Business sets up graduate job network

Katina Curtis

Business is setting up a jobs version of online dating to help university graduates find their one true job.

The Australian Industry Group will do the legwork for business in terms of recruiting, screening and employing graduates under its new program, launched on Tuesday.

But it is more than just a recruitment service: it also provides mentorship to the new graduates to make sure their skills quickly make them productive workers.

Research shows while new graduates might have a shiny degree in their hands, it often takes them between six months and two years to get their real life skills up to the levels employers want, Ai Group says.

"A lot of employers were saying we understand that but if there's actually a way to close that gap, the better it is," the group's workforce development head Megan Lilly told AAP.

"This gives you a job and it also gives that whole mentoring, coaching framework."

A small trial is already happening and Ms Lilly hopes the full program will ramp up quickly.

"I'd like to see hundreds (of graduates placed) in a year and thousands beyond that," she said.

The contracts could be for a project, or a year or two.

Education Minister Simon Birmingham wholeheartedly endorsed the program, saying it provided a valuable tool that deepened the connections between industry and higher education.

"Every bit counts and this program provides an important encouragement for industry to work collaboratively with higher education providers and a point of competition for universities to ensure their courses are relevant," he told AAP.