An employability programme designed to give experience and improve the job prospects of young graduates is flourishing- with over 214 having come through the system since it began.
Invest in Renfrewshire’s Graduate Internship programme offers paid work placements to Renfrewshire’s skilled young graduates who are unemployed, or underemployed, in their chosen sector.
Linzi Clark, the 200th intern to come through the programme, was struggling to find that first step on the ladder after graduating from university.
Linzi said: “I had graduated with a BA (Hons) degree in Commercial Music and found that it was difficult to get that first opportunity to start my career and so was working in Costa Coffee full time.
“My older sister had previously completed a graduate intern placement at Renfrewshire Council and recommended that I should look at the vacancies available through the Invest in Renfrewshire website.”
Linzi applied for an internship with the Paisley 2021 Bid Team as the town entered the race to be named UK City of Culture 2021.
“Having lived in Paisley my entire life, I was excited that Paisley was going to showcase everything it has to offer through the City of Culture bid.
“I had been actively looking for work in the creative sector and have a big interest in the creative arts and so when I saw the opportunity to work as part of the bid team, I thought it would be the ideal role for me.”
As part of her role Linzi works within the community to raise awareness of the bid and find the hidden stories within Paisley.
“The highlights have been getting to meet people from all walks of life through community engagement, and gaining a better understanding of all the amazing things that are happening in Paisley.
“I’ve assisted with the organisation of various community engagement events and cultural consultations and I’ve also had the opportunity to perform at various events including at the launch of the Culture bus.”
The internships are an excellent opportunity for graduates and of those who have completed their internship, 80% have gone straight into work or further education.
Council Leader Mark Macmillan said: “We made eradicating long-term youth unemployment a key aim of the Council and figures in June 2015 showed Renfrewshire had climbed to 4th for youth unemployment out of all 32 local authorities- previously having been 27th.
“The Graduate Internship programme has been a key factor in bringing young people into employment and giving them the experience and skills to move into jobs which utilises their degrees.
“It is important that we give our young people a chance to get their first step on the ladder which will set them up for a career in their chosen field- and Invest in Renfrewshire gives graduates that opportunity.”
Linzi now plans to use her experiences to continue working in the creative sector with a number of fields now open to her.
“Working in such a small team has meant that I have gained experience which has given me confidence moving forward in my career as I now feel better equipped to take on new challenges.”
“I would encourage anyone thinking of applying for an internship to do so, as it’s a really great way to gain new skills and kick start your career.”
For further information on undertaking a graduate internship or advice on how to take that next step in your career, visit: www.investinrenfrewshire.com, call 0141 618 7856 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.