Computer Science graduate Cameron Hunter is applying his software skills to help expand production at a leading North-East textiles specialist.

When Washington-based Griffith Textile Machines (GTM), an innovator of fabric forming machinery and creator of Axminster carpets for prestigious venues worldwide, was looking to develop new software systems, the company turned to the University of Sunderland’s bespoke recruitment service Uni4Talent.

The University service launched over a year ago and connects employers with emerging student and graduate talent, by providing a bespoke and effective support process.

Cameron graduated in 2017 with a First Class degree, the first in his family to go to University, and was placed with GTM through Uni4Talent as a software developer.

Tony Campbell, Software Development Engineer at GTM, said the company turned to their local university as they wanted to recruit a “talented and educated developer”.

“Cameron is now a valued member of the software development team playing a key part in the production of new software systems,” said Tony.

“He is currently involved in the new loom control software project. This is a key project for the company and Cameron’s flare for user interface design is a great help. He is a great asset and we are grateful to Uni4Talent for sending him our way.”

Cameron, 24, from Country Durham, said: “I was brought in as a software developer in the R&D team and it’s been a great experience working for GTM. Being on an R&D team is the perfect role as it allows for creative ideas, producing various software systems and products to show management and inspire new ideas for the teams and it helps greatly in bringing the manufacturing into the future where data capture and analysis, manageability and reliability are paramount.

“I have recently been branching out to fully understand every team’s role in the company to get a picture of the possibilities in producing other systems that can assist in creating new workflows that reduce time wastage, and improve employee satisfaction.”

Cameron added: “Achieving my ideal job through Uni4Talent would not have been possible without all of the practical work experience I was able to access during my time at university and helped me understand how valuable my skills are to an employer in the IT and software industry.”

Cameron secured an internship, first with the University’s Computing Department on a ‘Big Data’ Project in his second year, then with KP Snacks in County Durham in his final year, working on an app development project. In 2018, having gained extensive work experience he landed a graduate level job as a PHP developer with Inspired Agency.

He said: “The Uni4Talent team understand what you want, what your capabilities are and what your end goal is. They will do everything to show you relevant roles with their clients that suit your needs, set up the interviews, help you all the way through to the interview, it’s as simple as that, and is a must for any student that wants a step up on everyone else.”

Uni4Talent is the University’s recruitment agency and provides everything from temporary projects, part time roles, permanent positions and internships, as well as customised graduate development programmes. Businesses looking to recruit in a cost-effective way are supported through the entire process.

Duncan McDonald, said: “It’s great to see Cameron go on to achieve a fantastic graduate position with a local business. We have worked with Cameron throughout the course of his degree at Sunderland and so it’s encouraging to see that Uni4Talent is helping to keep emerging IT talent in the region”.

“Finding the right fit candidate for a business takes time and energy. Uni4Talent can provide access to thousands of registered candidates, from our own students and graduates through to professionals with years of industry experience”.

Uni4Talent provides a range of professional services, such as detailed candidate searches, targeted email campaigns, first-stage interviews, flexible employment and account management.

For more information about Uni4Talent click here.

Student profile: Cameron Hunter

At college, Cameron studied a BTEC in Media Production, building a portfolio in film, video and print media. However, once he had completed the course, he felt he wanted to do something different.

He explains: “Because I had been programming in PHP and building basic websites from the age of 12, I felt that doing a Computer Science degree was my best option. After doing research on various universities it was clear Sunderland had the best all-round course for programming and preparing me for the industry.”

Asked how the University helped with developing his practical skills that would lead to a career in computing, Cameron said: “Professor Yonghong Peng was my supervisor during my dissertation, he noticed that my skills could help another professor in prototyping an API driven data capture and analysis system, tracking runners around Sunderland, and producing socially influenced art based on feedback from runners in the area.

“This was my first introduction to Duncan McDonald, Uni4Talent Team Leader, who would become an instrumental part in the start of my career. As soon after my internship with the Professor came to an end he introduced me to one of the managers at KP Snacks. After that I worked for KP for nine months, with meetings, and conversations at KP, I played a key role in creating a new data capture system”.

“This system is still used 12 months after I finished the project.”

Cameron says he thoroughly enjoyed his University experience.

“University opened my eyes to the wide range of career opportunities that are available, from creating robotics to creating software packages and websites. The University was very enjoyable as after learning three or so programming languages and developing with them, it was clear by the end I could find a job that I was happy doing.”

So what advice does Cameron have for students beginning their own university journey?

“Take in the full experience from the social aspects to the course, don’t stress about not getting the grade you wanted; go back to the drawing board, find out what went wrong and what went right, fix your weak links and you will get a First Class degree without doubt.”

Griffith Textile Machines designs and builds bespoke textile weaving machines including looms and spare parts for the Harris Tweed Industry. They are market leaders and have a cutting-edge R&D department specialising in electro-mechanical and state-of-the-art software systems.

The company is also involved in manufacturing specialising in creating Axminster carpets for prestigious environments. From hotels, museums and golf courses, to restaurants and public houses. For more information, click here