GO Wales Project Officer Karin remembers her first placement over a decade ago

Karin CrimminsGO Wales Project Officer Karin Crimmins started her first graduate job by taking part in a GO Wales (formerly Cymru Prosper Wales) Work Placement.  Karin who is based at Cardiff Metropolitan University now helps students and graduates who were in her position over 10 years ago…

Where did your Cymru Prosper work placement take place? What memories do you have of the placement?

“At Caerphilly Mountain Countryside Service where I worked in a small team to research, map and plan for future conservation areas in Cardiff & Caerphilly and designed public interpretation trails. I graduated in July ‘96 and started this placement in December ’96 after undertaking some part time posts and voluntary work.”

“The placement was related to my degree (Environmental Pollution Science) but we were following a very specific Conservation theory so the learning curve was steep but it was a fabulous place to work.  Everyone was incredibly friendly and knowledgeable.  We worked from an old farm house with little heating in the peak of winter. There were two of us there on placement and I’m still very good friends with the other placee.”

What happened when you completed the Work Placement?

“Thankfully they were able to employ us for a further four weeks on top of the original twelve of the placement and then I found a perfect opportunity at Rhondda Cynon Taff Council, which started almost immediately after the placement ended promoting recycling and waste minimisation in schools across the county.”

During your career you worked at Keep Wales Tidy employing a few graduates through the GO Wales scheme, what was your role within the company and were the placements beneficial?

“At the time I was using the GO Wales scheme to employ graduates in placements I had been employed there for four years and had the enviable title of Litter and Waste Manager. I trained and assisted local authorities on their legal obligations and best practice as regards litter and waste management.  I had a three different projects running in Cardiff and each of these had a GO Wales Placee employed to work on them. Of the three; two remained in employment beyond the placement and the third was successful in gaining employment with another business.”

“By using GO Wales we were able to save considerably on recruitment costs, especially as we had to re-advertise one post when our chosen candidate was offered a more long term secure employment opportunity.”

You’ve now gone full circle and are now organising work placements for others as part of the GO Wales team, how does it feel to now help graduates to make the best start to their careers?

“I worked in the environmental sector for fourteen years so although this is a change of subject area I still utilise a lot of the skills gained through my partnerships working over the years and obviously the recruitment side of things from the employer side too.”

“I find it really useful to be able to let businesses know that the scheme has worked for me in the variety of roles I’ve used it in. I continue to get a lot of satisfaction out of helping graduates gain relevant work experience to take them forward in their chosen career area.”