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The credit crunch. Student debt. Skills shortage. What's the answer? An innovative new online student skills marketplace has the solution. It acts as an interactive newsagent’s window where businesses can find talented students for ad hoc jobs and projects.

The result? Businesses are saving money. Students are getting valuable commercial experience and earning money at a higher rate. A win-win situation. The studentgems facebook group has been instrumental in spreading the word amongst students and over a thousand have registered already.

Customer John Cave of Westhaven Worldwide Logistics in Solihull said “I had a requirement for the design of 10 websites as a marketing experiment so I didn't want to sink a load of money into professional design. I posted the opportunity on and was flooded with incredibly talented designers. The decision which student to go with was very difficult as the work was of such a high standard. An excellent idea, well executed - I will definitely be using the site again!”

A browse through the student profiles reveals the extent of the student talent. Charlie from Middlesex, an engineering student at Birmingham has listed, amongst others, CAD design, hockey lessons, help at exhibitions and he can paint your portrait. Meanwhile Joy from Buckinghamshire, a photography student at Anglia Ruskin has added photographer's assistant, photography (stunning examples have been uploaded), preparation of items for listing on Ebay and meeting & greeting. One glance at the list of talents instantly feeds the imagination - get everything done whether at home or at work, from mundane tasks to magnificent artwork, from fabulous entertainment to funky accessories.

“Now the site is growing, it’s clear it can potentially revolutionise the jobs market, matching jobs with supply,” says co-founder Sue Harrison. “Most small businesses cannot afford to take on professional staff for small tasks. Studentgems allows them to find someone quickly and easily and negotiate a price that suits their budget.”

Case studies:

Sebastian, a gap year student from Berkshire shortly to be studying architecture, used his prize-winning photography skills to photograph a wedding in Wiltshire. He has also used his array of talents to carry out an urban design project for a town council, restring beads for a customer in Buckinghamshire and do a family photograph for four children to give to their father for Christmas.

Rachel, a History of Art Student at Nottingham, is copywriting for a company in Scotland. She started off by working for an hour a day, proved her ability and her workload has now been increased and she is delighted with the hands on commercial experience she has already gained.

James from Manchester University did some retail in-store promotions in Cheshire for a customer in Buckinghamshire who gave him daily sales targets. He exceeded his targets, earned himself a bonus and had offers of more work from both the customer and the department store.

-ENDS- is the brainchild of Joanna Ward and Sue Harrison, two women who saw the potential for the idea of a “one-stop shop” for students and businesses throughout the UK. They formed the company with James Rees, a student and director of the company, who helped in the design and creation of the website. The site can be visited at

For more information on, logos, photographs or artwork, or to arrange an interview with Joanna or Sue, please contact or telephone 01753 882657

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