Students at Edge Hill University are bucking the trend and landing their dream jobs before they even graduate this summer.

Despite gloomy predictions that thousands of graduates will struggle to find work because of the recession and spiralling unemployment trends, at Edge Hill it’s a different story.

Last year 95.3% of students found employment or embarked on further study within six months of graduating, making Edge Hill University top in the north-west for graduate employment.

This year, already a number of students have been offered employment opportunities in their chosen fields even thought they are still waiting for their exam results.

Only recently, performing arts student Lucy Newton was offered a job as a Dance Development Manager. Originally from Leicestershire, she took the step of moving to the north-west to study at Edge Hill and it has paid off.

She said: “I am really pleased to have secured a job before I’ve even graduated from Edge Hill University. I am originally from Rutland so the choice to move to the north-west was a big one, but I am happy I chose to do it. My degree course has really equipped me with the skills I needed to go out and get a job in the performing arts world. My new job means that I will be working for a community dance company in the Greater Manchester area. It involves setting up projects and classes and acquiring the funding for them to promote community cohesion. I think it will be extremely rewarding and can’t wait to start.”

Alex Reed who studied modern foreign languages has secured a job as a Modern Foreign Languages Subject Specialist at Manchester Communication Academy, a brand new secondary school in North Manchester. He said: “I will be teaching languages and am really looking forward to getting started. It’s a massive relief getting a job before we finish and it has meant that for the last couple of months of my degree I have been able to focus my study on things which I know will directly benefit me next year. I’m really looking forward to the challenges and opportunities that my new job will present me with and am grateful to my tutors at Edge Hill for the support they’ve given me over the last three years in preparing me for my career.”

Jo Henshaw’s is another success story. She was in Early Years Education with QTS and has just got a job teaching Year 1 pupils at a school in Leeds, which she starts in September. She said: “I’m one happy bunny, especially because my partner was made redundant a few months ago and although he has a job now I know how hard it is to find employment. I applied for quite a few jobs and I think through luck and hard work I’ve landed such a great job and can’t wait to start. What I’d say to other students is to keep going, believe in yourself and keep applying for jobs because it’s worth it in the end.”

And already Laura Anwyl and Lindsay Sloan, who both did children’s nursing, are working in hospitals in Manchester. While Michelle Hourihane, Childhood and Youth Studies student, has secured a job as a Playwork Assistant for Sefton Council.

Last year Edge Hill was also named in the top ten universities in the Sunday Times in 2009 in the employment indicator table of leavers obtaining first degrees from full-time courses 2007/08 in the Times Higher Education in July 2009.

The University’s Vice Chancellor John Cater said: “I’m delighted that we are hearing of so many job success stories from our students before they even graduate, which is such a major achievement. It doesn’t surprise me though because the University combines academic excellence with career focused programmes. Also, as a result of excellent links with over 300 employers, 75% of graduates leave with qualifications that have professional recognition, which stands them in good stead when competing for jobs.

“I’m sure that we will hear many more tales like this come graduation day and I hope that our students continue to follow their dreams and don’t give up hope of finding employment in a difficult economic climate.”