"In a year that has seen an average of 52 job applications for every graduate position, an 11% increase on last year, resulting in many organisations finishing recruitment for the year early, the Scottish government are setting an example for the rest of the UK..."
In a year that has seen an average of 52 job applications for every graduate position, an 11% increase on last year, resulting in many organisations finishing recruitment for the year early, the Scottish government are setting an example for the rest of the UK with their new pilot scheme.
The £505,000 scheme aims to help graduates secure permanent jobs.Up to £3,000 has been given to firms with fewer than 50 staff in Lanarkshire, Renfrewshire, Dumfries and Galloway and Ayrshire to ensure they take on a graduate in a permanent post.
The scheme, run by the Scottish Chambers of Commerce, is starting on a small scale, with up to 100 graduates set to benefit in the scheme's first year. Some of the money will be put towards creating careers fairs to emphasise the employment opportunities out there for graduates within small businesses. Scottish Chambers of Commerce chief executive Liz Cameron said graduates were crucial to the development of Scotland's knowledge-based economy.
Ms Cameron also commented: "This new initiative is a great example of how genuine partnership between Scotland's public and private sectors can make a real difference to business and to the employment prospects of the highly skilled graduates that will be the driving force behind Scotland's economic recovery."
Youth Employment Minister Angela Constance said the move would open up new opportunities for graduates, and enable many smaller firms to harness the potential of talented young people.
"We are committed to tackling youth unemployment across the board and have already put substantial funding into improving the prospects of our young people," she said.
"In times of economic difficulty, it is young people who can suffer the most. When job opportunities are scarce, employers tend to turn to people with more experience.
"While this week's figures on graduate destinations showed that 90.4% from Scottish institutions found work or furthered their study, we are aware that many have been unable to find a permanent post."