Reporter 400, 21 April 1997

Reporter 400, 21 April 1997

GRADUATE LINK Employment scheme

A new and completely free employment scheme is celebrating placing its 150th graduate into a local firm. The scheme is designed to make it as easy as possible for Yorkshire and Humber - based companies who employ fewer than 200 people (SMEs), to identify and recruit graduates.

Graduate Link – the first scheme of its kind in the UK – brings together the twelve University and College Careers Services in Yorkshire and the Humber for a joint major project. It offers companies access to a big pool of graduates from the region and a free vacancy handling and selection service for graduate job vacancies. Other partners in Graduate Link are all the Yorkshire and the Humber Training and Enterprise Councils (TECs), Chambers of Commerce and Business Links and the Yorkshire and the Humber Development Agency (YHDA).

Graduate Link is not a recruitment agency but a publicly-funded initiative to help SMEs identify graduate vacancies, notify them through the Careers Services of the Universities and Colleges of Higher Education in Yorkshire and the Humber and assist the companies in the recruitment and selection of appropriate candidates.

A high proportion of the companies assisted through the scheme, which has been running for nine months, have never recruited graduates before.

An early user of the service, Acre Products, of Halifax, employs 200 people and manufactures stands and displays for TV and audio products. During the first few months of Graduate Link's life Acre Products recruited a 23 year-old graduate from the School of Design and Technology at the University of Huddersfield, who obtained a first class honours degree in Product Design. David Smallwood, Managing Director, says 'we were introduced to Graduate Link's service by Calderdale and Kirklees Business Link, and have been very pleased. This successful appointment has opened the way for the company to look at employing graduates for other jobs and assignments'.

Dr. Richard Siddall, one of the Project Directors, says: 'this scheme has been running since summer 1996 and already we have handled 150 vacancies from companies offering full time appointments. Graduate Link have been consistently successful in finding graduates for SMEs either for short or long term employment, thus giving smaller firms a chance to tap in to the specialist skills that are so often needed if company growth is to be achieved.'

Greg Pacey, Manager of Graduate Link says 'it is wrong to assume that graduate employment is just for larger companies. The fastest growing employment sector is now among small and medium sized companies - with between 10 and 200 employees. In fact, many of the companies we help employ around just 50 people.'

Further information:
Greg Pacey, Manager, Graduate Link, 0114-222-0954
Bernard Carney, Project Director, 01274-384998
Bob Gilworth, Project Director, 01484-472124
Bernard Kingston, Project Director, 0114-222-0907
Richard Siddall, Project Director, 0113-233-5305

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