Both the business sector and government have claimed that there is a skills deficit among graduates in the UK. Universities are now under increasing pressure to develop graduate ‘employability’ strategies to improve the stock and quality of graduates' generic skills. Critical subject communities have been sceptical of an employability agenda that frames graduate employment solely around notions of personal career development and planning. This article discusses the intellectual and pedagogical debates that have surrounded the employability agenda in higher education. It details a critical pedagogical approach to graduate employment that was developed through a project funded by the Higher Education Academy's Subject Centre for Sociology, Anthropology and Politics.