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£9.4 million in funding to connect businesses to graduate talent

Published: Thursday, 07 April 2016   Category: All Graduate Jobs News

A new programme has secured £9.4 million worth of funding to help small and medium-sized companies link up with top graduate talent.

Funding for the partnership which will link firms with Anglia Ruskin University has come from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) with the hope that it will allow for the development and launch of new products and services.

The KEEP+ programme, which stands for Knowledge Exchange and Embed Partnerships, also includes 12 week graduate innovation internships, graduate employees, access to academic experts and innovation networking events.

Small businesses in the area expressed that the most significant barrier to innovation was due to a lack of available funding.

The new programme hopes to deliver those companies with the right personnel that possess the right skills and experience.

The programme

The scheme creates a partnership between a local business, a graduate employee, and an academic from a chosen knowledge base to offer support and supervision to the graduate.

Projects are expected to generally last 12 months, but will be dependent on the type of business and the help in which they need – innovation is expected to last for a longer period.

The programme is expected to last for three years and is open to SMEs registered and currently trading in the four Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) areas that cover Cambridgeshire, Suffolk and Norfolk, Hertfordshire, Essex, Kent and East Sussex.

Network events will also be set up to bring companies together with other organisations and local authorities and discuss how they could utilise the programme to benefit their business.


The ERDF was set up to support the strategy for smart, sustainable and inclusive growth in Europe.
Funding has helped 24,767 new businesses to start or move into the local areas and created around 114,889 jobs for local people according to Government statistics.

For graduate schemes across a range of locations, visit Grad Plus today

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