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It's important for graduates to gain basic business skills in their first job, says Enterprise Rent-A-Car's HRD

David Woods , 20 Sep 2010

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Enterprise Rent-A-Car has launched its new graduate scheme, claiming graduates must choose a first job that will teach them basic business skills.

The company, which recruits around 750 graduates in the UK and Ireland each year as part of its management training programme, said that a first job can provide an invaluable business education.

It also warned missing out on these business skills could hold a candidate back from success further into their career.

Speaking as the company launches a new graduate recruitment campaign, Donna Miller, Enterprise’s HR director, said graduates who have been out of work over the summer could be tempted to accept an unsuitable position out of panic.

Instead, she urged them to make sure they take the time to find a programme that matches their ambitions, but to use any spare time gaining invaluable experience through internships or work placements.

She said: "Increasingly graduates are joining companies and opting to stay there for longer, looking for job security and career progression. It seems the days of job-hopping are over – for now. That makes it essential that a first job provides progression and a business foundation that teaches skills that can be used throughout a career.

"A first job should be considered as a further education, where graduates pick up the practical business skills they may not have experienced at university. It should also be seen as an opportunity to learn the behavioural skills that can really help them progress in business.

"Graduates should not miss out on this because they are panicked by a perceived lack of opportunities. They should be confident that there are good graduate placements all year round. And if these don’t fit the needs of the individual, they should make sure they look at the opportunity to expand their experience through paid for work experience or internships.

"In the long run it can be better to spend a little longer to find a job that will teach you about business, rather than jumping into an inappropriate job and getting left behind. But always consider every opportunity to gain experience while you search for your ‘career’ company."

Miller spoke as she unveiled a new graduate recruitment campaign designed to demonstrate to potential recruits how the skills they learn in their first years at Enterprise will form a foundation for future business success.

The new recruitment campaign, which aims to demonstrate the importance of core business competences, such as teamwork, ambition, entrepreneurial focus and above all, enjoyment, was developed as part of the company’s Come Alive recruitment strategy.

Miller added: "We had a lot of fun developing this campaign and think it reflects the reasons why graduates join us and why so often they choose to stay with us for a lifetime career."

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