SMEs ‘would benefit from graduate internships’

Government plans to increase internships will allow small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to benefit from taking on graduates, an expert asserts.

The Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills recently unveiled the Graduate Talent Pool initiative, which will match people to internship schemes in private companies.

Elspeth Farrar, vice president of the Association of Graduate Careers Advisory Services, says that small firms tend to lack the financial resources to offer intern positions and the new scheme could see fresh talent injected into these workplaces.

She states that the SME sector has the potential to directly benefit from the talent pool, claiming small firms tend not to have established internship schemes and will be able to set them up with the government support.

However, Farrar adds that the success of the scheme is dependent on employers creating sensible intern programmes which offer real value to graduates.

The Graduate Talent Pool will see 250 short-term placements created through Mini Knowledge Transfer partnerships, which are a collaboration between a higher education provider, a company and graduate, with this figure increasing to 500 in 2010/11.

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