Jobless graduate given fair chance

Apprentice: Researcher Liam Rhodes, new apprentice Nikki Dunbar and Nigel Mills MP.
Apprentice: Researcher Liam Rhodes, new apprentice Nikki Dunbar and Nigel Mills MP.

A talented graduate - shunned by more than 500 firms in 12 months has joined forces with an MP to provide a boost for other jobseekers.

Nikki Dunbar, 22, struggled to find work, despite graduating from the University of Derby in 2012 with a first class honours degree in events management.

She has spent her alumni year jobless, filling out several fruitless applications a day.

But after Amber Valley MP Nigel Mills heard of her plight, he decided to offer Nikki, of Derby Road, Stapleford, a paid internship organising a major jobs fair in September.

“It’s great to be out of the university environment, doing what I trained to do,” she said.

She hopes to one day run her own wedding planning company and is currently helping to enlist firms for the jobs fair, set for Friday September 6 at Ripley lesiure centre, as well as designing flyers, building a website to promote it and enrolling guest speakers.

Nikki said the fair will be invaluable to graduates scrambling for jobs, having left full-time education.

“It’s very important because you can spend all your time job seeking and at a fair you will have loads of employers in one room,” she said. “Being able to actually talk to employers face-to-face is so much better than them reading through your CV.

“When someone reads a CV, an employer can’t take into account your personality.”

MP Nigel Mills this week praised his new apprentice: “We realised that organising an event like this was a bit more than our usual team could handle, so we offered Nikki a part-time job.

“We have been very impressed with the artwork she has done and the website – they are way out of my league!

“It works for both of us as Nikki gets some good experience and we get someone who is trained in event planning - it seems like a win-win situation.”

So far 20 employers in the Derby area have signed up to the free jobs fair.

It’s set to feature seminars advising on how to start a business, mock interviews and information about apprenticeships courtesy of Derby College, the University of Derby and others.

There is free parking and Trent Barton is offering a half-price Zig-Zag ticket to those travelling on the day

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