The research team addressed these issues by the development of a research informed bioeconomy curriculum framework for employability that integrated and met the needs of key stakeholders: students, educators and employers.
The project aims were to support the career aspirations of regional students towards the bioeconomy with a focus on STEM subjects (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics). A particular area of focus was the creation of frameworks to remove the barriers for progression for students from socioeconomically deprived backgrounds.
To produce a comprehensive study of issues around the graduate talent pipeline, the research team identified three discrete groups of stakeholders:
- Regional bioeconomy-related companies employing STEM graduates
- Stakeholders with an interest in closing skills gaps for the region
- Organisations and individuals supporting careers advice at FE and HE level
The research team undertook telephone interviews with representatives from each stakeholder group, covering a geographical area that broadly aligns with the THYME Project – covering northern Lincolnshire, through Hull and East Yorkshire and across North Yorkshire and Teesside. Interviews discussed graduate roles within regional businesses and perceptions of the skills and attributes needed by graduates as well as any difficulties experienced around skilled graduate recruitment.
Findings from the interviews were used to develop an education curriculum framework specific to the bioeconomy to identify and highlight skills and qualification gaps within recent graduates and highlight approaches that can address the development of these skills within a higher education curriculum setting. As well as the final framework report, interviews with graduates in the early stages of their bioeconomy career were recorded in order to produce short films aimed at raising awareness amongst students of opportunities within the bioeconomy.
Careers Case Studies
A series of short videos, designed to give an insight into different career options and pathways into the Bioeconomy:
Careers in the Bioeconomy – an introduction to the THYME Project interview series with role models from Dr Emma Peasland
Careers in the Bioeconomy – interview with an Animal Nutritionist
Careers in the Bioeconomy – interview with a Project Manager
Careers in the Bioeconomy – interview with a Device Technologist
Careers in the Bioeconomy – interview with a PhD researcher
The research project culminated in the production of a report, including action plans for Bioeconomy employers, for university curriculum development and for embedding best practice around partnership working:
Download the THYME: Strengthening the Bioeconomy by Maximising Graduate Employability Summary Report
Download the THYME: Strengthening the Bioeconomy by Maximising Graduate Employability Extended Report