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High degree of success on graduate jobs

posted 11 Feb 2015, 01:59 by RiDO Rotherham   [ updated 10 Mar 2015, 08:55 ]
A “matchmaking” programme bringing together business and jobless graduates in Rotherham is achieving a high degree of success - 90% of the job-hunters, possibly more, have been taken on.

“It helped lift my spirits, which had really taken a beating during my unemployment,” said Alice Fawdrey, of Rotherham.

Ian Goodall, managing director of Rotherham-based global recruitment specialist Aardvark Swift, added: “We’ve recruited several ambitious young graduates who are now training with us and will hopefully be a great asset to my company.”

The Graduate Accelerator Programme - believed to be unique in the UK - began in Doncaster and is now spreading across South Yorkshire.

The third event in Rotherham has just been held, with a group of jobless Rotherham graduates giving presentations on themselves to a number of local employers and networking with them, with the aim of finding a job or work experience.

Like the first two, the third followed two weeks of training for the graduates, covering a range of employability skills, including team working, communication, customer service, time management, problem solving, presentation skills, commercial awareness and social media. So far, the degree of success is 90 per cent.

It is delivered in partnership with the Department for Work & Pensions, Dearne Valley College, Doncaster-based business support company Bobby Singh Associates (BSA), Rotherham Investment & Development Office (RiDO)  and Barnsley & Rotherham Chamber of Commerce. Financial backing is from European Social Funding Skills Support for the Unemployed.

Programme manager Bobby Singh said: “The graduates face a steep learning curve, but the Programme has given them the opportunity to develop the right knowledge, skills and attitudes to make the transition from university to be a real asset to any business. Local businesses need to fill skills gaps to grow and innovate and this provides them with access to graduates who could really help them to achieve that.” 

RiDO’s HR business consultant, Sarah Wilkinson, promoted the events to local companies and gave presentations on Rotherham’s regeneration. 

She said: “I’ve been so impressed by the progress these young graduates have made and the positive attitude from them and the companies taking part.”

Forty graduates have been helped so far. Alice Fawdrey summed it up: “I have learnt a huge range of new skills which I’m sure will help greatly with my job search, and eventually in the workplace as well.”

Ian Goodall has supported the Programme since it started: “I’ve seen great outcomes. The GAP provides a very valuable source of talent for my company. It’s a central part of our graduate recruitment strategy.

“There are many talented graduates who cannot find the right opportunities because they may not have been given the right careers advice or more importantly the employability awareness or skills. The GAP plugs that gap.”

Benefits for employers include  gaining quality people for work experience - paid for by the funders - no recruitment fees and free training for employers and graduates. 

Bobby Singh Associates has been commissioned to run more events in Rotherham (May 19) and in Doncaster (February 12 and April 23), Barnsley (March 5) and Sheffield (March 26).

To find out more, or to attend a “Meet the Graduates” event, contact Bobby Singh:  bobby@graduateacceleratorprogramme.co.uk.