From September/October time, many university graduates around the UK will take the exciting first step into the world of work – by starting graduate schemes or jobs.
Companies of all sizes and in different industries hire graduates, taking them on as either full-time employees or as part of a scheme where at the end of a predetermined period (often 1-3 years), the graduate then looks to apply for a full-time role internally.

What is a graduate scheme?

A graduate scheme is a training program offered to university students for when they finish their studies. It is aimed at providing them with a breadth of experience, often offering rotational placements which allow the individual to try their hand in a few different teams/areas of the business.

Why recruit graduates?

As well as employing full-time employees as the bulk of their workforce, companies offer various graduate roles to supplement these full-time hires. Despite their limited experience, graduates often showcase unique attributes that can generate impressive business advantages. Below we’ve outlined some of the main reasons you should consider hiring graduates for your business:

– They adapt quickly to new challenges

Students often bring high levels of enthusiasm, are keen to learn new concepts and then apply them in the workplace. Additionally, their flexibility allows them to easily conform to the company’s work ethics and culture, as they have limited experience so can be moulded in the shape of your business specifically.

– Demonstrated return on investment

Hiring graduates is often great value for money and can be more cost-effective than hiring seasoned workers to do the same role. Moreover, a company can evaluate students during the scheme duration before then committing more resources in hiring them for long-term roles thereafter.

– Graduate placements attract less investment in wages

The salary of a graduate is normally less than that of a full-time experienced employee, yet, there is no huge contrast to their work output. This is because graduates are often given responsibilities above their pay grade to gain this valuable experience first-hand, before then receiving pay rises later after they have proved they can operate at this higher level.

– They come with fresh perspectives

The right graduate hires will demonstrate high levels of confidence [1], offer new creative ideas, fresh perspective and can give rise to innovative initiatives that could transform the prospects of your business.

Why choose a graduate scheme?

Getting hired as a graduate employee can help kick-start your career. But, are graduate schemes worth it? Without work experience, getting a job even at entry-level within a company can be very difficult, with many employers looking for a minimum of 2 years of experience in the field. Being new to the job market can be overwhelming to new graduate professionals who haven’t gained the key skills desired by employers. Here are the benefits that you stand to gain from a graduate programme:

– You enjoy a smooth transition from studying to a job market

UK graduate programs are an excellent platform to develop your career fresh out of university plus build rapport and networks within your chosen industry. You’ll usually be part of a cohort of other graduate employees, so you can share your experiences with them whilst developing great professional relationships.

– The exposure helps you make more informed career decisions

By working in several areas of an organization and tackling different projects, you will gain valuable knowledge and skills that could help shape your understanding of the right career path you want to pursue [2].

– You can get professional training, mentoring and support

Graduate opportunities normally offer fantastic training opportunities and support. You can get industry accreditation and companies sometimes offer to pay for you to study for qualifications, whilst you’ll likely be set up with a mentor in the business who can provide you with great advice and support in growing your career.

– Consistent career progression

Your newly acquired expertise will be an invaluable addition to your CV. It could result in you being offered a full-time position with the company or if not, you’ll now have the work experience which should allow you to apply elsewhere for positions [3] that you otherwise would not have been able to do coming straight out of university.

[1] https://www.grb.uk.com/recruiter-research/7-benefits-of-hiring-graduates

[2] https://theundercoverrecruiter.com/benefits-graduate-trainee-programmes/

[3] https://www.reed.co.uk/career-advice/six-reasons-to-join-a-grad-scheme/

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