Building on the success of the Talent Scotland Graduate Placement Programme and since launching in 2013, ScotGrad has supported over 700 student and graduate placements in organisations across Scotland. We will continue to facilitate opportunities for highly qualified candidates to undertake innovative placement projects supporting business growth.
Getting into paid, secure employment is still one of the biggest challenges facing graduates today. One recent survey suggests many young people are still being excluded from the labour market as a result of the 2008 recession.
Thanks to ScotGrad, more than 87% of the 464 graduates who have completed placements so far have had ‘positive outcomes’ including gaining permanent placements, graduate-level employment or continuing their education.
ScotGrad facilitates placements across all sectors in Scotland. The programme’s top three sectors for placements are in food and drink, life sciences and technology & IT, placing over 38 per cent of the total successful applicants.
Placements, before, during and after tertiary education, have become vital for students and graduates to accumulate the skills and work experience employers look for. This is reflected in the continuous growth we’ve seen in the numbers of applications, applicants and successfully appointed placements.
One graduate who has benefitted from ScotGrad first-hand is Eilidh Todd, who is now working as a Development Manager in the Community Assets team at Highlands and Islands Enterprise. After graduating from the University of St. Andrews with a degree in Geography, Eilidh secured a 12 month placement with The North Highland Initiative through ScotGrad.
Hired as a Destination Development Coordinator, she worked on a number of projects designed to improve the tourism offering of the North Highlands. A finalist in the Highlands and Islands Tourism Awards in the Young Ambassador category, Eilidh’s hard work led to her placement being extended by two years.
Three years on, Eilidh says: “I first came across ScotGrad through my university’s careers service. I knew that I didn’t want to live and work in London, but I never expected I would find such an interesting and rewarding role in the Scottish Highlands!
“I am so happy that I applied for my placement, it has been incredible for my career. I love working with the local communities in the north Highlands and I have now secured a permanent role assisting community groups across Caithness, Sutherland and Wester Ross to access funding to help them take ownership of land and property. Without my ScotGrad placement I wouldn’t have had such invaluable opportunities and experiences at this stage in my career.”
Another successful ScotGrad Associate, David McGawn joined Glasgow-based ICS Learn as a web developer in 2013 on a 12 month placement. Still with the company in 2016, he has developed his skills and built on the knowledge he acquired at university, studying for his degree in Multimedia Technology.
He commented: “The placement at ScotGrad fitted my degree perfectly, and being in the education sector, I knew they would encourage skill development. ScotGrad is a great starting point for graduates to get into the industry they are looking to work in. ScotGrad work with a wide range of organisations so there is a high chance there’s something for everyone.”
To get started on your ScotGrad journey, check out available graduate placements here.