Custom «Extra Curricular Activities and Employment Opportunities» Sample Essay

Custom «Extra Curricular Activities and Employment Opportunities» Sample Essay


The current UK labour market is highly competitive. Thus, job applicants should differentiate themselves in order to obtain the position of their dream. Extra curriculum activities appear as highly important for the majority of UK employers, which means that these activities can enhance graduate’s employability. The current paper will analyze UK labour market and demonstrate the impact of extra curriculum activities on graduates’ employability.

General Analysis of UK Labour Market

The UK labour market highly depends on the UK economy. The facts demonstrate that UK economy is currently reverting to stable recovery, however, there is a serious gap, which should be contravened due to a sharp crisis and a retarded return to growth (Bell & Blachflower 2014). Nevertheless, the increase in UK unemployment after the crisis was minor and less endured than it was previously estimated, which means that the current level of unemployment is progressively decreasing with the increase of economy. The most challenging aspect of the current period regards the fall in labour productivity, provoking its consequent frailty (Drydakis 2015). This appears across all labour spheres and seems to be a result of such problem combinations, as discrepancy between capacities supplied and demanded in the labour market (Bell & Blachflower 2014). Certain facts demonstrate that vacancies sustain below pre-recession levels, when unemployment reacts to recovery more slowly than to decline itself. The latest vacancy ratio accounts for 6.9% of the general unemployment ratio (Bell & Blachflower 2014). The analysis of European context demonstrates that the UK deals with unemployment more effectively than other member states, while abiding sharper production cuts. The statistics reveal that the UK unemployment ratio was the highest in 2011 (8.4%), currently reaching the level lower than 7% (Drydakis 2015). At the present time, 31.03 million people are working, while 22.76 million of them work full-time and 8.27 million works part-time (Drydakis 2015). The overall employment ratio accounts for 73.5%, taking into regard the proportion of people aged between 16 and 64 (Drydakis 2015). The number of unemployed people, who currently look for available work, reaches the figure of 1.85 million unemployed people (Bell & Blachflower 2014). The level of economically inactive people (meaning those who do not work and do not look for available job position) accounts for 8.99 million. Thus, the inactivity ratio stands for 22% (Drydakis 2015).

Analysis of Graduate Labour Market

The analysis of the UK graduate labour market demonstrates that the job market has altered substantially at the same time when the definitions of “low skilled and high skilled remain stable” (Drydakis 2015, p. 311). Therefore, those graduates who are interested in specific sectors, frequently agree to work on lower paid or lower skilled jobs in order to obtain practice, manifest dedication and make first steps on professional ladder. Nevertheless, graduates select significantly better jobs in the market than non-graduates (Nachmias & Walmsley 2015). These facts reveal that the employment ratio is much higher in regards with graduates on the contrary to non-graduates (88% and 71% respectively) (Nachmias & Walmsley 2015). Thus, the level of economical inactivity is lower in regards to graduates (standing for 10%), comparing with 21% for non-graduates (Drydakis 2015). Moreover, the analysis of graduate labour market demonstrates that graduates obtain higher salaries, accounting for approximately £17 an hour versus £8 for non-graduates (Nachmias & Walmsley 2015). In addition, the analysis vividly depicts that the majority of graduates (83%) work in higher skilled jobs (Drydakis 2015). Therefore, the UK labour market is interested in graduates, stimulating the growth of graduates’ quantity. The statistics in 2015 demonstrates that graduates are more likely to be employed versus those who have left education with lower standard qualifications (Drydakis 2015). More than 40% of graduates depict a tendency to work in education, public administration, and health industry (Nachmias & Walmsley 2015). Nevertheless, despite the fact that graduate labour market proposes numerous advantages and possibilities for graduates, it is more complicated for graduates to find higher-skilled position in the current globalized economies, characterized by subject differentials.

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Analysis of Extra Curriculum Activities

One of the underlying objectives of all academic programmes concerns the possibility to equip students with a sustainable knowledge and cognition of the subject sphere in order to provide them with a solid basis for constructing their career path with confidence (Tchibozo 2007). In order to accomplish this objective successfully, the degree programme has to promote the evolvement of common graduate capabilities of students as much as possible within the whole course duration (Higgins, Kelly & Mirza 2013). There are two major approaches that the majority of institutions accept in order to perform this objective. The first approach regards the usage of the typical teaching and learning operations, which stands for inserting of employability capabilities into the typical curriculum (Abreu & Grinevich 2013). The approach incorporates working in groups, various presentations, sessions regarding ‘question and answer’ activities, and different seminars, which focus on problem-solving and search of solutions, while preparing students for the procedure of utilizing all acquired skills for positioning and graduate occupations (Tchibozo 2007). The second approach regards the utilization of the above-mentioned activities outside the typical classroom on a basis of teaching and learning operations (Tchibozo 2007). The practical entanglement of extra curriculum activities concerns the possibility of finding space for graduate capabilities evolvement in an overflowing curriculum (Bell & Blachflower 2014).

