A NEW scheme aimed to getting graduates from Pendle into work has been launched.

Pendle Council hopes to link graduates and local firms to help recent university leavers get jobs in the local area.

The project, part of a £340,000 investment into jobs in Pendle by the council, will offer the graduates six to 12 month placements across a range of business and organisations in the borough, with starting salaries of £16,000 a year.

Coun Joe Cooney, leader of Pendle Council, said: “We’re putting a lot of energy into linking businesses and organisations with talented graduates who might otherwise have to leave the area to find work.

“This new scheme is a vital part of the £340,000 we’re investing in jobs and in our economy as part of our Gearing up for Growth initiative.”

As part of the scheme, Pendle Council will provide grant funding to cover part of the graduate’s wages, help firms and organisations get a skilled graduate who has graduated in the last three years with a relevant degree, and make sure businesses get the chance to employ a graduate who can focus on a specific project or fill a gap in their organisation.

The council launched the initiative at Concept4, a marketing agency on the Lomeshaye Industrial Estate, which was one of the first companies to get involved. Now the council is seeking more companies to become involved.

Coun Paul White, who leads the council’s economy, said: “We’re already taking action.Graduates can bring great benefits to local companies with fresh ideas and expertise, but it can be hard for graduates to get their first job. By working together we can make a real difference to both businesses and job seekers.”

For more, call Roger Plum at the council on 01282 877353 or email roger.plum@pendle.gov.uk.