Up to 1,020 Scots graduates will be helped to find the right job for their skills, thanks to funding worth almost £4.6m for schemes to support graduates into the workplace.
First Minister Alex Salmond announced £1.2 million funding for the Graduate Recruitment Incentive and Adopt an Intern schemes to place unemployed graduates in permanent posts or internships within small or medium-sized enterprises over the next year.
The First Minister also launched the ScotGrad scheme, with £3.4 million funding over the next three years from the SME Growth Programme, to support businesses to grow and create employment opportunities for graduates.
The programme matches skilled graduates with ambitious Scottish businesses to undertake innovative projects that the companies would otherwise not be able to progress. Graduates will undertake projects to design and develop new products, adapt products for overseas markets, introduce new processes and systems for the company, undertake marketing and market research, create new websites or online presence for the company, and target international markets.
Mr Salmond urged employers to take advantage of the latest initiatives as he met graduate recruits and other employees of Macleod Construction before officially opening the company’s new Mull of Kintyre Industrial Estate – on the site of the former Jaeger factory – in Campbeltown.
“We are determined to invest in the skills and talents of all our young people, right across the country, to help them build a more prosperous future for themselves, their families and for Scotland,” he said.
“Scotland has one of the lowest youth unemployment rates in Europe but there remains much more to do. That’s why we’re working with a range of partners to invest in various initiatives and using this week to engage employers directly on how young people can aid their business growth.”
Graeme Ogilvy, Scotland director for CITB-Construction Skills, says: “We welcome this scheme to support graduates into the workplace. The construction industry can offer a wealth of opportunities for young people who are considering their future careers, with the applied element of construction graduate courses providing a new graduate with a greater chance of employment as it means they can directly meet a business skills need.
“With a large percentage of the Scottish construction sector due to retire in the next five to ten years, this further increases the opportunities available in the industry. CITB-Construction Skills is playing an active role in promoting these to young people across Scotland.”