£1,000 subsidy to help environmental business employ 'green undergraduates'

Issue date: 26 March 2012


A new funding initiative providing environmental businesses with £1,000 towards the temporary recruitment of an undergraduate has been launched by UWE Bristol and the Environmental Technologies iNet.

The 'UWE Green Undergraduate Internship Scheme' is particularly focused on assisting companies and entrepreneurs in the low carbon goods and services sector and builds upon UWE Bristol's commitment to provide all students with an opportunity to contribute to sustainability whilst undertaking a programme of study at the university.

It forms part of a wider initiative by the University's Careers service to help businesses across all industry sectors employ talented, ambitious individuals without experiencing some of the common risks associated with permanent recruitment solutions.

The programme represents fantastic value and in the current economic climate, with many businesses struggling to find affordable methods for the recruitment of new staff, this timely opportunity is likely to prove popular.

Lasting for eight weeks if full-time (part-time options are also available) internships arranged through the scheme can relate to vacancies across various disciplines from marketing, graphic design and computing, to environmental management, engineering and the sciences.

By facilitating the temporary recruitment of a high-calibre UWE Bristol undergraduate, the programme provides a risk free method for securing capable individuals to work on short-term projects. It will also contribute to longer-term staffing strategies, enabling employers to build relationships with potential future employees.

Participation can help achieve corporate social responsibility targets and ensures businesses play a part in inspiring the next crop of professionals in their field.

“In recent years UWE Bristol has earned a well-deserved reputation for providing companies and entrepreneurs with cost effective opportunities relating to graduate and undergraduate employment” said Professor James Longhurst, Assistant Vice-Chancellor (Environment and Sustainability) and Associate Dean. He continues “Our award winning Careers service has successfully run various government and University funded internship programmes that have addressed the needs of a range of industry sectors and helped businesses of all shapes and sizes to tap into our talent pool.

“Given UWE Bristol's low carbon expertise, our dedication to improving our own sustainability and our commitment to playing an active role in strengthening the South West's green economy, launching a scheme with an environmental focus is something we are very excited about.

“We are able to offer interns who are studying various low carbon subjects such as clean technologies, air quality management, green construction etc. Many businesses also require assistance in more general business areas, such as web design or human resources, so the fact we can also provide access to undergraduates from these disciplines means we can have a more effective, wide-reaching impact.”

Professor Martin Bigg, Director of the Environmental Technologies iNet, the £2m UWE Bristol-led business support project that is collaborating with the University on the scheme, believes the funding will have a particularly positive impact on small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). “We work with some of the most innovative clean technology SMEs across the South West region,” he said. “And increasing numbers of our clients tell us they are experiencing serious challenges related to the affordability and reliability of traditional recruitment options.

“Alongside access to funding and issues around marketing, it is one of the key barriers they face with regard to achieving sustainable growth. The chance to bring a capable and enthusiastic intern into their business to help tackle a short term project or activity makes an enormous difference.

“Interns often bring fresh perspectives, understanding of new techniques or technologies, and can free up existing staff to concentrate on other areas of the business that might have been neglected.

“The benefits for the undergraduates are numerous – valuable workplace experience and an enhanced CV among the most obvious – but the benefits to participating businesses are also clear. We are delighted to be involved in such a positive initiative that enhances both the employability of students and the growth potential of employers.”

Full-time internships can commence anytime after 25 May 2012 and must conclude before 14 September 2012. There is more flexibility with regard to the part-time option. The recruitment process for both options can begin immediately.

For further information about the scheme, or to register an interest in participating, please contact the Environmental Technologies iNet on 0117 32 86704 or visit www.environmental-inet.com

For other information about the general wider UWE Bristol Undergraduate Internship Scheme please contact the UWE Recruiter Partnership Team

Editors notes:

· Full-time internships last for eight weeks and part-time pro-rata options are also available

· £1,000 (inc VAT) of funding is granted to the employer

· This is paid upon successful appointment/contract release

· The employer commits £800 (+VAT if charged)

· National Insurance is paid on top of this

· Interns must be paid through PAYE

· There is no limit on the number of advertised vacancies

· Interns can only be funded once for a role

· A dedicated UWE team are on hand to help

This internship scheme is part financed by the European Regional Development Fund South West Competitiveness and Employment Programme 2007-2013. Managed by the Department for Communities and Local Government, this programme of investment from the European Union is helping to increase the prosperity of the region through supporting enterprise and individuals to develop ideas and plans that contribute to increased productivity and competitiveness. The total amount of investment across the seven year programme is £108,751,309, with the Environmental Technologies iNet receiving £1,006,500.

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