Helping businesses gain access to graduate talent and supporting students to gain real-world experience has led De Montfort University Leicester (DMU) to be shortlisted for a regional business award.
The Graduate Champions Internship scheme gives recent graduates the chance to do a six-week internship with a business, fully-funded by DMU, ensuring the graduate earns a wage and there is no cost to the company.
This year, DMU engaged with 118 businesses and developed partnerships with 49 of them, resulting in 72 interns getting a placement and working 6,900 hours in the businesses.
Now the work of the Careers Team to help businesses get graduate talent and boost employability has been recognised in this year’s Leicestershire Business Awards. It has been shortlisted for Best Education and Business Partnership in the awards, run by East Midlands Chamber. The awards will be presented on Friday.
Zul Muhammed, graduate success officer, said the scheme helped graduates grow their professional networks and develop ‘soft skills’ like communication, managing workload and teamwork.
He said: “We are very proud of our Graduate Champions Internships. The scheme stands out for its innovative approach to developing soft skills and providing real-world experience for students. The scheme not only provides valuable opportunities for students to gain practical experience but also supports local businesses by providing them with access to the skills and expertise of DMU graduates.
“The impact of this partnership has been significant, with graduates achieving success in a range of industries and contributing to the growth and development of the businesses they work with. In addition, DMU has fostered strong relationships with local businesses, resulting in increased opportunities for students and graduates and supporting the growth and development of the wider community.”
One business which has benefited from Graduate Champions in the past year has been Sensitive Care Solutions in Leicester.
Kelly Grosse, recruitment manager, said: "Having the program send us an intern who is a perfect fit for our company, was well suited for the dynamics of the business. The intern joined our team, seamlessly fitted in bringing new ideas and new energy, throughout their time and helped our business. The intern was made to feel welcomed and supported during their time with us. We are truly grateful to be part of a scheme that helps to support all those wanting to learn and develop more within their careers."
The next round of Graduate Champions will take place for 2023 graduates in summer 2024, running across August and September. If you would like find out more about the programme and how your business could benefit, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Posted on Wednesday 1st November 2023