Harrow Council has launched a work experience scheme to equip graduates with the skills needed for their future careers.
In the council’s Xcite scheme, graduates take on a ten week practical placement in council departments and Harrow Voluntary Sector organisations including Economic Development, Libraries, Community & Cultural services, Communications, Housing and Children’s Services.
Fewer entry levels jobs and high volumes of graduates have made it harder for inexperienced university graduates to find jobs in a very competitive market. Harrow council’s initiative aims to address these problems by providing graduates with practical work experience in the hope that they can find jobs more quickly once their placement is over. They also benefit from coaching and job search support from an assigned mentor for the duration of the scheme to re enforce learning and share expertise.
The council was successful in winning money from Jobcentreplus’s Flexible Support Fund to run the scheme.
Harrow Council’s Portfolio Holder for Planning and Regeneration, Cllr Keith Ferry, said: “Supporting our young people is a top priority for the council and despite our figures for the number of young people in education, employment, or training being the very best in the country, it is important that we continue to help improve prospects for our graduates.
“Jobs within the public sector have become increasingly specialised with the decline of traditional entry level jobs. By making these projects available to young graduates, they get to experience what it is like to work for a council. They will then be able to apply for vacancies equipped with some sector knowledge and experience.”
75 per cent of people on the scheme have found paid employment once their placement has ended.