General newsTuesday, July 14, 2020

IGS provides record support for Scottish Internship Programme

Written by

Georgia Lea

Entrepreneurial Scotland has announced that its Saltire Scholar Internship Programme 2020 has received a major boost from IGS. Taking a long term view beyond the disruption of COVID-19, the technology business will host one of the largest group of scholars ever taken by a single company of this size since the Internship Programme began thirteen years ago. Hosting nine of this year’s selected scholar interns, it will represent a 20 per cent increase in IGS's total employees over the 10-week period.

Entrepreneurial Scotland’s Saltire Scholar Internship Programme creates the next generation of leaders for Scotland by providing high-quality internships located in Scotland and throughout the world. The internationally recognised programme has grown from hosting six interns in 2007 to 181 in summer 2019, spanning across 11 countries and partnering with 83 organisations. It also provides companies with access to what is widely accepted as the top one per cent of graduate talent in Scotland.

CEO of IGS and serial entrepreneur, David Farquhar, commented: “In my mind, anyone who puts themselves forward for a programme of this calibre is already showing some degree of initiative which sets them apart.

“From previous experience of taking on Saltire interns, I know this is a strong programme The candidates have already been carefully filtered by ES on our behalf which is helpful. A different generation to many of our team, they bring an alternative viewpoint and hopefully fresh approach. As an employer, it’s always good to have your own thinking challenged or augmented by a different perspective. 

“We are fortunate that as an organisation we already have a culture of flexible working with at least a quarter of our workforce based from home and spread across several countries around the world. Given this approach and strong team collaboration, mentoring some of our interns remotely due to the current global situation does not phase us. We’ve been preparing by identifying and prioritising a number of specific assignments to which we believe these undergraduates will able to add value and a fresh perspective.”

The successful candidates joining the programme go through a rigorous three-stage recruitment process before the Saltire Scholar team places the best fitted students in front of businesses. It gives young people studying at Scottish universities the global mindset, confidence and ambition to achieve their full potential, helping to grow Scotland’s talent and capacity to become one of the world’s most entrepreneurial societies.

Scholar host companies come from a variety of industries including fashion, technology, financial services, oil and gas, media and the third sector amongst others. Ranging from entrepreneurial start-ups to FTSE 100 companies, scholar hosts have included Barclays Wealth Management, GlaxoSmithKline and Fender Musical Instruments.

Sandy Kennedy, Chief Executive of Entrepreneurial Scotland commented: “We are incredibly fortunate to have such a breadth of support and commitment from across our host companies each year. The feedback we receive about the calibre of students we are able to deliver and the impact they make within just a matter of weeks is truly outstanding. For many smaller employers out there, getting direct access to such talent can be challenging when competing with the recruitment fire power global brands. To have such exceptional support from IGS during this climate of uncertainty, is a testament to the entrepreneurial spirit that exists in Scotland and the reputation of the Programme.

“These are however challenging times for the business community in Scotland - established and start up. Due to the pandemic, we still have a number of students who lost out on international internships. This presents a great opportunity for Scottish companies to capitalise and contact us for access to this talented pool of individuals.”

Saltire Scholar interns are frequently cited as being the top talent studying at universities in Scotland and come from academic backgrounds such as business, engineering, IT and life science. The final cohort of selected scholars will start in mid-July and be hosted over a 10-week programme before returning to complete their final year of undergraduate study.

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