Edwards and Pearce report overwhelming response to Graduate Mentoring Programme with 1,000% increase

A Yorkshire-based professional recruitment and development company has received an overwhelming response to its annual graduate mentoring programme with a massive one thousand per cent increase in applicants.

Felicity King, who co-owns Edwards and Pearce with her husband Dan King, says that in previous years she has had 20-30 graduates on their programme but this year she has had over 260 applicants.

“Our graduate support programme combines the two separate areas of our business, both recruitment and development.  We talk to employers every day and know the pressures they are feeling too. 

“On the one hand there is an endemic skills shortage as companies struggle to recruit experienced people, then on the other hand, fast-growing business requires a very well-established training and development function to ensure new recruits are supported and nurtured as quickly as possible.  Not all companies can manage this and, as a result, many small to medium-sized companies (SMEs) have shied away from recruiting graduates because they feel under resourced and feel it’s too risky.

”As a result of the pandemic, remote and hybrid study have also meant human connection, collaboration and all-important personal development isn’t in focus anymore. Whilst students have been busy adapting to the changing way university education is delivered, it has meant that the vital skills required to jump into your first position like confidence, professional conduct and being part of a team, are often lagging behind.  Our programme exists to fill that gap between employer needs and graduate employability.”

The mentoring programme is delivered as online workshops over three weeks with the aim of preparing graduates to secure their first position and then continue to succeed in the future.  It explores three key areas –personal branding, practical skills, like writing CVs and application letters, doing interviews and navigating the type of roles on the market, and finally, the incredibly important world of networking for your early career and beyond.

Felicity continued: “It can be a scary time making the leap from university to employment and there isn’t any one size fits all transition programme to solve this.  On top of that, there’s such a lot of uncertainty at the moment in the world in general that graduates need more support than ever.  I think that’s what’s being reflected here in the hundreds of graduates applying to join our programme.  I don’t think there has ever been a more important time to make employability more HUMAN focused.  I believe EMPATHY is the key to helping young people understand who they are and develop the courage to be everything they are meant to be.”

With such overwhelming numbers, Edwards and Pearce are looking at different ways to deliver this increasingly popular programme to get the message out to as many students across the UK as possible to let them know that they are not alone and that help is available. 

As well as professional coaching from Felicity and sector specific insights and advice from members of the firm’s senior recruitment team, all graduates will have access to Edwards and Pearce’s Digital Empowerment Platform, a social literacy tool which helps people understand each other better, collaborate more effectively, innovate, problem solve, build resilience, be more productive and, most importantly, be happy.

For more information about Edwards and Pearce and its graduate mentoring programme, please visit www.edwardsandpearce.co.uk.  Alternatively, please call 01482 621721.