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Project CompleteOver 80 businesses received support from this project (most of whom had never employed graduates before), and 100% of them agreed the graduates made a difference to the growth of their business!Targets were exceeded in terms of graduates being supported, and awareness of the benefits of graduate skills has been raised within local businesses who are now more likely to engage with the service in future.

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Hot Prospects

 

About the project...

The aim of this project has been to positively influence supply and demand related to graduate level skills shortages in Bolsover district.

One element to the project was to engage with Bolsover district employers, specifically small to medium enterprises (SMEs), to educate them on the benefits of employing graduates, challenge perceptions and raise awareness of how higher level skills can support their business. The target group of SMEs included those that had not previously employed graduates, had struggled to access higher level skills, or were reluctant to take financial risks in the current economic climate.

The other element was to raise graduate awareness of the district as a desirable destination, highlighting opportunities and conducting interviews to understand graduates’ desires, aspirations and fears.  The target groups included graduates that were currently not in work or training, or that were employed in non-graduate jobs.

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Hot Prospects - Contacts

 

Project Manager

Elizabeth Wilson
FMC Ltd.
Fairfax House
2 Henley Way
Doddington Road
Lincoln
LN6 3QR
01522 695011
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Website


www.hotprospects.org.uk

 

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Hot Prospects - Case Studies


Krantech Holdings Ltd

Krantech Holdings Limited, a Bolsover based manufacturer of specialist sub-sea products for the off-shore oil and gas industries, makes the most of recruitment grant funding thanks to the HotProspects in Bolsover service.

The business, whose products are used all over the world, is no stranger to recruitment, in fact within one year they tripled their workforce. However, in such a technically demanding, highly certified line of work, when Krantech needed to take on someone to ensure that everything they do is up to standard and has the correct documentation they realised they needed someone with a different type of skill set to their usual criteria.

So when HotProspects contacted them in regards to their completely grant funded graduate recruitment service offering, it seemed like a perfect match. Within a month of this conversation Krantech had their new graduate working for them, Chris Dixon.

Chris graduated from the University of Aberdeen with a BEng in Mechanical Engineering just a month before he started at Krantech, but it wasn’t just his relevant degree that made Chris the ideal candidate. Chris had plenty of extra curricular activities and work experience that really set him apart, something that Krantech recognised. So when HotProspects contacted them again asking if they would host a graduate level work placement for a top local graduate they were happy to oblige.

This unique opportunity allowed local Sheffield Hallam graduate, and Bolsover resident, Steve Elliot to further demonstrate his IT skills within a commercial environment which in turn led him to develop his CV even further, in addition to demonstrating Krantech’s commitment to higher level skills, and upskilling the district.



Dynament

Bolsover based Dynament, a high quality gas sensor manufacturer, is just one of the companies to have used the service, which matches available positions to graduates with the right skills. Delivered by HotProspects and funded by Bolsover District Council, it provides businesses with up to £1,000 towards recruiting graduates in both permanent and temporary positions.

Dynament’s innovative approach to design of gas sensors has secured them a worldwide customer base from their South Normanton headquarters, and as the business has changed and developed they have had to grow their workforce to stay ahead. So when the decision was made in 2011 to take on another qualified electronics engineer to meet the growing demand the firm turned to HotProspects to help find the right person. Having used the HotProspects in Bolsover service to fill the role before in 2010, Dynament were confident their requirements, no matter how specific, would be met.

Mo Shiran is an MSc Electronic and IT graduate who fitted the criteria so perfectly. A graduate from Sheffield Hallam University, who moved to Manchester following his MSc he relocated to Bolsover to take the job. He said, “Having been to university not that far from Bolsover I knew the area was a lovely place to live, but I didn’t think there was much available there for someone with my skill set so I moved away following my graduation. So when HotProspects called me and said they had a position in the area I didn’t think twice about applying.”

Having started mid January Mo has already had an impact and is putting those skills developed throughout his degree to good use. “Currently I’m working at circuit level to develop prototypes for clients, which is ideal as it puts the skills I’d developed on a previous placement as well as on my degree to the test.”


Ashfield Supplies

Chris Randle graduated from the University of Lincoln with a degree in Public Relations in 2007, when HotProspects operated on an East Midlands basis with no geographically targeted project in Bolsover. Originally from the Chesterfield area Chris stayed within the region for his degree, and decided he wanted to stay here once completing his studies. He originally contacted HotProspects upon graduating, however found work elsewhere, taking on various positions around the Nottingham and Derby areas.

However, Chris soon found he had strayed away from what he studied at university, and as a consequence where he wanted to be. After being made redundant from his first related job Chris decided to look into employment nearer his home. So Chris got back in touch with the service, who were now operating a targeted programme for the Bolsover area allowing Chris to find work through a targeted local project. Chris described his experience of the service this time as ‘dedicated, enthusiastic and totally competent’.

HotProspects placed Chris at Ashfield Supplies on a placement as an online marketing assistant, allowing Chris to gain relevant employment experience, and Ashfield to identify how this could work as a full-time position and benefit from the knowledge Chris gained during his studies. Chris helped them to monitor and implement their online strategy, ensuring the business increased awareness of their brand in just a short placement.

