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Encouraging graduates to live, work and stay in the region

Sunderland Software City is just one of the North East businesses which is helping to raise awareness of opportunities for graduates to build their careers in the North East.

As part of the North East Local Enterprise Company’s Live, Work and Stay campaign, Sunderland Software City’s Head of Skills and Training, Jill McKinney, and Events Co-ordinator, Jordan Hewitt, shared their thoughts on the factors which inspire graduates to stay in the North East, and how businesses can play their part in encouraging more to live, work and stay here.

Sunderland Software City provides support and creates opportunities for aspiring and established digital businesses. The organisation runs regular skills meet-ups, where people can find out about the tech sector in the North East, and organises Tech Talent, the North East’s largest tech-specific careers and opportunities fair.

“It’s really beneficial, not just to Sunderland Software City, but to the sector as a whole to retain graduate talent within the region,” said Jill McKinney. “Graduates come with a lot of ideas, they come brimming with enthusiasm. They see the world from a whole different lens and it’s really good to draw on their ideas and the fresh talent that they have,”

Talking about the Tech Talent careers fair, Jill added: “It’s a great way to encourage talent from both inside and outside the region to consider a career in the North East. It’s important graduates get the message before leaving university about the opportunities in our region. There are some great things coming out of the North East, we have world renowned businesses based here and we need shout about ourselves.”

Jordan Hewitt completed a Masters degree in Business Management at Sunderland University before securing her role as Events Co-ordinator at Sunderland Software City.

“I think the North East offers great opportunities for graduates, particularly with regards to the links between the universities and business. The support goes way beyond graduation. There’s a lot of support and opportunity available to engage with business before you graduate and following graduation as well.”

“I didn’t know the tech sector was an area I would work in but it’s a booming industry and there are some fantastic career opportunities as a result. It’s also very supportive; people want to work in partnership and collaborate. I think that’s such a positive aspect about working in the North East, people genuinely want to help each other,” said Jordan.

Watch Jill and Jordan’s short film:

The North East Local Enterprise Partnership’s Live, Work and Stay campaign is helping to raise awareness of the range of opportunities there are for graduates who choose to stay in the North East after university.

See more graduate and employer stories at www.nelep.co.uk/live-work-and-stay and join the conversation on Twitter with #LiveWorkandStay.

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