Local graduates help fill local skills gaps

27 Mar 2017


Graduate Michael Kenny is the first candidate to successfully gain employment through the Chamber’s Graduate Hub.

Following a training programme at the Chamber, Michael recently completed his work experience at Zut Media and has just started a six month paid placement with the company.

During his time at the Chamber, Michael received training in leadership and management, marketing and sales, IT, customer service and communication. All graduates coming through the programme receive employability skills training including CV preparation and interview skills, designed to create attractive candidates for businesses.

Helen Walsh, Graduate Hub Programme Manager at St Helens Chamber, said: “We’ve created the Graduate Hub to help bridge the gap between university and the world of work. The programme aims to provide talented young graduates with the skills employers are looking for.”

Mark Hancock, Co-Owner at Zut Media, said: Our Graduate Michael has really hit the ground running. His production-related degree has given him a good understanding of what we do as a business as well as providing him with some basic level skills that we can nurture.

“We have also been really impressed with his eagerness to work and learn more. It’s only early days but if Michael carries on showing the same level of effort and willingness to learn we will definitely offer him a full time position at the end of his initial 6 months period.”

The Chamber’s Graduate Hub is part of the Access to Work programme, which is funded by the Youth Employment Initiative and the European Social Fund. It aims to help match local graduates looking for employment with local businesses, trying to fill skills gaps.

Graduates complete 4 weeks full-time at the Chamber undertaking initial training to fill any gaps in their knowledge. Businesses can meet them at a ‘Meet the Graduate’ event before they complete a one-week work trial to ensure the match is right.

Following this the graduates complete a six-month placement with the company, during which time they are employed by the Chamber, handling payroll, HR and paying a 50% wage subsidy throughout the six months.

With a new cohort of graduates starting the programme in April, the Chamber is currently keen to speak to businesses who think they might have a vacancy suitable for a graduate.

If you think you may be able to employ or graduate, or would like more information, please contact the Workforce Development Team on 01744 742333 or email workforce@sthelenschamber.com