A very Handshake birthday

May 11, 2021

How we’re marking our one year anniversary in the UK...

A year ago yesterday, Handshake UK went live to employers, closely followed by our launch to students across the UK the following week. Our mission was simple - to ensure that all university students have equal access to meaningful careers.

And what a year it’s been. We’ve helped employers, universities and students navigate an unprecedented period in education, helping them respond to the Covid-19 pandemic by quickly shifting recruitment processes and virtual careers fairs online. 

Today, universities from all walks of life - including the University of Cambridge, Falmouth University, the University of Hertfordshire and Ulster University -  are working with Handshake to power meaningful connections between students and employers. We now have more than 100,000 UK students signed up to the platform - and, excitingly, these students have already found more than 130,000 job opportunities.

What’s more, 5,500 employers including the likes of Clifford Chance LLP and Nestle are using Handshake to proactively engage with students.

To celebrate our anniversary, and demonstrate our continued commitment to the UK, this week we’re launching a £1m Covid recovery fund. 

The Early Talent Recovery Fund is exclusively being launched in the UK, and  will cover costs for 100,000 students to attend free virtual careers fairs. These fairs use technology to link students with top employers in a meaningful way. Employers will be able to see any profiles and CVs that students choose to make public, and can schedule bespoke group meetings or one-to-ones with promising candidates, making the process more direct and effective.

Student Societies, which have been badly hit during the pandemic, will also be able to access the Fund - expanding the opportunities available to students to broaden their experiences and network, whilst boosting their skills and ultimately job applications, at a time where work experience is scarce due to job market instability.

The fund will also subsidise access to Handshake, offering two years’ free use of the platform for 30 UK universities and covering all set-up costs. Existing Handshake partners in the UK will be able to tap into a Professional Development Fund, offering free access to CPD and major conferences in the student and graduate careers sector. First on the agenda is a three day design thinking boot camp for emerging leaders - providing a unique opportunity to redefine careers services for the future.

We are really eager to give something back to the UK at a challenging time for students, graduates and university careers services. Our Early Talent Recovery Fund, which is made possible by our latest funding round, aims not only to step up and support people starting out in their careers in the wake of Covid, but in the long-term, play a role in helping to break down structural barriers that exist to connecting great talent and employers. 

So, it’s a very happy birthday for us! We look forward to many successful years ahead in the UK, and we’re delighted to be working with such forward looking partners across the education industry and playing such a crucial role in supporting their post-Covid recovery.

For more information on Early Talent Recovery fund click here.