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Northumbria University supporting SMEs to hire graduate interns

Published: Thursday, 03 November 2016   Category: All Graduate Jobs News

Northumbria University is set to launch a new fund to help small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) hire graduates in the North East.

Through the Northumbria Enterprise and Business Support (NEBS) project, £2.1 million worth of funding has been secured that will support graduates and businesses.

The NEBS project will focus on areas including promoting entrepreneurship and supporting the creation and extension of advanced capacities for products, services and development. 

It will also aim to strengthen SMEs, so they have the potential to grow in international, national and regional markets.

One part of the project will see Northumbria University provide more help to SMEs through graduate internships.

Graduate interns will be paid by the SME for six months, whilst the project will contribute £3,825 towards the salary, reducing the cost on the business.

Additionally, some of the funding will be used to offer free start-up support services to graduates wanting to start their own business, or to help their businesses grow.

Bringing energy and innovative thinking to companies

The additional European funding into Northumbria follows the university’s ERDF-funded Northumbria Graduates into Business project, which ran for a two-year period from 2013.

Results of the project saw 71% of SMEs report an increase in turnover – up to £200,000 – as a result of hiring a graduate on an intern basis.

Three quarters of the graduates that took part in an internship with an SME were offered full time permanent positions.

By the end of the scheme – which received £1.1 million in funding – almost 70 SMEs had received support, up to 30 new start-ups had been created, and 60 recent graduates were in the process of developing business plans.

Victor Ottaway, Graduate Internship Manager at Northumbria, said: “Securing this funding is recognition of the collaborative role universities can play in business and economic growth. We can now support 126 individual SME’s with graduate intern placements, who will work for them for six months helping to bring energy, drive and innovative thinking to the businesses.”

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

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