The Venture Graduate Recruitment Service & Development Accelerator opens for business


The latest Venture Graduate cohort launches today, offering employers across Southeast Wales a free and expert end-to-end recruitment service, aimed at delivering the graduate talent that’s ‘right’ for each individual business – with a unique ‘Career Accelerator Programme’ included for each graduate, to accelerate their progress and enable them to make the optimum impact in their role.

A unique recruitment and professional development service for Southeast Wales

This Cardiff Capital Region-supported programme has become an established part of the talent landscape across a region that accounts for 50% of the Welsh economy – and Gerry O’Sullivan, Graduate Development Officer for Venture, explains how the service has evolved over the past two years, and the impact it has had for employers and graduates alike:

“We’re grown considerably as a service since we launched our first graduate cohort in 2020. It made an immediate impact, with employers in many different sectors valuing the fact that we take most of the hard work out of recruitment for them; and bring a real expertise to the process.

“We start by understanding the needs of each individual employer, then turn what is often a rather dry job description into a compelling recruitment ad that sells both the role and the employment brand. Then we market the opportunity through channels that we know work – ranging from University Job Boards to the wider social media channels –  before assessing each application and drawing up a shortlist of candidates who have the right skillset and mindset for both the job and the working culture.

“Our previous cohort earlier this year saw over 750 quality applications for a very diverse set of jobs – from Accountancy, Customer Experience and Data Science roles, to positions for Marketeers, Planners and Software Engineers – with employers ranging from the IT sector and professional services right through to local authorities and not-for-profits. 

“This latest cohort has refined the service still further. We’re now running a ‘rolling service’, managing 12 roles at any one time, to give an even more dedicated focus to connecting the right employers with the right candidate. And then, of course, we have our newly-created Career Accelerator Programme aligned with the individual needs of each employer and graduate, to really max the experience and the impact for everyone concerned.”

Accelerating the graduate’s progress for everyone’s benefit

Rowena O’Sullivan, Skills & Talent Lead for Venture, scopes the vision behind the new Career Accelerator Programme, which has uniquely brought together the learning resources of Open University Cymru and the University of South Wales – providing a bespoke development experience geared to optimising the programme’s benefits for graduate and employer alike:

“The Accelerator Programme is geared to personally support and professionally develop the graduate over a 12-month period, through a choice of two learning pathways – based around Masterclasses and Microcredentials – tailored to give the graduate the knowledge they need right now and the future skills that will benefit them throughout their career. 

“Those learning pathways are delivered by our partner universities – the University of South Wales and the Open University in Wales – and each learning option has been carefully selected to give the graduate a deeper level of knowledge in their field of interest; and give them every chance to enhance their professional development.

“Those expert learning experiences range from Career Resilience, Critical Thinking and Cyber, to People Management, Agile Project Management and Climate Change, and we even provide the graduate with the exclusive opportunity of having a professional mentor.

“This approach is all backed by the Venture ‘Triple A Pledge’ of being Available, Approachable and Adaptable to individual needs. We understand that a graduate’s early career can be a very challenging time, so we also make sure that every graduate knows that they are a valued member of our friendly Venture Graduate community – being invited to join our LinkedIn Community group and several graduate events, as well as enjoying regular check-ins from a very supportive Venture Graduate team.

“We’re looking forward to reporting on how the new Accelerator Programme helps both the graduate and the employer make the most of a service that is incredibly valuable, given the skills shortages and employment challenges of our region.” 

A human capital service to help drive good growth across Cardiff Capital Region:

Nicola Sommerville, Head of Business Development and Inclusive Growth for CCR, puts this enhanced Venture programme into a wider perspective:

“We live in extraordinary times. An era that presents unique challenges – and opportunities – to harness human capital in our region.

“We know that our employers need to recruit fresh skills and grow future leaders – and our emerging talent needs as much support and development as possible, for the new world of work.

“The Venture recruitment and professional development service being shaped by Rowena and her team should be seen in this wider context – a more holistic solution to help employers and potential employers.

“We’re incredibly excited to be offering such a pioneering new solution – as part of a growing suite of Venture programmes, each designed to create the best possible future for employers and potential employees in our region.”

To find out more about the Venture graduate service and other specialist training programmes, go to:


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