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Recruitment intern programme hailed a success

Fourteen recruitment firms and 24 students from universities across the UK – including Manchester, Warwick and Reading - took part in the 12-week paid scheme set up by trade body APSCo (Association of Professional Staffing Companies) with the aim of positioning recruitment as a valid and long-term career choice. One of the students has accepted a permanent position on completing her degree, another is continuing to work part-time in the role while finishing his studies, while many other have various employment opportunities open to them in the future.

The scheme, run in conjunction with Step – an organisation dedicated to administering paid undergraduate work placements and graduate internships – required participating recruitment businesses to provide a structured programme of training and practical work experience which would provide interns with transferrable skills within the recruitment profession. The interns, who were paid &pound250 a week over a 12-week period, were each assigned a named mentor to guide and support them through the process.

Miles Baker, a first year undergraduate at Warwick University, who is studying law and business studies, joined London-based e-commerce recruiter cranberry panda as an intern in July and enjoyed the placement so much he is now working one day a week at the firm while finishing his degree. He says, “I didn’t really understand what recruitment involved and had never considered it a career option before now but the internship has shown me the various skills the job entails and the options that exist for career progression. Throughout the internship I was very involved in the day to day business, from attending client meetings through to researching candidates. I’m thrilled to be able to expand my knowledge by working part-time.”

John Gaughan, Director at participating firm Finlay James, estimates the four interns he took on added &pound65,000 of fee income to the business and has offered one a permanent position on graduation. He comments, “As a business our exposure to the interns has been amazing. Their drive, passion and willingness to learn is unprecedented and just having them here has ensured that we all up our game. I will certainly be involved in the internship programme next year and envisage taking 6-8 interns on.”

Ann Swain, APSCo CEO, comments: “We’re delighted that this pilot scheme kicked off to such a flying start and we’re already making plans to repeat the programme next summer. The recruitment profession is growing in size every year and is crying out for talented young individuals to help take it forward. We wanted to tap into the pool of high achieving undergraduates while they are actively considering their career choices and the scheme has done just that. Our conversations with the interns have revealed that it’s really opened their eyes to recruitment as an exciting profession that presents excellent opportunities. For those who decide it’s not for them, they will leave with a valuable understanding of the commercial world and the part that recruitment agencies play in helping businesses meet their staffing needs.”


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