Unemployed graduates gain valuable work experience

Published: 3 November 2009 at 14:30

Graduates can improve their CVs with paid internship opportunities in local manufacturing companies.

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Anglia Ruskin University’s Survive & Thrive team are working with the University of Cambridge’s Institute for Manufacturing Education & Consultancy Services (IfM ECS) team to offer graduates from the East of England a paid Graduate Internship Scheme. The scheme will help graduates gain work experience and develop professional work-based skills which compliment their qualifications and improve their CVs.

The recession has had a devastating effect on the career aspirations of recent graduates. Major firms have reduced their graduate training schemes by 28%, and unemployment among the 16-24 age group is approaching one million. With so many applicants applying for each job vacancy, graduates are competing with more experienced candidates and losing out.

Tom Greenwell, who graduated with a degree in Marketing & Advertising, benefited from a placement at Analytik Ltd, suppliers of unique, high quality analytical instrumentation, said:

“I have found the challenge of the [placement] project to be a revelation. I could not have imagined that four months after graduating I would be responsible for delivering demanding business objectives in a real-life commercial environment. The project has been an invaluable experience in my young career; giving me a passion to succeed in the business world.”

Commenting on the idea behind the internships, Julia Marsh, Project Manager of the Survive & Thrive programme said:

“The funding behind this initiative is to help graduates and businesses in the recession, getting graduates working to give them a chance to prove themselves in the workplace, and helping companies to expand their workforce for a short-term project, without the long-term commitment.”

Dr Claire Kennedy, Industrial Fellow at the Institute for Manufacturing, said

“The scheme supports IfM ECS’ Manufacturing Transformation Programme (MTP), a fully funded programme designed to help manufacturing companies in the region boost their competitiveness. Graduate Interns have the opportunity to make a real contribution to these companies and gain from the sector-specific expertise of an IfM ECS mentor.”

Companies and projects will vary, therefore graduates with degrees in engineering, business, economics, project management, marketing, business development, management, computing, maths, science, finance or manufacturing are encouraged to apply by visiting www.anglia.ac.uk/surviveandthrive (click on ‘For Graduates’) or call 0845 196 3177.

To be eligible for the internship scheme, you must be a recent graduate (graduated in 2008 or 2009), live in the East of England and be eligible to work in the UK.

For graduates wanting to improve their CVs, applications, networking and interview techniques, Anglia Ruskin is also offering a free one-day employability workshop. The workshop takes place regularly in Cambridge, Chelmsford and Peterborough, check the events calendar on www.anglia.ac.uk/surviveandthrive for details.