29th May 2001

 

PARTNERSHIP PROVIDES EXPERTISE FOR SMEs

 

Hull’s two universities provide a steady stream of talented and highly trained graduates whose expertise can benefit the city’s businesses.

 

But too many small and medium-sized enterprises are unaware of a subsidised scheme which aims to help them tap into the skill base which is available.

 

The Higher Education Business Network is run from the University of Lincolnshire & Humberside on Cottingham Road and aims to encourage the city’s students to stay in the area by arranging graduate placements in Hull and further afield.

 

SMEs who sign up to the scheme can take a graduate with specific skills on a ten-week placement and only pay two-thirds of the graduate’s salary – the rest is contributed by the Higher Education Business Network.

 

Fifty graduates have been placed in local businesses the last two years and almost 100 placements have been arranged in the five years since the project began.

 

“The placements are a way of trying somebody out for ten weeks at a subsidised cost without having to take the plunge and employ that person on a permanent contract,” says Nicola Bailey, who runs the project office in Hull.

 

“If a company needs to undertake some research, for example, that firm can take on a graduate through the scheme who has the relevant skills for the job.”

 

The Higher Education Business Network is part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund. Businesses which have benefited from graduate placements since the scheme began include Chisholm Computers, ESP Systex, Two Heads Design and Marketing and Jenko Graphics.

 

“We need more businesses to sign up for this scheme,” said Nicola. “We offer a service that businesses can take advantage of and they’re under absolutely no obligation to employ the graduate at the end of their placement.”

 

A case study is attached.

 

For more information contact: Jez Ashberry, Press and Media Relations Manager

University of Lincolnshire & Humberside

Tel: 01522 886042                              email: jashberry@lincoln.ac.uk

 

Search the university’s news archive at http://www.lincoln.ac.uk/news

 

 

 

 

 

Case study

 

The company: The Solid Surface Company, Hull

                                    Manufactures hard worktop surfaces and materials for kitchens,

shops and hospitals

The graduates:           Alex Alterskye, Alex Krook

 

Alex Alterskye studied Commercial Processes at the University of Lincolnshire & Humberside and took an MA in Advertising and Marketing at Leeds Business School before returning to Hull on a graduate placement with The Solid Surface Company in September 2000.

 

Now he’s been seconded to the sales department and is helping another graduate to settle in to a placement: ULH graduate Alex Krook began his ten-week stint last week.

 

“When I started my placement last year I was able to look at everything the company was doing in a different light,” says Alex Alterskye. “Before I started I knew nothing about construction or interior design, and I spent the first few weeks learning about the industry, but at the same time I was able to come at things from a different angle.

 

“When I left Leeds I was confident in my skills but I hadn’t any experience in a real working environment. Now I’ve got confidence in both areas.

 

“If a company has a short-term project they need to undertake they can do no better than to take on a graduate from the Higher Education Business Network to come in and look at the problem, because that graduate will bring new insights to the project,” says Alex.

 

“I was brought in to do a market research project and to establish a database of companies that this firm could approach, but then my employers saw the value of my carrying on - it was supposed to be a short-term project but it ended up being a long-term job.

 

“I was in charge of marketing but now because I’ve built up quite a lot of contacts I’ve been seconded to go out on the road as the sales rep for Yorkshire, Lincolnshire and Humberside. Alex Krook, who is about to graduate from ULH with a degree in Business and Marketing, came in last week on a graduate placement to take over in marketing where I left off.”

 

For more information contact: Jez Ashberry, Press and Media Relations Manager

University of Lincolnshire & Humberside

Tel: 01522 886042                                     email: jashberry@lincoln.ac.uk

 

Search the university’s news archive at http://www.lincoln.ac.uk/news