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Graduate news: Matchmaking service helps job applications

Fed up with applying for jobs? The Graduate Recruitment Bureau will – rather surprisingly – do it for you. Just submit your CV on their website, and a team of analysers will assess your skills, put you forward for jobs and even make the follow-up calls.

"We're a careers matchmaking service," says Dan Hawes, co-founder of the company. "We do all the work behind the scenes. We've got contacts with hundreds of employers, and we make sure your CV gets to the front of the queue."

Funded entirely by recruiters, this service is offered to graduates free of charge. With so many graduates desperate for jobs, the company now receives 75,000 unique users a month – a 50 per cent increase since the economy plunged in 2008. Because many employers rely on agencies rather than public adverts for recruitment, Hawes says the Graduate Recruitment Bureau can offer graduates jobs that they wouldn't even know existed.

Jobs advertised on the site include consultancy work and as a researcher with an executive research firm. Most of the opportunities are in the banking, IT and consultancy sectors. Those interested in the public sector may have to look elsewhere. Visit www.grb.uk.com for more.

Record-busting figures for PwC

PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) is taking on record-breaking numbers of graduates in the downturn. A total of 153 graduates have started work after PwC's spring intake, but hundreds more positions are still open for the September and October intake.

Applicants who don't come from stereotypical backgrounds in economics or finance are also encouraged to apply. Of this year's spring intake, 66 per cent had degrees in subjects not typically associated with accountancy, but came from arts, humanities and science backgrounds, while one-third came from ethnic minority backgrounds.

"PwC is open to graduates from all sorts of disciplines," says Sonja Stockton, the head of recruitment. "The important thing is skills and experience. You might get that from running a football team or being a carer – it's not just about being in an office."

Stockton says interested graduates should get in touch early, as applications are already up 15 per cent this year. "Make sure you check our website," she says. "We put a lot of effort into making sure the role and necessary skill requirements are clear, so that you can make a really good application. Come and meet us, too – we run events nationwide, and you can register for mobile phone updates on our website." Visit www.pwc.co.uk for more details.

Win a £10,000 grant for your web proposal

Got an idea to change the world, but don't know how to fund it? Microsoft's Internet Explorer 8 has just announced that it is giving away three grants of £10,000 to young people aged 18 to 25 who come up with worthy ways of using the web. To enter, all you have to do is submit your proposal in a two-minute video. The content of the idea is up to you – it could be entrepreneurial, educational, environmental or just plain "creative". Videos can be taken on your mobile, or you can visit a Life Academy Video Booth, where you can step in and pitch your idea at a number of local shopping centres.

The Life Academy is also appearing at 10 university campuses across the country, so look out for delegates wandering around with cameras to record your ideas. Twelve finalists will win a camcorder and a chance to pitch their idea to Lastminute.com co-founder Brent Hoberman and senior figures in Microsoft, before the final winners are announced in June. The deadline for applications is 27 May.

Visit www.lifeacademy.uk.com for more details.

Travelodge seeks staff for new hotels

Travelodge, one of the UK's fastest growing hotel chains, is recruiting staff to serve seven new hotels it plans to open this summer. More than 185 new receptionists, housekeepers and bar staff are needed immediately to run the new branches in London, Edinburgh, Chester, Dundee, Northampton, Horsham and Newcastle-under-Lyme.

Although the company is looking to fill low-rung positions first, Travelodge insists applicants with high aspirations will have opportunities for advancement. A 12-week fast-track training scheme in management is available for all employees – regardless of how long they've worked at the company. For those looking for more in-depth training, Travelodge offers a two-year foundation degree in hospitality, budget hotel and retail management. Launched in partnership with Westminster Kingsway College, this course focuses on the theory and practice behind low-cost and retail business models.

Travelodge – which served more than 9 million guests in almost 400 branches last year – claims that the budget hotel sector will treble in size over the next two decades. In such a context, training at the company could be a lucrative experience for budding retail entrepreneurs.

Interested parties should send their CV to recruitment@ travelodge.co.uk