Graduate and student members of the ICE met two weeks ago to discuss their experiences and the future direction of the ICE.
The Graduate and Student Network (GSNet) met in Cardiff for its two-day annual conference, which saw representatives from all over the UK attend, alongside delegates from Hong Kong.
Graduate and student members make up almost 40% of ICE members, with some 25,800 members falling into the category.
Out of work graduates
Concerns about the number graduates out of work in the recession were top of the agenda.
Working groups on improving the ICE website to make it more user-friendly for those looking for jobs and discussions of individual regions’ tactics for tackling unemployed graduate members also took place. It was noted that graduate members are increasingly attending events designed to help students find work, suggesting that there is growing unemployment within the GSNet section of the ICE.
What became clear was that in a strained economic climate, graduate and student members are increasingly looking for innovative ways to study and work towards professional qualification with little or no funding.
Delegates described how deals have been struck with universities and businesses to ensure that free lecture halls and locations for events are available, while fund- raising activities have increased in the wake of fewer sponsorship and business opportunities.
Costs and accessibility of ICE services and equipment came into question, as delegates debated ways of ensuring that ICE lectures and events led by GSNet members could have their profile raised through web streaming and use of filming equipment.
ICE President Peter Hansford and membership director David Lloyd-Roach were also at the conference. Hansford took a question and answer session from the graduates, while Lloyd-Roach praised the GSNet community’s “second nature” approach towards continuing professional development (CPD).