A Mansfield businessman is encouraging other local firms to get involved in the Aim Higher scheme to help youngsters get their first step on the career ladder.
Graham Parker, of Parker PR, says taking on a work experience placement was a ‘no-brainer’ as takers were degree standard employees who could provide vital help.
The scheme matches a local undergraduate with a business in either Mansfield or Ashfield to work on a specific project that will help it grow.
Said Graham: “With the Aim Higher scheme I got to interview three business students and choose which one I thought suited me best.
“It was a tough call but I chose Adam Miller and he proved himself well up to the challenge.
“With Aim Higher employers pay just 20 per cent of an intern’s pay and the rest is funded by the EU.
“Adam was with me for seven weeks but he paid for himself inside two weeks by finding me potential new clients.”
University student Adam Miller, of Mansfield, worked on a marketing plan to help Graham launch his inspirational speaking career.
Said Adam: “This involved carrying out research into market trends, competition and routes to market.
“As well as this, I helped organise Graham’s client database and dealt directly with current and potential clients.
“I have gained experience and skills that are transferable to my future career and have developed me as a potential future employee.
“I believe I now stand a much greater chance of securing a yearlong placement during the third year of my studies. This is all down to the Aim Higher scheme.”
Graham added: “I firmly believe in treating work experience placements as I would any other employee.
“I expect them to get on with the job and shadow me through a working day.
“This meant Adam being with me for early morning client meetings until the late hours at networking events. He never balked at the demands placed on him.”