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Impact of Extra-Curriculum Activities on Employment

Extra curriculum programmes enhance the overall employment outcomes (Cordea 2014). The activities can provide students with a better cognition of their employability capabilities and make them more focused on the professional development (Higgins, Kelly & Mirza 2013). These activities allow utilizing the knowledge and capabilities obtained from the past experience in the attempts of applying them for industrial placements, short-range internships, graduate positioning as well as postgraduate studies (Tchibozo 2007). Moreover, networking possibilities that arise from the engagement in extra curriculum activities demonstrate a tendency to contribute to the graduate skills evolvement (Abreu & Grinevich 2013). They also enhance the awareness of employability, while promoting the expansion of knowledge, which assist students in making informed choice regarding career plans (Cordea 2014). The majority of students who take active part in extra curriculum activities appear to be successful in the pursuit of employment after the graduation (Higgins, Kelly & Mirza 2013). Due to the fact that labour market is highly competitive, employers are interested in workers who have particular developed skills required for specific work (Abreu & Grinevich 2013).

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Literature Review

The above mentioned points demonstrate that students who participate in extracurricular activities typically benefit from the numerous opportunities, including the development of higher self-concept, ability to work in teams, and understanding leadership (Cordea 2014). Employers typically sustain and support extra curriculum activities, which develop responsibility, reliability and maturity, as these are the features, which appear highly important for employability (Stuart, Lido, Morgan, Solomon & May 2011). Students who undertake extra curriculum activities at leadership level demonstrate a tendency to have a better access to large firms, job security and protection against unemployment (Nachmias & Walmsley 2015). On the one hand, participating in solitary activities, the societal sphere or citizenship practice tend to downside students’ labour market entry, leading to unemployment, decreased level of job safety and lowered occupational status (Tchibozo 2007). On the other hand, participation in extra curriculum activities does not enhance mature students’ job prospects, at the same time when younger students appear as more likely to be successful in the subsequent employment (Drydakis 2015). The research by Tchibozo (2007) demonstrates that non-academic interests and activities appear to be of high significance to the majority of employers. Employers typically look for people who are active and who have evolved a huge assortment of capacities and experiences in various contexts (Tchibozo 2007). In addition, extra curriculum activities and experiences assist students in distinguishing themselves from other job applicants (Tchibozo 2007). Moreover, they also provide students with real-life examples, which allow proving that a person has evolved particular key competencies, which might appear as crucial for a future employer (Higgins, Kelly & Mirza 2013). Furthermore, the higher the number of extra curriculum activities, the higher is the level of employer confidence in applicant, as a person has already had a chance to make a decision regarding the dreamed job (Cordea 2014). The research by Abreu and Grinevich (2013) depicts that two thirds of employers assume that candidates who participate in extra-curricular activities appear to be more successful employees when they start working at a company, as they already have the necessary experience and wide scope of transferrable capabilities. In addition, 57% of UK employers believe that students participating in extra curriculum activities demonstrate a tendency to progress more rapidly within a company versus those who do not have the required experience (Abreu & Grinevich 2013). The research by Stuart et al. (2011) reveals that extra curriculum activities not merely develop learning, as they also help in educating, inspiring and stimulating the overall entrepreneurial interest. Thus, it allows evolving enterprising capabilities, which can be viewed either as a method of enhancing employability or as a mean of obtaining skills necessary for the future business creation (Stuart et al. 2011). Students manage their time better, make more sophisticated and pensive decisions, and enhance their capability to communicate (Higgins, Kelly & Mirza 2013). The research by Higgins et al. (2013) also demonstrates that only one out of three employers is not interested in extra curriculum activities, which vividly demonstrates that the major part of chief executives desire to employ people who are already experienced in the sphere.

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The current literature review vividly demonstrates that extra curriculum activities, including voluntary work and especially university-connected operations assist in distinguishing graduates in the job market. This is specifically significant taking into account the current emulative economic climate. Thus, the shortage of participation of extra curriculum activities can ‘disadvantage’ students in accomplishing the ‘full’ student experience.

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