100 graduates benefit from Scottish Intern Programme – It's not who you know, it's what you know
Published by Anne Marie Hughes on Sat 09 Jun 12 @ 22:14
Ashleigh Wilson, the 100th graduate of the ‘Adopt an Intern’ programme.
A graduate internship programme, set up by the Centre for
Scottish Public Policy (CSPP) as a pilot initiative last year, has
now delivered over 100 opportunities for Scotland's graduates to
experience paid work in organisations across the country. The
majority of participants in the programme achieve full- time
employment as a direct result of their internship experience.
The CSPP's 'Adopt an Intern' programme has been so successful in its first year that it has now received a substantial increase in funding from the Scottish Government to develop the initiative further in the year ahead with financial support of £181,000.
The initiative involves organisations across the public, private and third sectors. At least half of the supporting companies have funded the graduate's salary from their own resources, allowing the Government support to be spread further.
Joy Lewis, Programme Manager for the CSPP's 'Adopt an Intern' explains:
"With the on-going economic challenges, it is now more difficult
than ever for our talented graduates to find suitable, paid work
opportunities which give them much needed experience at the start
of their working life.
The key difference with the 'Adopt an Intern' programme is that all our graduates are paid during their internship. It's not a question of who you know, but what you know.
This Programme is making an impact by opening the door to employment and providing many charities and voluntary organisations, as well as SMEs, the opportunity to add bright and enthusiastic graduates to their workforce. We also shortlist the applicants, saving organisations precious time and money".
In the second year of operation, the Government are also supporting the CSPP Programme with a further £37,000 to expand internationally.
Having caught the attention of the Government of Lower Saxony, Adopt an Intern has now set up a Graduate Exchange Programme between Germany and Scotland. This will allow up to 10 of Scotland's graduates to experience an international internship for up to 6 months and for 10 of Scotland's cross-sector organisations to benefit from a talented graduate from Germany.
The CSPP has also recently applied to the European Union, the
European Structural Funds (ESF), using some of Its Scottish
Government grant as match funding. If successful, the ESF
funding would be aimed at giving more focused help to graduates and
organisations in the Highlands and Islands.
Michael Russell MSP, Cabinet Secretary for Education and Lifelong Learning commented on the CSPP Programme:
"I am delighted to see the success of the CSPP's internship programme for which we have provided funding of over £300,000 during the last 2 years. This is a fine example of the good work organisations throughout the country are doing to provide employment and development opportunities for our young people.
The Scottish Government is committed to ensuring that each and every graduate has the support they need - for as long as they need it - to move into long-term, sustainable employment - to the benefit of our economy. Meaningful, paid internships such as this one are an excellent way for graduates to gain the relevant work experience they need in today's jobs market."
Joy Lewis concludes:
"As a direct result of their internship experience, 56% of our graduates have gone on to achieve full-time employment -exactly one half of them remain with the same organisation they did the internship with. In addition, many of our participating organisations return to us to offer further internships.
Given the impact the Programme is making, we are delighted to
receive increased funding from the Scottish Government. If we
are successful in our European bid, we will be delivering one of
the biggest and most successful intern programmes in the UK."
In the last year, the CSPP has delivered mentoring workshops, a series of networking events and has introduced social media reporting and forums to support those graduates involved in the programme.
The 100th graduate of the 'Adopt an Intern' programme
is Ashleigh Wilson who is working with Operation Youth Advantage
Plus (OYA+) in Glasgow.
Adopt an Intern Case Study - Lindsay Morrison, Percepta
Lindsay Morrison from Bishopbriggs in Glasgow, graduated from
Strathclyde University with a BA Hons in Marketing & Psychology
in the summer of 2011 and heard about the CSPP 'Adopt an Intern'
programme via her University careers website.
Following three months of paid work experience in a research post with Percepta in Glasgow, Lindsay was offered a full time role in the company's marketing department as a business analyst.
Percepta, which is a global contact services and customer loyalty business, has the regional office for Europe and Asia Pacific in Glasgow which acts as the hub for key corporate activities such as technology, marketing and finance.
Lindsay commented on her experience:
"This year has been so tough for new graduates and many of my university friends have been unable to get work experience to give them the stepping stone into a full time role. The 'Adopt an Intern' programme was easy and simple to apply for and gave me the confidence about what I could bring to the opportunity with Percepta."
Percepta in Glasgow have now given four graduates from the programme the opportunity of paid work experience and are looking to continue their involvement.
Alan Bates, Marketing Manager, explains:
"We have seen real success from our first small graduate intake, where the new members of our team delivered some really high-quality work. Percepta see this as an opportunity to bring some fresh ideas to our organisation, but also a way of giving valuable experience and insight to the graduates we bring on board. The jobs market is particularly difficult at the moment, so I am delighted about an opportunity to bring new team members into the group."
Each placement with Percepeta is agreed at 12 weeks, with graduates receiving a monthly salary. The work involves getting to know the business and doing real tasks and projects that Percepta want to implement. The intention is that interns have something to take away and can demonstrate the impact and success of their work in future. On some occasions, there is an opportunity to extend the placement, or even become a permanent member of the team.
Alan Bates, concludes:
"The 'Adopt an Intern' programme has been a really successful and positive experience for Percepta. It is the right programme for finding the right candidates and in turn offers new graduates the chance to learn real commercial skills. Many businesses are missing a trick by not considering this opportunity to bring energetic, bright skilled graduates into their business."