Rapid growth meant that this Aberdeenshire charity needed to up its IT game to impress funders. A graduate placement was a key player in moving things in the right direction.
What's your company background?
Aberdeen Foyer is a charitable organisation, established in 1995. Our work aims to prevent and alleviate youth homelessness and unemployment in Aberdeen City and Aberdeenshire.
We've grown significantly since we began with a staff of six - we now employ around 130 people across five service and business areas, via 15 different sites.
Why did you take on a graduate placement?
We'd previously been involved in a Knowledge Transfer Partnership and it was through this programme that we learned about the TalentScotland (now ScotGrad) Graduate Placement Programme. Further research on the Programme showed that the aim of the placements was to support businesses to grow, to improve operating efficiency and to increase competitiveness. All key in relation to the project we identified.
The programme was also attractive as the graduate placement would continue to receive off-site training during their time at the Foyer, specifically aimed at providing additional business skills and innovation to the graduate, which would also benefit our own organisation.
What is your graduate involved in?
Our graduate placement is taking forward the development of a client database across the whole of the organisation.
This involves a range of skills, including communication with a wide range of staff, training users of the database, producing training materials, providing solutions to technical issues and the design and development of an outcomes framework, integral to the system development.
In addition, Aberdeen Foyer has moved to 'Cloud Computing' and the graduate is supporting the transition to this innovative, new development.
How's the graduate placement programme benefiting your organisation?
It's taking forward major IT developments which will support business growth and signal to potential funders that we have a robust infrastructure in place resulting in increased efficiencies.
Our graduate has embraced the project enthusiastically, shown real commitment and showcased his technical skills in a complex organisation. He has developed strong working relationships with staff across the organisation and is able to quickly grasp and provide solutions to emerging issues.
We are delighted with our graduate placement and are looking forward to benefiting further from his continued involvement in the organisation.