Student initiative aims to enhance training opportunities during crisis

A UK COMMUNITY initiative connecting furloughed workers with volunteer opportunities has launched a parallel initiative for students and graduates.

Studenteer is a sister project of Furlonteer, the community furlough connection initiative. Studenteer helps students and graduates to volunteer for charities, worthy causes or small businesses to gain work experience and put a shoulder to the wheel.

There has been an overall drop in recruitment, with employers hiring 30 percent fewer interns and placement students. Studenteer — run by students, for students — is anticipating some 4000 sign-ups in the first month.

The initiative is overseen by a network of Furlonteers, offering support in the everyday running of the platform and providing guidance and mentorship. This is underpinned by a partnership with UniHeads to offer online mental health and wellbeing training.

While the class of 2020 may be forced to take work outside their chosen industry, students can develop professional skills while waiting for an upturn in the job market. Remote volunteering roles can be tailored to suit the individual, from a few hours a month to several hours a day.

The Furlonteer team, led by founder Sam Tasker-Grindley, turned to Rebecca Moy, a marketing graduate from Leeds University Business School, for help with the roll-out.

“Due to COVID-19, many graduate job-offers and internships have been revoked,” says Moy, “and students have been prevented from taking the next step in life. We are launching Studenteer to provide students with work experience and opportunities that are imperative at this time.”