Information for staff

Why is employability important - to schools and the University?

Producing graduates equipped for their future is a key part of higher education. This page summarises the importance of employability to schools and the University.

To your school:

Although a student’s experience of higher education cannot guarantee a ‘graduate level job’, the nature of that experience influences the chances of success

M. Yorke (2003)Encouraging the Development of Employability
  • Employers target universities where they have successfully recruited in the past and where they recognise that courses are continuing to develop and innovate to produce graduates with the knowledge, skills and attributes relevant to their needs.
  • Employability coheres with the concept of PDP (Personal/Professional Development Planning), encouraging students to become reflective learners and present themselves effectively.
  • A focus on employability can encourage student motivation, leading to better results and higher positions in national subject league tables.


To the University:

We aim to produce graduates fully equipped to achieve the highest personal and professional standards

University of EdinburghStrategic Plan 2012-2016
  • Producing employable graduates forms part of the process of educating. It encompasses the full educational spectrum of values from imparting knowledge and understanding to developing skills and attributes. Work has already been undertaken in embedding a set of graduate attributes, progressed in line with institutional developments on the previous and current Enhancement Themes: 'Graduates for the 21st Century' and 'Developing and Supporting the Curriculum'.  Please follow the 'Resources' page link below for more information on the Enhancement Themes.


  • Focusing on employability helps the University attract and retain high quality students and maintain its competitive advantage in the global market.
  • Employability is of strategic importance to the UK and Scottish economy and in particular to the Scottish Government's skills agenda. For more information on this see the link below:

Scottish Government’s skills agenda

Scottish Government's Economic Strategy

  • Addressing the employability agenda also helps address other agendas, such as widening participation and internationalisation.