Turning young talent into employable graduates in Liverpool

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Shop Direct has become University of Liverpool's employability partner.

By U2B Staff 

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Employability is on everyone’s minds these days, whether it is the prospective student looking for a suitable university, the university creating new courses to meet business demands or the business seeking fresh talent to fill new roles.

But while it is widely agreed that graduate employability is a highly-desired and valued attribute, the jury’s still out on who should shoulder the responsibility of developing it.

To stay ahead of the curve, however, many forward-thinking businesses are increasingly seeing the value of working directly with universities to produce employable graduates. Likewise, universities are keeping their doors wide open to business, offering them top-notch facilities, academic and research expertise, project funding avenues and a ready stream of fresh talent.

As we have written, these partnerships deliver real benefit all around, offering students opportunities to gain real work experience during their study duration and creating a talent pipeline for the business involved.


In the UK, Shop Direct is the latest commercial operation to participate in its own talent-building process in partnership with a local university.

In an announcement last week, the Liverpool-based integrated digital retailer and financial services provider said it was partnering the University of Liverpool on a number of graduate employability initiatives to develop the region’s tech and data talent.

The partnership will see the firm develop a joint programme of activity with the university across STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) and other business-related subjects such as marketing and finance.

Among others, this will include working with academics to introduce real-world business projects into course modules and offering internship opportunities and graduate roles to university students.

Shop Direct will also support events led by the University’s Careers and Employability team, during which its leaders will meet with students to discuss their career prospects, and provide inspiration, support and advice on maximising employability.


Shop Direct Talent, Culture and Communications Director Helen Miller said the high-touch strategy will help university students gain valuable insight into the world of work and prepare them for their careers.

“Gaining experience in the workplace and of real-life business projects helps undergraduates to develop their employability skills and stand out when they enter the job market,” she said.

“We also want to show students that the North West is a hub for great tech and data careers, and specifically encourage more young women to apply for roles in these fields at businesses like Shop Direct.”

University of Liverpool plays an active role in sourcing for employability partners among up and coming businesses and is one of the UK’s most targeted universities for recruiters and employers. 

Combined with Shop Direct’s innovative and contemporary recruitment practices, it serves as an ideal partnership to educate and prepare graduates with the appropriate skills required for the future job market. 

“Our growing partnership with Shop Direct, and the company’s refreshing approach to student and graduate recruitment, makes it possible for us to try innovative ways to expose students to industry connections throughout their university journey and ensure our graduates are prepared for work,” said University of Liverpool Careers and Employability Director Emma Moore.  

“It is fantastic to see so many of our students and graduates successfully securing roles within the business as a direct result of our collaboration.”