Nottingham talent scheme builds on internship success

21 Jan 2011 12:00:00.000
PA 23/11

This year, candidates who have worked for an employer as interns will fill one third of all graduate jobs, according to the latest report from High Fliers Research, The Graduate Market in 2011.

Now a nationally commended career development scheme at The University of Nottingham designed to strengthen graduates’ skills in the workplace and help gain great jobs has earned a new lease of life.

The Talent Builder Internship Programme ran from July 2009 to December 2010 to help recent graduates gain work experience and enhance their employability in the current challenging economic climate — as well as supporting local organisations with graduate level input.
Click here for full story
 In the National Council for Work Experience Awards 2009-2010, Talent Builder at Nottingham gained Highly Commended Organisation recognition the Best New Placement Scheme category.

While the original £1m funding for Talent Builder has ended, The University of Nottingham’s Centre for Career Development has developed an alternative internship programme to maintain contact with the many regional organisations that benefited from the programme, as well as future graduates.

The Talent Builder programme was originally funded by HEFCE, the Higher Education Funding Council for England, and The University of Nottingham. It facilitated paid internships for over 300 recent graduates, with 120 based within SMEs (for profit and not for profit), 119 within The University of Nottingham, and 74 at larger businesses and large not for profit organisations.

Stephen McAuliffe, Director of the Centre for Career Development at Nottingham, said: “This Internship Scheme has been a unique opportunity to apply the entrepreneurial spirit of students and graduates to completing projects during a difficult economic time.

“Talent Builder gave interns real responsibility from day one. They utilised their skills and knowledge as graduates to steer a project, giving fresh insight and energy to solving problems.

“Internships are about benefits to the organisation as much as the individual. Our programme is built around student interest across all sectors and company needs — including charities, not-for-profit organisations, social enterprises, small-medium sized businesses and multinationals — a real collaborative effort to bring real experience to graduates and real benefits to organisations.”

From 253 responses to the final evaluation survey of hosts and interns, 100 per cent of hosts and 99 per cent of interns would recommend the programme to others. In addition, 98.5 per cent of hosts stated that the intern was a benefit to their team, and 96 per cent of interns reported feeling better placed for seeking employment than they had before the internship.

Out of 53 interns who completed a follow up survey, 76 per cent reported they found employment within six months of completing their internship.

All Talent Builder internships helped the host move forward with a project or activity by providing a recent graduate to devote time, effort and enthusiasm to make it a success.

In December, the Centre for Career Development celebrated the success of Talent Builder with around 80 hosts and interns who had participated in the scheme. It was an opportunity for the hosts and interns to speak about their experiences on the programme and how it has improved the outlook for their future careers — we even heard from interns who have since been hired by their host.

“I have recently been offered a graduate trainee role at a large multinational company,” said former Intern Chris Forrest, whose 16-week project with a University department included a trip to China to support an international network and conference.

“I think that without the experience, insight and support I received during my placement, I would not have been offered the position,” he said. “I believe that it was my placement, courtesy of The University of Nottingham, that was fundamentally responsible for helping me begin my career.”

“The Talent Builder scheme has been invaluable to Headway over the past year,” said Luke Griggs, Communications Manager at the brain injury association. “We have been fortunate to have had the support of several highly-talented graduates who assisted us on varied projects across departments.

“The work of each of the interns has been of an excellent standard, minimising the amount of time required to train and supervise them. In addition, the willingness of the interns to learn and develop new skills has been very impressive.

“As a charity with limited resources, we rely on voluntary support to help us achieve our targets. The Talent Builder scheme has enabled us to embark upon and complete a number of important projects that may otherwise have been delayed.”

Potential hosts who would like to learn more about student and graduate internships for 2011 should contact the internship team at or +44(0)115 846 7173 or visit

— Ends —

Notes to editors: The University of Nottingham, described by The Times as “the nearest Britain has to a truly global university”, has award-winning campuses in the United Kingdom, China and Malaysia. It is ranked in the UK’s Top Ten and the World’s Top 75 universities by the Shanghai Jiao Tong University (SJTU) and the QS World University Rankings.

The University is committed to providing a truly international education for its 39,000 students, producing world-leading research helping the communities around its campuses in the UK and Asia.

More than 90 per cent of research at The University of Nottingham is of international quality, according to the most recent Research Assessment Exercise, with almost 60 per cent of all research defined as ‘world-leading’ or ‘internationally excellent’. Research Fortnight analysis of RAE 2008 ranked the University 7th in the UK by research power.

The University’s vision is to be recognised around the world for its signature contributions, especially in global food security, energy & sustainability, and health.

More news from the University at:

Facts and figures at:

Story credits

More information on Talent Builder is available from Stephen McAuliffe, Career Development Centre Director at The University of Nottingham, at, +44(0)115 9513671. For information about the 2011 schemes please contact Becky Blunden from the Internship Team at, +44(0)115 8467173.
Simon Butt

Simon Butt - Stakeholder Relations and Campaign Manager

Email: Phone: +44 (0)115 84 67156 Location: University Park

Additional resources

No additional resources for this article

Related articles

Applicants put University of Nottingham in UK top three

Published Date
Wednesday 2nd February 2011

Nottingham is a top target for graduate employers

Published Date
Tuesday 15th January 2013

Unitemps is one!

Published Date
Wednesday 16th March 2011

Media Relations - External Relations

The University of Nottingham
YANG Fujia Building
Jubilee Campus
Wollaton Road
Nottingham, NG8 1BB

telephone: +44 (0) 115 951 5798