Megan Milligan is one of scores of Renfrewshire residents to get a permanent job after an Invest in Renfrewshire Graduate Internship. She is now a Project Assistant with “I Am Me”, an award winning project that works with Police Scotland to raise awareness of Disability Hate Crime.
The Invest internship programme gives local graduates the chance to gain meaningful work experience and build their skills and CVs. Interns can work with the council or other local businesses, on projects in degree disciplines such as business, IT, social sciences, marketing and media. They are paid the Living Wage on projects that last from six to eleven months.
Invest in Renfrewshire is the council’s business support and employability partnership. Since its launch in 2012, it has worked with over 850 local businesses, created almost 1,000 jobs, and found work and training for more than 3,000 people.
Megan applied for the post with I Am Me; “because I felt like the job description was speaking directly to me. Disability hate crime and harassment is a subject close to my heart, and I really wanted to be a part of something that was trying to make a difference in the community.” Her role was to raise awareness of disability hate crime which is one of the most under reported crimes in the UK.
Of the work itself, Megan said: “We do so many different things in the I Am Me project, so whilst I was expecting to raise awareness of disability hate crime, I didn’t realise just how many ways we could do it! We visit high schools, primary schools, disability groups, day centres, local businesses, town halls, and have even visited the Scottish Parliament. We also work in partnership with Police Scotland and Renfrewshire Council, and many other organisations from Renfrewshire and beyond.”
Councillor Mark Macmillan, Leader of Renfrewshire Council, said; “The internship programme is good for graduates looking for that first step on the career ladder and it’s good for businesses and organisations that need graduates’ skills. Invest in Renfrewshire is committed to developing a thriving, skilled local economy and internships contribute to this aim by offering graduate careers in the area.”
After her internship, Megan applied for the permanent post of Project Assistant with I Am Me. She was successful at interview and is now an established member of the team, firmly on her chosen career path, and has even bought a house in Paisley.
To other graduates who have yet to land that career-starting job, Megan says: “I always tell people about Invest in Renfrewshire. An internship can lead to a career and use your hard-earned degree. The Invest in Renfrewshire team is so helpful. They all care about getting people into roles that suit the individual. There’s strong support network that stays with you throughout your internship, and it’s obvious that they care about the young graduates of Renfrewshire.”
To apply for an Invest in Renfrewshire Internship, you need to be younger than thirty, have graduated in the past two years and be a Renfrewshire resident. If you, or someone you know, could make a great intern, please call 0141 618 4690 to speak to the team. Invest in Renfrewshire also offers programmes and services for people of all ages, levels of experience and educational backgrounds. Renfrewshire residents looking for work or training opportunities should call 0300 300 1180.
Anyone who is affected by Disability Hate Crime or who wants to know more about the issue should visit: www.iammescotland.co.uk