Graduate Outcomes Survey Results record 2017/18
Derived activity field for Graduate Outcomes
Version 1.0 Produced 2020-04-22
The derived activity field for Graduate Outcomes is broadly based on the most important activity of the graduate with a few exceptions: where graduates state that their most important activity is employment, and they have an additional activity of further study (or vice versa), the graduate is categorised as being in both work and further study. Those graduates whose most important activity is unemployment or doing something else, but who are due to start work or study are also identified separately.
We received some feedback from the sector around how certain categories of graduate activities were being treated, in particular where these related to standard labour market classifications:
- Categorisation of graduates who indicate that their most important activity is unemployment, yet they also indicate that they are in work which could be seen as contradictory, by those looking for labour market data.
- Categorisation of graduates who indicate that their most important activity is doing something else (including travel, caring for someone or retired) and are also due to start work or further study.
Further analysis of the Graduate Outcomes data has taken place and HESA is proposing that the previous activity derivation (XACTIV03) is replaced by a new one (XACTIVITY) and used in published outputs.
- Reclassify those graduates responding that their most important activity is unemployment, but also responding that they have another activity that is either paid work, self-employment, running their own business or developing a portfolio into the appropriate employment category, on the basis that they meet the standard labour market definition of employment (in that they are working for pay or the expectation of profit). It is intended that those graduates responding that their most important activity is unemployment, but also responding that they have another activity of voluntary / unpaid work, are retained within unemployment as their activity indicates that they are most probably economically active, not in employment, and there is no implied contradiction.
- For consistency, those graduates who state that their most important activity is voluntary / unpaid work have been separated out from the other work categories. We are adopting the term 'employment' for the collective group of paid work, self-employment, running own business and developing portfolio. This fits closely with accepted international and national standards for describing employment and provides more information about the different activities in which graduates are involved.
- Rename 'study' to 'further study' to highlight the distinction between the original study undertaken by the student and that undertaken since leaving.
- The original proposal for XACTIV03 was to categorise graduates as 'Due to start work' or 'Due to start study' where their most important activity was unemployment or other (includes travel, caring for someone, retired). Given that 'Due to start work' has been historically grouped with unemployment in some of the published outputs (including the UK Performance Indicators), this could have an unduly negative impact on perceptions of which graduates are in unemployment. Respondents who state their most important activity is one of the 'other' categories, are less likely to be active in the labour market at the point of survey (meaning they are actively seeking work and able to take it up in a short timeframe) and hence it is unreasonable to assume that they are unemployed now, just because they are due to start work or study, soon. The intention is therefore to retain these graduates in the 'Other including travel, caring for someone or retired' category, based on their most important activity and relabel the 'Due to start work' and 'Due to start study' categories as 'Unemployed and due to start work' or 'Unemployed and due to start further study'.
- To reflect that 'Other work' and 'Other study' categories include graduates who do not complete the intensity of work and/or study questions, rename as 'Unknown pattern of employment' and 'Unknown pattern of further study'.
- Combining the two work and further study categories into one.
- Rename 'Other' to 'Other including travel, caring for someone or retired' to reflect the content of this category.
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