Jobs: Research shows students are missing out on working for small firms

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Students and graduates are missing out on employment opportunities with small and medium (SME) sized firms.

Research by banking giant Santander suggests that only one in eight university students would pick working for an SME as their top career choice, despite the role UK SMEs play in national employment.

However, twice as many graduates end up working in an SME.

Luis Juste, director of Santander Universities UK, said: “Our specialist team works very closely with 66 universities throughout the UK. Together we are passionate about helping students and graduates gain employment in these difficult times. It’s great to see that working for an SME is the number one career choice for one in eight of those polled, but we believe this could, and should, be significantly higher.

“The realisation that so many students don’t think about their job hunt until after they’ve graduated, combined with the number who are under the misapprehension of the career opportunities in a small business, underlines that Santander and our university partners, need to do even more to educate students about the benefits of working in a UK SME. We’re excited to be announcing such a big extension to our internships programme and are confident the scheme will continue to grow and help secure the much needed jobs for our upcoming talent.”

Santander is expanding its internships programme, offering 1,500 students internships at SMEs to help promote the opportunities of working in this part of the economy.