Opinion: Why is this the week to worry about being an Agency Life Internship provider?

Earlier this week we celebrated the fact that a large number of our students had already secured their Agency Life Internships, and at least one Agency Life Internship employer had recruited all their future interns for the coming academic year. A large number of the other students are in the process of being interviewed and assessed by the remaining employers to determine whether they should work together. Some new employers are about to come on board and provide their internships and a few students have yet to complete their short CVs for employers to view and make decisions.

All in all, I think about 80 students have opted into the Agency Life Internship.We have about 30 local employers currently offering an Agency Life Internship.

I don’t think the maths adds up – I don’t want good students to miss out on an opportunity.

Tony Foggett of Code Computerlove (one of our Internship providers) and Chair of Manchester Digital revealed this week that firms that fit into the broader ‘digital’ sector struggled to find talent (and revealed that 50% turned work down because they could not fulfil due to a lack of staff). Aside from the technical roles that need talent, many firms described how they were unable to find staff who could work within the field of Search (SEO/PPC) and even the areas of client and account management, as well as areas such as digital strategy.

At the same time I receive several calls a week from agency heads, client-side managers and recruiter (literally) desperate to find (in their words) “Graduates with Experience“. Bar the 3 CVs I currently have, most of my #dmcm students have got what they want in the workplace – and not all of them (not many of them?) are up here in the North.

At the same time, students tell me they struggle to find the work up here (whereas the bright lights of London seem to shone very brightly with their job offers). All of the rational thinking says that it’s vital for Northern firms to engage early on in the life of a student (and with the University) if they’re to build up that supply chain of talent.

On Friday I’m talking at the very great SASCon conference here in Manchester about what we all need to do to attract, recruit and retain the young talent which is pouring out of University, hungry and ambitious. Again to an audience that knows how hard it is to remain competitive without a constant supply of new talent.

The rest of this site provides a rationale for joining Agency Life – but the key thing is for you to take control of this situation this week. Forget about last year’s Agency Life pilot – we’ve learned a great deal from that and massively improved the whole experience for employers and students alike. But it’s absolutely vital for you to provide one internship once a week to a deserving student. Please join our programme now and find the next person that will change your future forever.

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