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Stephen Isherwood

Stephen Isherwood

Chief Executive,
Institute of Student Employers

Stephen Isherwood was appointed Chief Executive of the organisation in June 2013 following seven years as Head of Graduate Recruitment UK & Ireland at Ernst & Young, one of the largest recruiters of graduates in the UK. Stephen started his HR career at Coopers & Lybrand recruiting experienced management consultants before moving into graduate recruitment when the firm merged with Price Waterhouse to form PwC. After PwC he lead the graduate recruitment and development programme at Safeway before working in the public sector where he developed and managed a number of careers related programmes. Stephen has extensive experience in the recruitment and development of students, both graduates and school leavers. He has worked closely with Higher Education throughout his career with a focus on the career development and employment of students. In addition to his current role Stephen sits on a number of steering groups related to higher education and employment including the HEAR Advisory Committee , the GPA Advisory Group and is on the board of HECSU. He has presented to various committees in the Houses of Parliament and often appears in national and local media.

  • Analysing the results and latest trends from the ISE Development Survey 2018 and the key areas for universities to work on, such as being more strategic and reviewing methods of improving graduate performance
  • Outlining essential improvements that universities can make to tackle the ongoing skills gap, so that students receive essential training before starting employment
  • Improving work experience opportunities through employer partnerships, higher and degree apprenticeships and placements to ensure students are prepared for work, perform better and stay in jobs for longer
  • Discussing the key skills universities should embed in their students which are becoming increasingly desirable among employers such as resilience, management and leadership skills