SUNDERLAND University is offering hundreds of graduates a paid insight into the world of work in a bid to beat the region’s brain drain.
The university has joined forces with businesses and organisations across the region to launch one of the largest ever graduate careers support programmes, with the aim of keeping talented young people in the North East.
Around 500 graduate level jobs and paid internships will be up for grabs – with 300 available now and 200 to follow next year.
The internships will see graduates working full-time – and earning a salary – for anything from three months to a year.
Deputy Vice-Chancellor Professor Julie Mennell said: “It’s heartening that such a large proportion of students want to stay in this great region after graduating.
“We need to ensure that they have the graduate level job opportunities to help them to do that, as it’s not only a benefit to the students.
“Talented and skilled people like these have such an important part to play in the social, cultural and economic well-being of a region.
“That is why we are launching the Graduates into Enterprise scheme, which will connect our talented leavers with opportunities in their chosen careers, helping boost productivity, the skills agenda and innovation.
“Latest figures reveal how important it is that we retain these types of graduates. Every year, the University of Sunderland and its graduates contribute £428million to the regional economy, supporting 5,383 jobs.
“Getting a first graduate level job out of university can be a challenge generally, which is why we put in place the Sunderland Futures scheme to encourage our students to take up the support on offer and prepare them for employment from the moment they step on to campus.
“Lack of work experience can be a barrier to securing employment, particularly at graduate level. We know employers are looking for specific abilities and at Sunderland we work hard to make sure all our students have the skills employers are looking for.
“An impressive 80-90 per cent of graduates go onto a full time job for at least six months on the back of their internship.”
Businesses and organisation involved in the scheme include Nissan, the BBC, Accenture, John Lewis, British Airways, Nexus, SAFC, PWC, Nexus and Police UK.
Graduates can to sign up online, or text ‘jobsUOS’ to 07717 990 000.