Talent Builder wins national accolade

March 8th, 2011

A third of all graduate jobs this year will be filled by candidates who have worked as interns, according to a report from High Fliers Research, The Graduate Market.

The University’s nationally commended career development scheme — Talent Builder — recognised this. The programme, which ran from July 2009 to December 2010, has just been Highly Commended in the Best New Placement Scheme category of the National Council for Work Experience Awards 2009-2010.

Talent Builder was funded by the University and the Higher Education Funding Council for England, and organised paid internships for more than 300 graduates. While the original £1m funding has ended, the University’s Centre for Career Development (CCD) has developed an alternative programme.

Stephen McAuliffe, CCD Director, said: “This scheme has been a unique opportunity to apply the entrepreneurial spirit of students and graduates to completing projects during a difficult economic time. Talent Builder gave interns real responsibility from day one. They utilised their skills and knowledge as graduates to steer a project, giving fresh insight and energy to solving problems.

“Internships are about benefits to the organisation as much as the individual. Our programme is built around student interest across all sectors and company needs — including charities, not-for-profit organisations, social enterprises, SMEs and multinationals — a real collaborative effort to bring real experience to graduates and real benefits to organisations.”

From 253 responses to the final evaluation survey, every host and 99 per cent of interns would recommend the programme; 98.5 per cent of hosts said the intern was a benefit to their team, and 96 per cent of interns said they benefited. Of 53 interns who completed a follow-up survey, 76 per cent had found a job within six months of completing their internship.

“I’ve been offered a graduate trainee role at a large multinational company,” said Chris Forrest, whose 16-week project with a University department included a trip to China to support an international network and conference. “I believe that it was my placement, courtesy of the University, that was fundamentally responsible for helping me begin my career.”

“The Talent Builder scheme has been invaluable to Headway over the past year,” said Luke Griggs, Communications Manager at the brain injury charity. “We have been fortunate to have had the support of several highly-talented graduates who assisted us on varied projects across departments.

“The work of each of the interns has been of an excellent standard, minimising the amount of time required to train and supervise them. In addition, the willingness of the interns to learn and develop new skills has been very impressive. We rely on voluntary support to help us achieve our targets.
The scheme has enabled us to embark upon and complete a number of important projects that may otherwise have
been delayed.”

Potential hosts should email Becky Blunden at internships@nottingham.ac.uk, call +44(0)115 846 7173 or visit www.nottingham.ac.uk/careers/internships.

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