Edition
Read
Watch
Listen

CCR Graduate Scheme

The University of South Wales has been the strategic Higher Education lead in an ambitious pilot partnership that has emerged with the Cardiff Capital Region.

This partnership has sought to develop a new graduate internship and business engagement scheme for the South East Wales area, with a view to generating opportunities to create a pipeline of early career talent into a range of industries across the region - from small & medium size enterprises and charities, to large scale businesses.

CCR Graduate Scheme

The University of South Wales has been the strategic Higher Education lead in an ambitious pilot partnership that has emerged with the Cardiff Capital Region.

This partnership has sought to develop a new graduate internship and business engagement scheme for the South East Wales area, with a view to generating opportunities to create a pipeline of early career talent into a range of industries across the region - from small & medium size enterprises and charities, to large scale businesses.

This employment and skills focused initiative is but one strand of the Cardiff Capital Region (CCR) City Deal Programme. Agreed in 2016 between the UK Government, the Welsh Government and the ten local authorities in South East Wales; CCR aims to bring about significant economic growth in the region through investment, upskilling, and improved physical and digital connectivity.

With a focus on graduate talent retention and business development, USW has led work on behalf of the four Universities in the region. With the pilot scheme benefiting 26 graduates initially, this has now flourished into a 4-year funded plan to grow the numbers of graduates working with local businesses to up to 500.  

As USW we are proud to act as the lead partner on the scheme.

Emma Adamson, Director of Learning Services

USW alumni possess a wealth of talent and skills, which through this Scheme has been matched to our local business community via paid, graduate level employment. The CCR Graduate Scheme continues to provide a range of credible and exciting paid opportunities for early career Graduates across the SE Wales region.

As USW we are proud to act as the lead partner on the scheme, working in collaboration (with Cardiff University, Cardiff Metropolitan University and The Open University in Wales), to bring this scheme to life; with our partners in industry and the Cardiff Capital Region office. Thereby endorsing and generating both employment and skills growth within Wales, as well as innovation and enterprise across our business networks.

How does the scheme work?

The premise of the CCR Graduate Scheme is to match talented graduates in the region with businesses who may not have previously considered the added value and skillset that a graduate can provide to their organisation. 

Graduate Development Officers work with businesses to identify areas in which a graduate can enhance their profile or output, and provide free recruitment support to identify, assess and present the most viable graduates who have applied. The initial focus is to recruit into a 6 month paid graduate internship that has viability for long term sustainability once embedded within the business.

Companies in the region clearly benefit from this ongoing support which continues into the induction and onboarding of the graduate.  One such company, Magmanager – a magazine management software firm – was founded and is run by USW alumna Mandy Mardell (BSc Information Technology, 1997).

How the Scheme benefits businesses

“We are a SME business based in Monmouthshire. We provide software to publisher and currently manage 700 magazine titles in the UK. 

It has been a difficult time for many businesses during the pandemic but we found that we needed to support our publishers even more during this time. Thanks to the CCR Graduate Scheme they helped us recruit during the pandemic and supported us with a mix of face to face and Zoom interviewing. We’ve had great success finding excellent graduate talent through the Scheme and we hope these graduates will stay with us for the long term. We’ll definitely be looking at expanding our team with support from the CCR Graduate Scheme. If you are a graduate or an employer, I would highly recommend getting in touch with the CCR Graduate Scheme, as they offer excellent support to both graduates and future employers. 

I’m particularly pleased to be involved in a Scheme that can assist graduates including those from my own University. It’s great to be able to support the University that gave me such a positive experience and kickstart to my professional life.”

While there’s clear benefit for employers, USW graduate Tia Elise Scawthorn (BA Advertising Design, 2019), shares her insights as Graduate Marketing and Communications Officer with eTeach – a leading specialist provider of education recruitment solutions.

“One of the most appealing aspects of the CCR Graduate Scheme was being able to combine working in a professional field associated with my subject of study, with the opportunity to gain a fully-funded professional qualification in leadership & management at the same time. Joining the CCR Graduate Scheme has been the best decision I’ve ever made!”

As the local economy in Wales rides out the storm of Coronavirus, so too has the Scheme. With local knowledge gathered in the pilot, Graduate Development Officers have been able to pivot programming and skills matching to focus on the needs of the Life Sciences and Digital sectors that continue to recruit despite these unprecedented times.

Are you an early years graduate looking for new opportunities or a potential employer looking for top graduate talent? Visit the CCR Graduate Scheme for more about the initiative.