A new government scheme to allow those claiming jobseekers allowance to be eligible for internships has been praised by a graduate service.

The Association of Graduate Careers Advisory Services (AGCAS) has said that the government’s Graduate Talent Pool programme could provide a good way to join college leavers with employers.

Elspeth Farrar, vice president for AGCAS, said that a potential barrier to the scheme’s success could be if employers were unable to "find additional, sensible, and meaningful apprenticeship opportunities".

Commenting on the potential advantages for employers and graduates, Ms Farrar said: "I think where it certainly will help is for small and medium enterprises (SMEs) who don’t normally have the capacity or the financial support to take on interns.

"Potentially this could be a good way of putting those graduates and SMEs together."

According to a recent survey by the National Union of Students, the recession is affecting students’ confidence about being able to find employment once they have graduated.

The research revealed that 80 per cent of students were ‘concerned’ or ‘very concerned’ by graduate employment levels and the likelihood of them securing a job.