Graduates who have a hard time securing their desired graduate jobs can get into a new scheme to make themselves more employable. Direct Placements, a firm based in Victoria Street, Westminster specialising in recruitment and training, encourages graduates to consider getting into their unique career preparation program to develop their employability.
The Employment Placement Program (EPP), as the firm calls it, offers sector-focused training and work experience placement to graduates who want to establish careers in accounting, human resources, or digital marketing. Through the combination of training and work experience, graduates who find themselves having a hard time securing graduate roles can enhance their understanding of their career field of choice and develop core skills that will not only prepare them for the workforce but will also make them attractive to employers. “In today’s job market, the belief that ‘if you have a degree, you can easily find a job’ is just a myth. We have seen thousands of graduates who are either unemployed or stuck in jobs that are totally unrelated to their course. One of the main reasons this happens is because they are not prepared and do not demonstrate transferable skills that employers seek for in candidates,” said one of Direct Placements’ senior consultants, Alex.
Direct Placements want to help change these outcomes for graduates, which is why they have created EPP. It is a straightforward scheme that is all about career preparation and professional development. The firm holds interviews for interested individuals and those who are successful are provided with sector-based training and guaranteed work experience.
Although the work placement dimension of the program is not paid, it delivers more valuable benefits. For instance, those who undertake the EPP for human resources are matched with a human resources firm and assigned a mentor who will guide them throughout their work experience. Along the way, they are provided with tasks that they need to complete and submit. These tasks not only acquaint them with various HR functions, but also enables them to learn how to effectively communicate with colleagues and develop organisation, critical thinking, and time management skills. Likewise, the placement itself gives them the opportunity to understand the demands and rewards of being a human resources professional.
EPP’s structure is similar to most training and work placement programs in that it can last approximately for three months. What makes it different, however, is that flexibility is fused into its implementation. As Alex explains, “we have figured out that a lot of graduates are unable to commit to regular internships or trainings because they are holding full time jobs. In most cases, those jobs are their only source of income, so they cannot take the risk of leaving to do internship or training because they could end up having nothing to pay for their bills or feed their families. In the end, they get stuck in those jobs, which are often low-income and unrelated to their degrees. We find this quite saddening, so we thought of making our program flexible to allow more candidates to have access to it.”
With such feature, candidates can take the training and work experience placement at a time and place that is convenient for them. So if they have a 9-5 job during the day or any other commitment they cannot leave behind, they can do the EPP in the evening or during weekends.” The firms that have partnered and signed up with Direct Placements see no issue with this set-up because they see the value that the program brings. As one of their partner firms pointed out, “we appreciate what Direct Placements is doing for graduates, and in a way their program is also benefitting us because we are able to get extra set of hands when we have a lot of tasks to finish. It also gives some of our employees the opportunity to develop their leadership and management qualities.”
An increasing number of employers do not believe that graduates are well prepared for the world of work. This is why when it comes to recruitment, they prefer to choose more experienced recruits than those who have just emerged out of university. Direct Placements wants to change this and give recent graduates a better fighting chance at securing graduate roles by developing their knowledge and skills through their employment placement program.