Graduate Programme Wales run by the Welsh Contact Centre Forum whose mission is to nurture and retain talented STEM graduates in Wales has been awarded Best Academic Programme (Private Sector) at this year’s STEM Awards Wales.
The awards recognise the innovative STEM work taking place in Wales, addressing the diversity gap and skills shortage, and inspiring and raising the aspirations of the next generation. Hosted by Welsh broadcaster Sian Lloyd, the ceremony was help at Cardiff’s Mercure Hotel on the 27th October.
Graduate Programme Wales was one of 34 companies to be named finalists in this year’s awards and were up against 4 other companies in their category.
Managed by the Welsh Contact Centre Forum and part-funded by the European Social Fund, Graduate Programme Wales offers two graduate programmes; a two-year financial services programme and a fast-track data/ai programme which runs for 10 months.
It was set up to attract and develop STEM graduates into roles within Data, AI and Financial Services with a view of keeping high calibre talent in Wales.
What makes both programmes unique is that not only do graduates gain paid work experience, but they also study for a fully funded post-graduate qualification which has been designed collaboratively with over twenty industry and academia partners.
The employers involved with the Programmes’ include Admiral, Atradius, sa.global, Hodge Bank, Principality Building Society, Opel Vauxhall Finance and Pepper Money and since its inception in 2013, 214 graduates have passed through the programme, with an average of 91% securing well paid jobs by the end of their final placement.
The STEM Award was the second award win this year for Graduate Programme Wales and the Welsh Contact Centre Forum who were awarded a highly commended certificate at the Fintech Wales Awards, having won their category in 2021.
Programme Delivery Manager, Caroline Jerrett said: “We are delighted to have won this award. The team work so hard behind the scenes to run the Programmes, from attracting diverse and passionate graduates during the recruitment phase, to nurturing their professional development throughout their placements.
Our unique collaboration between industry and education has allowed us to adapt and respond with agility to the ever-changing landscape, to equip STEM graduates with the necessary skills to drive innovation and economic growth and to help close the skills gap that has been impacting businesses.
With the backdrop of the challenging economic climate, it’s Programmes like ours that will be crucial to ensuring businesses stay competitive by investing in the next generation of talent.
Get in touch to discuss how you can get involved with the future Programmes.