A GROWING North East tech firm has launched an undergraduate recruitment scheme, with the appointment of a Northumbria University marketing student.

The move is part of Gosforth-based ION’s commitment to bridge the skills gap and nurture young talent, and the aim is for the new scheme to employ and develop undergraduates into fulltime employees across multiple roles.

Kate Flett, 20, from Washington is studying for a degree in marketing management at Northumbria University and her role will see her working with the nine-strong team at ION to develop new and existing marketing materials for prospective and current clients.

Seeing the position as ‘an incredible opportunity’, she said: “Hundreds of students at the same time apply to the same companies so to be able to meet the team at ION and for them to see potential in me was fantastic.

I found out about the placement by making contact with one of the firm’s directors via Linked In. We met and discussed how the job would benefit my degree and how I could bring fresh ideas and a new perspective to the business.

I hope that by gaining marketing experience in a workplace, particularly in digital marketing, it will help put the theory I’m learning at university into practice.”

Technical director at ION, John Huggins, said: “ION has been working closely lately with Universities across the UK following the recent launch of our latest software package, GradTrak, which enables higher education establishments to work faster in delivering greater visibility and insights into graduate employment and increased funding opportunities amongst other things.

“We feel that by training undergraduates before they graduate not only benefits their experience and in turn helps universities place their students within businesses, but we can hopefully find some talented and qualified people who have been trained in-house to better meet our clients’ requirements and ultimately their growth.”

ION’s placement scheme for undergraduates covers not only the technical and IT skills that students need for their future roles but also delivers an all-round commercial understanding of business and the soft skills required to perform at the top.

He continued: “The skills shortage is something that affects us all – large and small businesses alike. With no sign of the constant change or competitive pressure within our clients slowing, it’s vital to teach the younger generation on a practical basis now.”

ION Industries was established in August 2016 and the firm is continuing its drive to actively recruit and train more developers and cloud consultants to join the team.