The north-east is suffering a drain of graduates who leave the area after university because of a lack of opportunities, a job-finding agency has found.
Figures show that only 17% of graduates from Aberdeen universities stay in the area risking a loss of skills to businesses, according to Adopt an Intern (AAI), which specialises in the creation and facilitation of paid internships for Scotland’s graduates.
AAI has called on employers – particularly small businesses and the third sector – to take on graduates on a temporary basis in order to give them the chance to use their skills
The firm also works with under-employed graduates who are working but struggling to find meaningful employment in their chosen field.
AAI is currently targeting companies and public sector bodies in Aberdeen and shire to raise awareness of its services, which matches skilled graduates with internship opportunities at companies which could use extra hands for short-term projects.
Small firms and charities can receive funding from AAI for 100% of the worker’s “living wage” salary.
Joy Lewis, Chief Executive of AAI, said: “The Aberdeenshire area is a key focus for us in 2014. More businesses taking part means more graduates will be able to stay and work here. Our records indicate that the great successes that we have been enjoying, primarily in Edinburgh and the West of Scotland, are not being reflected in the Aberdeen area. We want to make a significant impact, benefiting both the vibrant businesses here and the excellent graduate talent pool.”
To date only 17 graduates/postgraduates from Aberdeen universities have participated in internships through AAI, less than 3% of the current total, the body said.
Ms Lewis said the not–for-profit agency does not focus on placing engineering graduates as there is already high demand for their skills among employers. AAI instead focuses on finding project work for graduates spanning most other areas including humanities, architecture, accountancy and business development. AAI was established by the Centre for Scottish Public Policy in 2010 and receives core funding from the Scottish Government.