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Small East London firms don’t take graduates, survey finds

PUBLISHED: 15:00 04 January 2010 | UPDATED: 15:26 05 October 2010

HALF the small firms in East London’s Thames Gateway region are hindered in their business prospects because they don’t take on graduates, a shock survey has found. Around 58 per cent have no graduates on the payroll

By Mike Brooke

HALF the small firms in East London’s Thames Gateway region don’t take on graduates, a shock survey has found.

Around 58 per cent have no graduates on the payroll, according to research by the University of East London.

A lack of suitable positions was one reason why 54 per cent didn’t employ them, while 30 per cent said their business did not attract them.

Nearly half the firms responding to the survey felt graduates were not sufficiently prepared for the world of commerce and industry after years of academic life.

“This survey paints a bleak picture,” said the university’s Martin Chan. “But it might be helpful to rethink the expectations’ businesses place on them.

“Most graduate placement schemes in large corporations give an orientation’ period where graduates acclimatise to the company’s culture and practices. But it is unrealistic to expect that smaller businesses can afford graduates this break in’ period.”

Now the Government’s Higher Education Funding Council has announced £13.6 million to help 8,500 unemployed graduates get internships with small firms to develop their employability’ skills. Its aim is to help them move out of the student’ environment and into the real world’ of trade and industry.


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