The benefits of employing students and graduates

We’ve all read plenty in the press in recent years claiming graduates can’t find work; they aren’t ready for full time employment; their skills do not match employer needs; or they all want to move to London. Despite what the media reports, the reality is very different and there has never been a better time for businesses in West Yorkshire to embrace new graduate talent!

Students in the region are exposed to a curriculum enriched with applied learning and new technologies and, as such, are able to benefit companies from the very outset, bringing fresh and innovative ideas and perspective. To make the most of this, employers now have a multitude of different options for employing students and graduates, such as a placement year, graduate schemes and internships. In fact, internships are now a very effective and popular way of bringing in student or graduate talent on a shorter-term basis to ensure the intern and the business are the right fit for each other.

The benefits to businesses

  • You may have a project which requires a certain skill-set, or need extra employees to assist in your business, an internship can be a great way to tackle this. Many businesses are then able to take on additional work and clients due to the expansion of the team.
  • Interns can be additional support throughout a busy period which provides excellent work experience to the graduate and an extra pair of hands for the business.
  • Perhaps you want to grow your team but you’re a small business and need to ensure you recruit the right person for a permanent role – many businesses use internships as a ‘trial period’ with the aim of recruiting permanent staff.
  • Graduates are equipped with the latest skills and knowledge. They are enthusiastic and keen to apply their university experience in ‘the real world’.
  • An intern can also bring a new lease of life to a business and look at different ways of approaching daily tasks and routines making a more efficient working environment.
  • Able to plug a specific skills gap. If you are experiencing a specific skills shortage in your business get in touch with your local university to discuss graduates who may help fill this.

You’re interested, so where do you start?

Timing is key! Again, we recommend speaking to local universities who can support the whole process from advice on the best time to advertise, to the courses you should target and also creating job descriptions. Even if it’s something you think would be better to get involved with in the future – the earlier you find out the more likely you will be prepared when the time is right.

Everyone wants a diverse workforce and broadening your recruitment channels to include working with universities to do this may be the next step forward for your business.


Cerys Jones, Business Partnership Coordinator, University of Huddersfield