More graduates given intern route to jobs thanks to new scheme

Angela Constance: 'One young person out of work is one too many'
Angela Constance: 'One young person out of work is one too many'
Share this article
Have your say

GRADUATES struggling to find work are to be offered internships to help get them on the

career ladder following a £200,000 investment from the Scottish Government.

• The £200,000 fund will help pay for 110 graduate work placements throughout 2012 and 2013

• The funding will form part of the ‘adopt-an-intern’ scheme

• The scheme has already helped 193 graduates take up internships, with 66% gaining permanent employment as a result

More than 100 placements will be created this year as part of the Adopt an Intern scheme.

Set up by the Centre for Scottish Public Policy, an independent think tank, the scheme provides graduates with paid work placements in organisations throughout Scotland.

Since it was established in 2010, Adopt an Intern has helped almost 200 young people in this way, with two-thirds of them said to have gone on to a permanent job after their


The government funding comes after it emerged many university leavers are being forced to “dumb down” their skills in an attempt to find low-paid menial jobs.

A report published last week by Citizens Advice Scotland said almost a quarter of graduates were unemployed for up to a year after leaving university, while one in ten could not find a job for at least 18 months.

The funding was announced by youth employment minister Angela Constance yesterday while visiting the

Edinburgh charity, Working on Wheels.

She said: “Schemes like internships can be the very break that young people need. Interns can develop and learn new skills while gaining vital experience of the modern workplace.Adopt an Intern has already seen 193 graduates take up internships, with 66 per cent achieving a permanent job.

“This is an investment in another 110 young people and 110


“The talent and potential of graduates will be used to help grow businesses, which is good news for the young people, the employers and, of course, the Scottish economy.”

All interns are paid at least the minimum wage for at least three months, at a minimum of 20 hours per week.

Robin Parker, president of the National Union of Students Scotland, said: “Any increase in the number of paid internships will certainly be welcome news for recent and future graduates. Unpaid and underpaid internships entrench privilege. When only small groups of people with large bank accounts can afford to take up work experience, opportunities are limited for those from less affluent backgrounds to move into employment.”

Universities were negotiating agreements that will widen access for people from more deprived backgrounds, he said. “However, that won’t be enough if there are barriers that stop students from disadvantaged backgrounds being able to afford internships or traineeships.

“All employers should ensure that a fair day’s work earns their interns a fair day’s pay. Young people put in long hours to get a foot on the career ladder. By ensuring that interns and trainees receive the compensation they so rightly deserve, and providing structured placements, we can ensure graduates move into employment based on their