Dunedin businesses combat brain drain by utilising student skills

In an increasingly challenging labour market, established Dunedin internship programme JobDUN is answering the call of Dunedin businesses facing skills shortages and hiring constraints.

Now in its 13th year, Dunedin City Council-backed JobDUN is inviting businesses from a wide range of sectors to access grants and recruitment support, while tapping into the talented pool of student and graduate interns.

The demonstrable success of the programme as a cost-effective, low-risk solution is backed by the statistics. Since its inception, the programme has placed 450 interns creating 266 jobs, 135 of which were new positions.

Mayor of Dunedin Aaron Hawkins says, “Programmes such as JobDUN are particularly important in the face of New Zealand-wide talent shortages and the lure of opportunities in other parts of the globe.

“In Dunedin we’re fortunate to have a pipeline of incredibly able students looking for opportunities to apply their knowledge in a real-world setting.

“JobDUN is effectively building the capacity of the city’s workforce and fostering the longer-term outcomes of nurturing and retaining talent in Dunedin, which gives us a competitive advantage,” says Mr. Hawkins.

Facilitated by the DCC’s Enterprise Dunedin in close collaboration with the University of Otago, Otago Polytechnic and Firebrand, JobDUN makes connections between businesses and the students best suited to their specific needs.

Dunedin businesses benefit from fresh thinking, new energy and a contemporary approach to problem-solving, increasing capability for product development, marketing and other key projects that might not otherwise be executed.

Feedback from businesses outlines the value of the programme, with a 95% satisfaction rate reported. 

Managing Director of Platinum Recruitment Daniel Harmes says he always recommends the programme to clients based on his own experience of participating in JobDUN.

“Our intern was instrumental in picking up our digital marketing and bringing a fresh approach to how we present our businesses.

“It’s a great way to keep talent in the city and for businesses to grow their own people” says Mr Harmes.

The range of businesses signing up for JobDUN is diverse, attracting interest from ten key sectors including technology companies, niche manufacturing, creative industries, food businesses and more. Well-known local firms such as AbacusBio, Tussock Innovation, Bison and Harraway’s and Co have taken part in the initiative, which is open to larger companies as well as small to medium enterprises.

With the programme allocating up to 50 grants of $1000 each season, JobDUN looks set to continue stimulating business capabilities and employment in Dunedin.

Businesses can register their interest at: www.jobdun.co.nz