A GRADUATE and undergraduate recruitment scheme run by a growing North East tech firm has paid off for two students from Northumbria and Teesside universities, in the shape of full time jobs.

Northumbria University student Dom Middlemiss and Teesside University graduate Mihaela Brinza have joined the 16-strong team at ION Industries, after completing successful placements as part of their degree courses.

Gosforth-headquartered ION are experts in the world’s number one customer relationship management system (CRM) Salesforce, which connects organisations more closely with stakeholders, using the latest cloud and data science technology innovations.

Northumbria University final year student Dom, 22, has just finished the second year of a finance and investment management degree, combining his studies with a two-day-a week placement at ION. He is now undertaking a full time placement as a Sage Financials technician.

He is joined on the payroll by Romanian-born Mihaela, 23, who graduated from Teesside University with a computer science degree and initially did a three-month internship with ION. Her new role will see her implementing and programming Salesforce, working within ION’s team of developers.

ION’s technical director John Huggins said: “We are delighted to welcome Dom and Mihaela to the business.

“Operating our own graduate and undergraduate recruitment scheme gives us access to a fantastic pool of talent right here on our doorstep, and benefits everyone involved. It gives the students the opportunity to combine studying with working, and gives them business experience and a foot on the career ladder at the same time.

“It is not just an altruistic move, it also delivers real business benefits for us, bringing fresh thinking into the company and allowing us to shape the skills we need to grow our business.

“As a fast growing business we are keen to identify and recruit fresh talent across multiple roles and show them that there are huge opportunities here in the North East without them falling into the trap of thinking that good tech roles are only available in bigger cities.

“The North East is a leader in the science and technology sectors, second only to London for growth in the number of new start up tech businesses and we must do what we can to ensure this level of ambition is maintained and talent is nurtured in the right way.

“As we expand the recruitment scheme we are looking forward to providing career opportunities for other talented young people like Dom and Mihaela.”

As well as covering the technical and IT skills that students need for their future roles, the ION graduate recruitment scheme is designed to deliver a hands on understanding of business as well as the soft skills required to become a good team member and contribute to an organisation’s success. The scheme is part of ION’s aggressive recruitment drive across its head office in Gosforth, and its recently opened Tech Roundabout office in London.

Dom, who comes from Durham, said: “It was hard work combining work with my studies at Northumbria University but I really enjoyed my placement and it was great to be offered a full time role.

“I enjoy the daily challenges working at ION as no two days are the same. ION’S undergraduate scheme has provided me with an excellent insight into the real life work with excellent training and support. This is a great opportunity for me and I see a great future for ION as it develops, and I want to be part of that journey.”

Mihaela, who came to the North East in 2014 and now lives in Teesside, added: “Having made my home in the North East and chosen to study at Teesside University, it was the icing on the cake to be offered a full time role with ION. The company’s reputation as development experts in a CRM which powers thousands of growing businesses in the UK makes this a brilliant start to my career plans.”