Chris is a prime example of how the service can help make a difference even through small short term placements, encouraging the up take of high level resource, whilst providing graduates with the chance to prove their worth. Speaking about his opinions of the service Chris states ‘I would recommend the service to graduates and employers alike’.


Econolyst

Joe Benatmane is a first class Management with Information Technology graduate from The University of Manchester. Joe secured the position as an Environmental Management & Sustainability Marketing Executive for Econolyst having seen the role advertised on the HotProspects site. Joe had previously applied for another role elsewhere in the East Midlands but was unsuccessful. Joe didn’t let this put him off - he used the feedback provided to make himself even more employable. When Joe first saw the advertisement on the HotProspects website he felt supported by the team from the start. Speaking of his experience Joe said ‘I felt valued and really knew HotProspects were pushing my application.’ It was with this support that Joe secured his position and relocated back to his home town of Nottingham in order to commute to Bolsover. Joe is currently seeking to move into the area to be even closer to work.

Joe joined Econolyst with experience in a variety of areas in addition to the skills he developed as part of his degree.  Since then the role has allowed Joe to extend these skills and his knowledge further, and he is thoroughly enjoying his role there. The role provides Joe with the opportunity to work with numerous partners on projects that in a larger company he would perhaps not have had the chance.

Joe praised the service, not just for their help in securing the position, but also the feedback and support provided. Having held numerous roles previously and applied for other jobs, Joe praised the HotProspects in Bolsover team for providing him with advice: ‘I believe, whether positive or negative, the feedback you get can be incredibly valuable in providing you with an experienced perspective on your application’.

Having had such a positive experience of the service himself Joe has already recommended the service to his friends, in the hope that they will also secure a position in the district, or at least secure some sound advice to assist them with the first step in their careers.

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Hot Prospects - Outputs

 

Outputs 08/09
Actual
09/10
Actual
10/11
Actual
11/12
Total

Businesses assisted to improve performance

  51 36   87

Graduates using service to find work in Bolsover

  202 211  

413

Graduates benefiting from placement opportunities   24 17   41
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Hot Prospects - Archive

 

2010/11 Year End

The focus of activity in Quarter 4 shifted to managing existing contracts rather than chasing cold data in order to maximise return on investment.  This ensured that key accounts were closed off correctly, securing the future sustainability of the graduate placements and potential long term employment as WNF ceased at the end of March 2011.  A total of 11 placements were facilitated in Quarter 4 (the start dates of some are April 2011), bringing the total number of graduates placed to 17 in 2010/11, against a target of 36 (47% achieved).

The secondary objective for the quarter was to supplement the evaluation produced in December 2010 with comprehensive recommendations for future activity.  The output driven nature of the project has limitations on a restricted geography with a business demographic such as Bolsover district, and lessons learned have revealed opportunities for improving on retention and allowing more long-term focus.  The report is available from the LSP website.

Although this project will not continue to be funded through the WNF from April 2011, the Hot Prospects service will still be available across the East Midlands.  The longer term benefits of the Bolsover specific Hot Prospects service is that it will have raised an awareness of the service within Bolsover businesses that are then more likely to engage with the service again should further graduate placement opportunities arise.

2010/11 Quarter 3
During the current financial year, the HotProspects service has failed to achieve the number of graduate placements it was profiled to deliver.  Regular meetings have taken place with HotProspects to address the challenges being faced, resulting in the project making a number of alterations, amendments and additions to its operations.  However, the number of graduate placements is still lagging considerably so an evaluation report prepared by HotProspects was taken to the Employment and Enterprise Action Group in January 2011.  The outcome of that meeting was that the contract should continue until March 2011 with the aim to continue working with all businesses that currently have placements identified to fill them by the end of the financial year.  The overall view was that the HotProspects service had met a need but recognised that the business market had been saturated and the intensive service was no longer needed in the district.  A copy of the evaluation report is available upon request.
2010/11 Quarter 2
Although Q2 has attracted a number of new businesses and graduates to the service, the number of graduates commencing placements have been much lower than profile.  A number of meetings have taken place with the project managers to discuss concerns and new approaches are being tried to increase success, including more dedicated resource towards business support.  Having said that it is very unlikely that the target of 36 will be achieved by March 2011 and a revised target of 21 has been proposed by the project.  An interim evaluation report has been submitted which sets out progress, the key challenges and successes.  This will be considered by the Employment and Enterprise Action Group so that a decision regarding the future of the programme can be taken.

312 graduates have been directly engaged with about the service and there are now 72 businesses actively registered. Recent additions include City Scaffolding, Hirst Signs, KB Install.

2010/11 Quarter 1
The project has experienced a difficult quarter with very little interest from businesses.  Therefore plans have been put in place for an alternative campaign that began at the very end of the quarter. The campaign turns the recruitment process on its head, and takes a portfolio of top graduates seeking work in the area out to businesses, with HotProspects going out to meet businesses to tell them exactly what these graduates could do for them. The Project Manager has reported that this approach is looking positive and graduates are keen on the idea.
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