as well.

Out of all the disciplines we investigated, the public service was best represented in the arts. This may be due to the fact that government employers are more likely to offer generalist graduate programs designed to appeal to arts graduates with a more ‘holistic’ worldview than a more narrowly focused vocational discipline such as Engineering. 

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