Universities minister supports industry initiative the Pledge

Universities minister David Willetts has thrown his support behind a campaign to boost the number of internships within the construction industry.

Willetts gave his backing to the construction industry initiative the Pledge last week, saying that internships were “increasingly important in the journey from education to work”.

The Pledge, launched by John Rowan and Partners with support from Building, is aimed at increasing the number of built environment internships on offer and to ensure they are advertised via the Graduate Talent Pool, a government-backed service that matches graduates with internships.

Willetts said he welcomed the initiative: “Internships can play a key role in improving access to the professions, such as the construction industry, for people from disadvantaged backgrounds.

“Construction employers also stand to benefit, as it puts them in a position to promote their profession to enthusiastic individuals who are eager to learn. Opportunities such as [the Pledge] allow graduates and young people to develop key employability skills, build up networks and gain valuable experience for their CV.”

His comments came as a report from High Fliers Research revealed graduate recruitment was still below pre-recession levels and that a third of jobs for new graduates went to those who have been interns.