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Like most local authorities we have an ageing workforce - in five years time more than 50% of our employees will be 50 and over. Something needed to be done to help balance the scales, and that something resulted in 17 graduates being welcomed to the Council this week.

Fresh out of university and college, the former students are the first to be accepted onto our new Graduate & Internship Programme, which was launched earlier this year to help fill skills gaps and improve workforce diversity.

Designed to bring new ideas and thinking to the table, the scheme offers successful applicants a great way to put what they’ve learnt in the lecture theatre into practice while earning a wage and bolstering their CVs.

At the induction on Monday, August 26th, the graduates, who have studied a diverse range of subjects including Geography, Business Studies, and Social Policy, were welcomed to the Council by Stuart Ritchie, Director of Corporate & Housing Services.

He made it clear that part of their role was to challenge the status quo, ask the simple questions – why, how and when – and “make us think and act differently”.

“To do that you have to challenge what it is that we do and help us innovate, become leaner, make us go faster, and become more efficient and effective,” he said. “We want to learn from the skills and attitudes that you have and hopefully you’ll listen and learn from us too. If you are not sure ask and people will help you the best they can. A bright future starts today for you, for us and the partnership between us.”

The graduates, who all have specific projects or research to take forward, will work with us for either 12 or 24 months. Out of the 17 joining the Council through the programme, nine will work in Development Services, seven in Corporate & Housing Services and one in Children’s Services.