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Graduate interns are more loyal than their peers, research reveals

Graduate interns are more loyal to their parent organisation than graduates who weren't interns, new research has revealed.

Organisations get on average six months' more work from their former graduate interns, an average total of 4.4 years' service, than other graduates.

Graduates in the energy and utility sectors stayed the longest (5.6 years), followed by IT and telecoms (4.7 years), law (4 years), and retail (3.5 years).

Better retention with interns

Typically an internship costs employers a median of £2,500 in training and development over a two-year programme. Nine out of ten graduates stay with their employer for the whole programme, but nearly one in ten leave the year after it ends.

Almost two thirds of graduates (66 per cent) leave their employer for a higher salary - despite the fact that those on structured programmes earn a median of £8,000 more than other full-time graduates after three years.

Half of graduates moved on because they weren't happy with their career progression, while 45 per cent wanted a career change. Other reasons 17 per cent of graduates left include performance, working hours, wellbeing, moving to a smaller firm, or going back to study.

Valuable experience

The survey of 191 employers was undertaken by the Association of Graduate Recruiters (AGR), representing almost 20,000 graduates.

Stephen Isherwood, Chief Executive of the AGR said, 'These findings underline the value of work placement students to employers,... [adding] weight to the anecdotal claim that candidates with work experience add more value to employers in the long run.'

He said that employers needed to provide work experience and internships to school leavers and graduates to help them make the transition into the world of work.

Acas publications and services

Acas has published pdf icon Employing younger workers [378kb], which goes through the steps an employer, a line manager and anyone in a supporting role should consider when employing a younger worker.

Acas has information on Volunteers, work experience and internships, and has published pdf icon Managing Future Talent - A guide for employers [1Mb], which aims to share good practice about how to create a workplace in which young employees can thrive.

The Acas pdf icon Recruiting staff guide [326kb] has all you need to know about recruitment and induction programmes.

Acas experts can visit your organisation and review your existing recruitment and induction procedures. See Recruitment and Retention: how Acas can help for more details.

Acas also offers practical training on Recruitment and induction, based on its own guidance, taking you through the legal and best practice elements of fair and effective recruitment.

For free, impartial advice and guidance visit Acas Helpline Online.

Visit the Acas Training Courses, Workshops and Projects area for more information.

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