A COLLEGE is planning to offer more graduate internships after its first two recruits landed permanent jobs there.
Vicky Heywood and Kathy Jackson secured the 12-week placements at Stoke-on-Trent College through a scheme run by Keele University.
It meant they could put their degree skills to good use by getting involved in projects and providing key support to staff.
Now both of them have stayed on at the college.
Twenty-two-year-old Vicky, from Basford, said: “The internships are a good way of supporting graduates.
“It can be hard to get into graduate work, but this has helped me into permanent employment.
“I’m now an apprenticeship admissions officer and have been thoroughly enjoying it.”
After graduating with a degree in politics and sociology from Keele, she applied to join the internships scheme.
It operates a bit like a recruitment agency, with Keele offering employers a range of candidates to choose from, who match the skills they are looking for in the workplace.
“We were also offered advice on CVs and applications,” added Vicky.
“I started the internship in September. Before that, I knew absolutely nothing about apprenticeships, but I feel like I’ve learnt so much in a short space of time.
“I’ve being doing phone interviews with apprenticeship candidates and have helped ensure good quality apprentices are recruited by the college.”
Kathy, who has a masters degree and PhD from Keele, has completed her internship in the research field.
She was asked to do market research into parents’ views of the college, and also carry out an employer survey.
The 28-year-old, from Wolstanton, said: “There’s been quite a lot of data work. It’s nice to know that research can make a difference and can be used by a company.”
Kathy, who previously worked at Keele University students’ union, has now taken up a post as the college students’ union’s new student liaison and wider activities co-ordinator.
“I decided I wanted a role working with students. But the internship was really beneficial,” she said.
“I’m now involved in the student executive and helping to get students doing local projects in the area.
“I’ve also been involved in a scheme called Challenge Poland, where students will be visiting Krakow.”
The college is looking for other opportunities to take on graduate interns in the future.
Mark Whittaker, director of marketing and admissions, said: “It will be as specific projects come up.
“What we’ve found is if we go to the university, we can get very high calibre interns.
“Although there’s no guarantee of a job at the end of it, you can ‘try before you buy’. It’s worked very well.”
Kathy England, the university’s employer engagement officer, is also keen to develop further links with the college.
She said: “We very much want to see our graduates retained in the local area.
“The college is a really good place for them to go.”
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