LONDON – August 3, 2021 — Handshake, the largest early career network, today announced that it will be covering the costs for thousands of students and employers to attend its UK and Ireland-wide Virtual Careers Fairs this Autumn.
Handshake’s series of Careers Fairs will kick-off in Northern Ireland on Wednesday, September 15, 2021. This will be followed by a ‘Careers in Tech’ Virtual Fair on Wednesday, September 29 presenting a valuable opportunity for students and graduates to connect with fast-growing startups and Fortune 500 Companies in the tech sector. Finally, the ‘Careers in Business’ Virtual Fair, held on Wednesday, October 6, will facilitate connections for students across the country who are currently seeking to build their career paths in business related fields.
This funding has been made possible through Handshake’s £1 million Early Talent Recovery Fund, which has been launched exclusively for UK universities who are working to recover from Covid-related challenges. The fund will support Careers Fairs, provide help for Student Societies which have been badly hit during the pandemic, will subsidise access to Handshake, offering two years’ free use of the platform, and will support universities’ Personal Development programmes.
Since launching Virtual Career Fairs as a response to Covid-19, Handshake has hosted more than 4,620 Career Fairs in the system, creating millions of authentic student and employer connections. Within this tool, Handshake supports 1:1 video chats and large-group video events.
Virtual Career Fairs can support efforts to improve inclusion in the student and graduate jobs market. Research from Handshake in the US found that nearly 60% of Black students say virtual career events made them feel more likely to be noticed by employers. Similarly, three-fifths of Black and Latinx students said that they were more likely to apply to a job after attending a virtual event, with the ability to prepare and participate in uninterrupted one-on-one time with recruiters proving a boost1.
The Handshake platform aims to tear down structural barriers in the UK jobs market and help recruiters proactively engage with candidates based on their potential and aptitude for a role rather than their background or existing connections. This means universities and students can unlock social capital and access to employment opportunities, regardless of gender, race, socioeconomic status, or type of educational institution attended.
Dimitar Stanimiroff, General Manager EMEA at Handshake said, “We want to give something back to the UK at a challenging time for students, graduates and university careers services. These Careers Fairs, which are made possible by our latest funding round, will support young people in the wake of Covid, helping them make vital connections with employers.”