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The North East Business and Innovation Centre (BIC) recently welcomed 36 undergraduates from Newcastle University as part of their ‘Careers Insights’ initiative which introduces students to the wide range of exciting opportunities available to them in smaller businesses.

Throughout the day the students participated in a programme to learn about the vital role small to medium enterprises (SMEs) play in a growing economy and to explore the career opportunities for graduates in diverse sectors.

Paul McEldon, chief executive at the North East BIC, said: “It’s extremely important to us to fly the flag for small businesses and to showcase the fantastic opportunities available to students.

“SMEs represent 99% of all private sector companies in the UK, and many of these are micro businesses, however they often do not get the exposure they deserve. Smaller companies seek talented graduates who bring fresh ideas and skills to ensure they flourish and grow for years to come.”

During their visit to the BIC the students met six high growth businesses: Analutos, Arc Adoption, Cedrec, Desco, Maxim FM and Narrative Integrated Communications. This included presentations from both company directors and graduates, during which students were encouraged to proactively engage with SMEs to access the great prospects on offer.

Paul continued: “We’ve received some excellent feedback from the students and businesses and hope to continue working closely with Newcastle University to support their students in the future.”

Naomi Oosman-Watts, careers assistant director at Newcastle University, said: ‘The North East BIC have been a key partner in supporting us to set up our Careers Insights Scheme, just one example of a how we support students to gain relevant work experience, explore opportunities and build strong networks with employers.

“We wanted to make sure that the vibrant SME sector in the North East was a key part of this scheme and through working with the BIC, we have been able to introduce the students to a huge range of businesses and support them to build networks in the region, ultimately supporting graduate success and ensuring increased talent retention for the region.”

For more information about the North East BIC’s work with local universities please contact Lilla Preston on 0191 516 6021.

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