Graduate Workforce Bradford Conference demonstrates value of partnership working

The University of Bradford-hosted Conference had strong, impactful messages about the value of partnership working, alongside taking a place-based and community-focused approach. The importance of listening and being willing to learn from others was emphasised at the event, which celebrated the end of the three-year Graduate Workforce Bradford project.

Funded by the Office for Students, the project was grounded in the idea that there currently exist inequalities in progression from HE which can and must be addressed. Its approach looks at both the structural and individual factors in this Рwith partnership and collaboration being key to its success. The project has hugely overachieved against some stretching targets, seeing individuals progress into graduate level employment alongside supporting employers to reflect on and change their own processes and assumptions.

It was great to hear Go Higher West Yorkshire name-checked by a couple of community organisations, who praised our approach of working with and being genuinely interested in their local communities. The importance of supporting young people prior to HE entry with impartial information on options through to more targeted activity, such as communication and oracy skills, were also discussed. This provided external validation to the approaches we take.

The audience, which included a broad range of stakeholders, strongly engaged in the discussion. This clearly indicates that this is a key area that will continue to grow in importance. It was an excellent event for generating ideas, contacts and networks – a vital strand in ensuring the lasting legacy of an important project.

Huge congratulations to the team both for a useful and thought-provoking event, and a valuable piece of work that will continue to have a positive impact in Bradford and its wider areas.


Helen Sykes, Go Higher West Yorkshire Manager