Aberdeen-based tech startup Udrafter, an online student platform that helps businesses to access student talent on-demand, is allowing companies to engage students looking for paid, career-relevant work experience on a range of projects for free on its platform.
It is hoping to help businesses affected by the coronavirus outbreak the chance to cope with enforced staff shortages. The platform is also accepting projects for general jobs which might appeal to students with no studies or work due to the outbreak.
Supermarkets, pharmacies, delivery services, care services and call centres are sectors in the UK badly affected by the virus as demand surges and some members of staff may be forced to self-isolate.
Co-founder and commercial director at Udrafter, Luke Morrow, commented: “We’re acutely aware of the impact coronavirus is having across the business and student communities.
“Huge numbers of staff are either sick or self-isolating as a precaution which is putting a huge strain on business on top of the issues of keeping revenues coming in and the lights on. But there is a large body of talented, hard-working students who can pick up the slack and help keep these companies moving forward.
“All in-class learning has been cancelled at universities and colleges across Scotland, and it should be borne in mind that many students need part-time jobs such as bar and restaurant work to make ends meet. But many of them are now finding themselves out of work as the hospitality sector is facing a massive crisis.
“We think we can help businesses and students by offering free project posting on our platform and expanding the sort of projects we offer.”
Although founded in Aberdeen, the company recently opened a new office in Edinburgh earlier this month as they expand into the Central Belt and were offering companies trial of their services out by posting projects for free.
But, due to the coronavirus, the company has now decided to extend the free listings to help struggling businesses.
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Daryll Marrow, the co-founder and CEO, said: “Many businesses are now realising they need to set up or improve their digital presence in the current situation and Udrafter students are ideally placed to help with this.
“And many students simply can’t afford to attend higher or further education without their bar and restaurant jobs, so they really need help continuing to earn money.
“That’s why we’re offering our starter tier free to post a project with us. Aside from a tiny admin charge, businesses will only need to pay the student they engage.
“And because of the unique nature of what we’re all going through, we’re opening the projects up to all sorts of things we wouldn’t normally.”