Graduate Job Prospects Boosted by University & Business Alliance

graduate jobs

Recognising the crucial role they play in shaping future careers Wolverhampton, Sussex and London University have now partnered with Step. The commitment will give students and graduates access to bespoke paid work experience placements, in sectors ranging from engineering to communications.

In an increasingly hostile jobs market internships and work experience are crucial. Studies reveal that over a third of graduate vacancies are filled by candidates who have already worked in the company as an intern or on work experience.

Step’s research reveals that 78 per cent of its participants went on to full time work and 93% said that doing the placement helped them to gain employment2. Yet placements with employers are increasingly hard to find. And paid work experience is even more difficult to come by.

Step has been working with universities, students and businesses since 1986 and has organised and managed around 22,000 placements. Step offers opportunities to students and graduates at all universities however these new partnerships show graduate career development is taking priority on the higher education agenda.

Philip Donnelly, Step’s Managing Director explains: “We are proud of our approach to placing graduates and students, especially in small to medium sized companies where there are often a wider range of opportunities. We manage each stage of the process from helping with application forms to final assessments. And, importantly, all our placements are paid for – meaning that the benefits of work experience are open to all.

“Our work with universities across the UK shows us they desire greater involvement in the process. They want to see their students go on to shine. This latest development will mean we can help even more students and graduates meet their career aspirations. We are keen to involve more universities on this intense level and welcome enquiries.”

Step has worked with the Federation of Small Businesses to promote some of the benefits of graduate-level talent to small firms. FSB National Chairman John Walker, commenting on the 2013 launch said:

“I am pleased to see this programme expanding across the country and to see that more graduates are becoming aware of the opportunities small businesses can offer. I urge small businesses in turn to consider the benefits an enterprising student or recent graduate can bring to their business.”

And previous Step participant, web designer Matt Preston sums up:” I couldn’t tell you how much I learned from being with ExtraMile Communications for six months – it seemed a lot in such a short space of time.

“I’d truly recommend the Step scheme to any student unsure of what to do next. Whilst it gives you experience in the real world and lots of valuable knowledge, it also gives you a chance to earn your way so that you’re able to live and reap the benefits come the end of the contract, when hopefully you will be taken on in a permanent role, just as I was.”

More information on Step and its opportunities for businesses, universities, students and graduates can be found at