Exciting new initiative launched to help graduates kick-start their career

Free online resource seeks to match graduates with local employers to tackle graduate underemployment in Northern Ireland

In partnership with Business in the Community we have launched a new online graduate recruitment hub to help local employers find new talent and skills for their business, whilst helping graduates by providing meaningful employment related to their degree background.

The new website, www.graduateinternshipsni.com, is a free tool which aims to match responsible employers with suitable graduates based on information supplied at registration. It’s open to graduates from all disciplines, and employers throughout Northern Ireland.

Kieran Harding, Managing Director of Business in the Community, said: “Underemployment is a term that many graduates are familiar with. Unfortunately, since the 2008 recession, many students have graduated into a fiercely competitive job market, and as a result, many graduates are currently working in low- skilled jobs, or unable to secure permanent, full-time employment.

“Graduate Internships NI was developed to help tackle the issue, and ensure that this valuable talent pool stays in Northern Ireland. Research from the latest NI Skills Barometer shows that over half of graduate employers would be unlikely to recruit a candidate with no work experience, and so it is vital that we help to equip graduates with practical skills, relevant to their degree subject. Graduates can provide organisations with fresh knowledge, new ideas and a unique perspective.

“We are very excited to launch www.graduateinternshipsni.com and we hope that it is a valuable resource for both employers and graduates alike. I’d like to take this opportunity to thank Belfast Harbour for supporting the programme, and the development of this new online hub.”

Roy Adair CBE, Chief Executive, Belfast Harbour, added: “We are delighted to be part of this innovative programme. Graduate underemployment is a real challenge for Northern Ireland, and employers have an important role to play in in providing responsible work programmes. We wish both businesses and those seeking work every success.”

The Graduate Internships NI programme is open to employers throughout Northern Ireland. To take part, businesses must have a meaningful, paid graduate role available for 6 – 18 months, and provide a mentor for each intern. Participating companies are asked to demonstrate their commitment to providing responsible graduate internships by signing the Responsible Graduate Internship Charter.

For more information on the programme, please contact hilary.hanberry@bitcni.org.uk or call (028) 9046 0606.