PRESS RELEASE: PLACEMENT PROGRAMME REACHES OUT TO STUDENTS AND BUSINESSES ACROSS LONDON
6th April 2011: Step launches 2011 programme search for London’s Most Enterprising Students and Graduates
With graduate unemployment levels at historic highs, the UK’s leading paid student placement and internship provider today announces it is expanding its programme across London to enable more students and graduates to gain the experience which could be vital to landing a permanent job.
The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, said:
“It is essential that graduates move successfully from academic to working life and a place on an internship scheme is a fantastic way to start out. I am delighted to support a programme that not only works to provide real opportunities for graduates, but that also directly helps to enhance the competitiveness and productivity of the capital’s businesses.”
For 2011 Step is working with two new key partners to help expand the number and range of opportunities available across London. The Careers Group (University of London) are giving Step a major boost this year by offering the placement programme to their employer partners for the first time, and will be working closely with Step’s other new partner Real World Magazine. Existing partner WEXO (Work Experience Online) will continue to focus on the creative industries and SMEs and the partnership will be managed by the central Step team.
Every summer STEP places hundreds of undergraduates to run business development projects tailored to their individual skills and career ambitions. And following a highly successful trial supported by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) in 2010, Step will now continue to also offer opportunities to recent graduates.
The 12-week placements give students and graduates the chance to generate results which could provide a real boost to their employment prospects whilst gaining relevant and meaningful work experience. The programme, has delivered more than 23,000 projects in SMEs since it began in 1986.
Small businesses, which still may find themselves stretched in the current economic climate, also benefit from the projects, which can deliver substantial financial rewards. Every year, almost half (48%) of Step students add more than £5,000 worth of value to their host business, while a fifth (17%) have added more than £30,000.
Students and graduates can apply for a wide range of placements ranging from designing websites and bespoke software to devising marketing strategies and identifying potential new markets.
The programmes have helped deliver paid placements to companies ranging from Manchester United’s London offices to innovative new London Gin distiller, Sipsmith and internet sensations Mydeco.com and Skimbit to property company Ivy Lettings.
Philip Donnelly, Programme Director at Step Enterprise, said: “Step is a direct and practical response to the challenge that tens of thousands of UK graduates face when they move from the world of study into employment. I am delighted that with our new London partners we will be creating more opportunities for meaningful placements right across the Capital.”
Students and recent graduates can find out more and apply for a placement in London at www.wexo.co.uk Towards the end of their placement all candidates will write a blog on their achievements and personal development, which will be entered into the ‘Most Enterprising Student’ awards.
Businesses that have a potential project opportunity should email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the website for more information. Applications received by April 30th will benefit from a special Spring discount offer.
For more information contact Robin Kennedy on email@example.com
Notes to editors:
Step is a direct response to the challenge that tens of thousands of UK graduates face when they move from the world of study into employment.
There have been around 22,000 Step placements since the programme began in 1986. The CBI and Universities UK’s report, Future fit: Preparing graduates for the world of work (March 2009), endorsed Step as a programme which can help students develop employability skills. In 2010 Step received support from BIS to deliver 400 additional graduate internships alongside the Government’s wider investment in Graduate Talent Pool.
Step historically has focussed on small businesses, but with the drive to create as many meaningful opportunities as possible, is now opening up the programme to businesses of any size or sector.
Participating students and graduates receive a minimum training allowance of £210 a week while on placement, which is free of tax and national insurance.
A network of Universities, Enterprise Agencies and HR/training specialists partner with Step Enterprise to deliver the programme across the UK.
In London we are delighted to have the support of three new partners who will be delivering Step right across the Capital:
* The Careers Group, is the largest university careers service in the UK providing high quality and cost effective shared careers and employability services to 17 colleges in the University of London. Working with over 4,000 national and regional employers The Careers Group provides innovative support and engagement channels for its students and recent graduates. It has one of the most active online graduate opportunities jobs boards in the UK and is well-known for its pioneering work on the analysis and reporting of graduate employment.
* WEXO is a matchmaking network for those offering or requiring work experience, internships and jobs. It also organises filmed careers Q+A events.
* Real World Magazine has established itself as a market leader in graduate recruitment advice, having been voted four times as the best-read magazine on campus by the High Fliers Organisation
In 2011 STEP and its partners anticipate around 200 opportunities in London and over 600 right across the UK, from the south coast of England to the Highlands and Islands of Scotland.
Step has received a range of national and regional Government funding in past years, and until 2009 was sponsored by Shell UK. Following Shell’s withdrawal of support in 2009-10, Step Enterprise have worked hard to develop and enhance the programme, creating a sustainable focused entirely on the needs of participating students, graduates and employers.