Northumbria University Business School

Member Article

Business School leads new routes to graduate employment

The recent study entitled ‘High Fliers The Graduate Market in 2012’ indicates that “even though the total number of vacancies is set to increase in 2012, recruiters have confirmed that a third of this year’s entry-level positions are expected to be filled by graduates who have already worked for their organisations – either through industrial placements, vacation work or sponsorships”.

Newcastle Business School, Northumbria University has a strong reputation for enabling their students’ access to graduate employment opportunities through unique placement routes. This is evidenced by their ranking in the Top 10 for Graduate Level Employability in the Sunday Times Good University Guide in 2011 and 2012.

One particular and unique route to employment is through the Newcastle Business School BA (Hons) Corporate Management Programme. This is a ‘corporate style’ undergraduate degree, which combines one-year of intensive campus based experiential learning with two years of in-company work based learning, benefiting students with a wide range of business skills, being ‘employment ready’ at graduation and gaining an ‘earn whilst you learn’ paid placement.

The programme has been successfully running at Newcastle Business School since 2005 and has seen organisations such as Barclays, Enterprise Rent-a-Car, Ernst & Young, GEORGE (Asda Walmart), Greggs, KPMG, Nissan, Northern Rock and SCM Pharma benefit from 2-year student placements from this programme.

Testimonials show that employers value access to a high potential group of young people who can be developed in terms of the employer’s own specific requirements, alongside their academic studies. The programme is being used to either replace or supplement existing graduate recruitment and student placement programmes, or simply to provide an enhanced general talent pipeline for those without specific graduate programmes. It is increasingly seen as an enhanced placement/internship, taking the best between apprenticeships and graduate recruitment.

Dianne Sharp, Managing Director for SCM Pharma, a North East based pharmaceutical contract development & manufacturing organisation commented “The advantages of this programme for us is that the students are given a strong grounding in business in their first year at Newcastle Business School and join us hungry to put this knowledge into a practical context”.

“Our first student Robert has been with us for over a year now and has come on hugely. He has been able to experience various elements of the operation and is currently playing a key role supporting the account team in looking after our key international clients. Roberts’s customer service levels are such that clients have specifically requested him as their liaison when working on project with us. Following Robert’s success, we have since taken on a second student this year, Kristie, who within her first few months has impressed the team with her enthusiasm, efficiency and ability to deal with highly confidential and commercially sensitive information. Already, she is becoming a vital member of the marketing and commercial team”.

Julie Nowark, Management Development Advisor at Greggs commented “ By giving opportunities to students through this programme, we are supporting their professional development whilst contributing to our future success. We have been impressed with the calibre of all four of our students and their obvious enthusiasm and commitment.“

Lynne Mousey, HR Manager for Enterprise Rent-a-Car commented “Having the opportunity to work with these high calibre students early in their educational development, gives us a real competitive advantage as a business”

Jane Turner, Associate Dean for the Corporate and Executive Development portfolio at Newcastle Business School, commented “We put these students through a challenging assessment centre before we offer them a place on the programme, so we know we have talent from day one of the programme. Engaged and motivated people are fundamental to successful business and we are always looking for regional, national and international businesses who want to recruit the best and tap into the talent that we can offer”.

For information about the programme or if your organisation is interested in a two-year student placement visit
or contact Rob Wiggins, Business Development Manager for an informal chat on 0191 227 3576 or

This was posted in Bdaily's Members' News section by Northumbria University .

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