Companies in the district can link up with graduates from the University of Bradford by the click of a mouse.

Professor David Rhodes, chairman of Saltaire-based electronics firm Filtronic, launched the Graduates website yesterday.

It is the latest move to boost graduate retention across Yorkshire and aims to match final year students with businesses looking for new recruits.

Speaking at the launch of the website at Leeds University business school, Prof Rhodes said it was an "ideal way to bring employers and graduates together".

He said: "It is crucial that local businesses make best use of the region's universities and their graduates if we are to truly grow the region's economy.

"My own company has had a long-term policy of recruiting local graduates and we have regularly funded research in the local universities - the graduates benefit, the universities benefit and my company benefits."

The website provides information about Yorkshire and why it is the best place to live and work, as well as details of vacancies and support in all aspects of finding work and bedding-in to the workplace.

At present more than half of the 40,000 students who graduate each year move outside the region to find employment.

Ron Harle, head of the careers service at the University of Bradford, said: "The city of Bradford has a terrific resource in its graduate population and through local companies will have the ideal tool by which to access new employees.

"The University of Bradford is generating the workforce of the future, many of which are being lost to the region.

"We believe the GraduatesYorkshire portal will do much to help keep these young people working in the region." Nalayini Thambar, project manager at GraduatesYorkshire which includes 13 higher education institutions in the county, said graduates were major contributors to a firm's skill base and competitiveness.

"The region's universities will increasingly underpin the region's long-term economic prosperity," she said. "In a knowledge-based economy, it is important that local business engages with and makes use of this fantastic asset."

The website is at: