A GRADUATE is working at St Nicholas Hospice Care as part of a Government scheme to help unemployed students into work through work placements.
Alex O’Brien, from Bury St Edmunds, graduated from Northumbria University in July with a degree in business and human resources but has been unsuccessful in finding a job.
Like thousands of other graduates, Alex was forced to claim Jobseekers’Allowance while he searched but was keen to gain experience which could help him into employment.
His adviser at Jobcentre Plus suggested he take part in the scheme which enables jobseekers aged 18 to 24 to undertake work experience for up to eight weeks while still claiming out of work benefit.
Alex is now working in the hospice’s personnel team and said: “This position has given me confidence in my abilities as I have been given the responsibility to get on with a variety of projects.
“Everyone has been extremely supportive, taking time to help with my personal development to enable me to apply for human resources roles, confident in the knowledge I can do everything on the job description.”
Andrew Denny, chairman of Bury’s Chamber of Commerce, said: “I recommend people take these opportunities because it’s better to be able to say you’ve had the experience. It does make someone more employable. But it is sad when someone has to work for free just to get the experience. I feel sorry for everyone who has just left college with a good standard of education and can’t find the places.”