Boost your business with Leeds Met graduate scheme
The Business Enhancement Scheme was set up in response to increasing strains faced by businesses in today's economic climate and allows recent graduates to work on specific projects, such as the introduction of marketing or the development of IT systems, supported by an academic expert, where extra resource and creative solutions are sought quickly to support business growth.
Beata Olah, a 2009 graduate of The University of Leeds in Managing Performance, has just completed the Scheme's first 16-week project at Leeds City Council. With academic support from Dr Emma Wood based at the UK Centre for Events Management at Leeds Metropolitan, Beata was recruited to develop a cultural evaluation toolkit to capture and report on the impact of cultural activities in Leeds. The model shows the contribution of festivals and events to the local economy and communities and will be integrated into the Council's future work.
Beata said: "'I saw a number of benefits thanks to my placement in the scheme. For example, I was able to use my knowledge of research and events evaluation from my university studies to see how theoretical frameworks could be realised in practice. I also benefitted from developing a network of contacts, being exposed to new volunteering opportunities, gaining experiences of grant application systems and funding criteria; as well as further developing my knowledge of events, culture, arts and marketing through applied practice. I was able to find out about new job opportunities and I managed to secure another position which can be attributed partly to the experiences I developed during the Scheme."
With the Scheme, graduates benefit from paid work experience and the opportunity for continued employment following the project. Schemes run from eight weeks to two years and are designed to be flexible around the employer. For all schemes of six months or longer the business pays only the direct employment-related costs with Leeds Metropolitan funding the cost of academic support and administration.
Simon Baldwin, Senior Business Development Manager at Leeds Metropolitan, commented: "Universities have the ability to stimulate private sector growth and become a catalyst for business development. I have heard said many times, especially by small businesses owners, they would like to employ more staff but can't afford the time, cope with the bureaucracy or take the risk of hiring someone now that they will have to let go a few months later. The Business Enhancement Scheme minimises risk and red-tape for employers, enabling them to grow their workforce and business."