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The headline figure from the bi-annual Association of Graduate Recruiters (AGR) report makes grim reading for those poised to leave university. As has been widely reported, the average number of graduates applying to each vacancy has risen to 83 – up from 31 just three years ago. On the face of it, job prospects look slim for the class of 2011. However, the view on the ground from Inspiring Interns paints a different picture.

“The AGR report gives a skewed picture of the graduate job market,” insists Andrew Scherer, Inspiring Interns’ marketing manager. “It has too great an emphasis on big business and as such does not reflect the positive developments within SME recruitment.”
Inspiring Interns, who specialise in helping small business connect with graduate talent through internships which lead to permanent jobs, have seen far less competition for positions in smaller firms. Although they may not provide a marquee name for your CV, often these roles provide far greater responsibility and better prospects for young jobseekers.

“Students are often drawn to the ‘big boys’ on the milkround, who advertise heavily with university careers services and can offer eye-catching starting salaries. For many graduates, however, starting with a smaller company is often a more rewarding move. Better work-life balance, improved job satisfaction and swift progression up the career ladder are the sorts of benefits many employees find working within small business can bring.

“Importantly, graduates will come up against less competition when applying to SMEs and are far more likely to succeed with speculative applications. It is crucial that we broaden students’ horizons when considering their careers and make them aware that graduate jobs do not start and end with the big multi-nationals.”

Scherer and Inspiring Interns are championing internships as a new and successful approach to encouraging small business to hire university leavers and getting graduates into work. Their model – a three month placement with minimum lunch and travel expenses, with a view to permanent job – has seen over 1,000 graduates complete internships in the London area in the last two years, with 65% of them going on to secure full-time work with their host company.

Internships are a perfect stepping stone between university and starting your career,” explains Scherer, who has also written a guide to completing internships, Brilliant Intern, to be published by Pearson in September. “They give you the chance to learn more about a particular sector, judge whether a role is right for you, and gain crucial employability skills. For the employer it also gives them the chance to look at graduate talent that they might otherwise have ignored in favour of candidates with one or two years’ experience.”

The message from Inspiring Interns is for graduates to stay positive about their job hunt. “Don’t let negative media dishearten you. There are plenty of opportunities out there if you look in the right places. Focusing on smaller companies and completing an internship could be the key to unlocking your career.”

About Inspiring Interns

Inspiring Interns was set up in February 2009 by Ben Rosen when he saw the perfect opportunity to help the ever-increasing number of unemployed graduates find their dream jobs and provide help to SMEs looking for top quality staff. They have since placed over 1,000 graduates with small business, creating over 600 graduate jobs.

Brilliant Intern, by Andrew Scherer, will be released on the 28 September 2011.

Andrew Scherer is available for interview. For more information please contact Andrew Scherer, Inspiring Interns marketing manager:
020 7269 6729
07590 660 945

This press release was distributed by ResponseSource Press Release Wire on behalf of Inspiring Interns in the following categories: Children & Teenagers, Business & Finance, Education & Human Resources, Public Sector, Third Sector & Legal, for more information visit