Universities and colleges in the West Midlands have joined forces with the regional development agency to stop a brain drain from the region.
The £3.5 million graduate recruitment project aims to turn the West Midlands from a net exporter of graduates into a thriving graduate employment market. Funded by the RDA Advantage West Midlands and the Higher Education Funding Council for England, it will involve setting up work experience placements with local firms for students and graduates from the 14 institutions involved.
The placements will be in "real graduate jobs" in projects such as market research or database design.
Employers such as Jaguar, Direct Line and BT will provide placements, but project leaders hope that most opportunities will be in small and medium-sized businesses.