Northumbria University supports over 60 SMEs in Tyne & Wear with funding for graduate internships.

The Northumbria Enterprise and Business Support Internship Scheme is delivered by Northumbria University with funding from the European Regional Development Fund.

It is the third ERDF funded programme to be ran by the University since 2014 and over 220 businesses have been supported with funding to recruit over 280 graduate interns to date, with over 50% resulting in permanent employment. The current programme has supported over 60 business with recruitment of over 90 graduate interns since 2021.

Theodore Clarke from McGrady Clarke has benefited both as a previous graduate intern in 2014 and as a business in 2022. He was recruited to an internship as a Procurement Consultant in a Newcastle based SME in 2014, following his graduation from a BA (Hons) in History in 2013 His internship resulted in a permanent role but Theodore now runs his own business, McGrady Clarke Group, alongside his business partner Fergus McGrady.

The business, established in 2019, provides clients across the UK and Europe with business energy management and sustainability solutions, and they employ six members of staff. He has recently recruited two interns with assistance from Northumbria Enterprise & Business Support. One of the interns, Lydia Reynolds, has been offered a permanent role since completing her internship as a Carbon Analyst Intern and McGrady Clarke hope offer their current intern a permanent role too.

Theodore Clarke, Director of Environmental Services firm McGrady Clarke speaks about of the success of the NEBS project and the impact it has made on the business:

“The scheme has been a resounding success for McGrady Clarke. As somebody who has benefited historically from the scheme as a graduate, I was keen to give back and I have been delighted with the input of the graduates. They have brought fresh ideas, tons of enthusiasm and have helped drive the business forward. I would definitely recommend the scheme to other businesses, who could also benefit from tapping into Northumbria’s diverse talent pool.”

SMEs in Tyne & Wear and Northumberland can still benefit from the Scheme, which will run until June 2023 (September deadline for 6-month internships). It can provide up to £4,050 towards the salary costs of a graduate on an internship of up to 6 months.

Northumbria Enterprise and Business Support is now also offering support, through another strand of the Programme, to small businesses who are thinking of recruiting talent but are not yet ready to do so. The ‘Know More, To Grow More. How to Hire Programme’ enables small businesses to tap into specialist recruitment and human resource development support from university experts. It will help businesses to shape their recruitment and HR practices at zero cost through online advice, workshops, and mentoring, which is delivered by highly skilled and successful business practitioners.

“Northumbria University is committed to supporting SMEs in achieving their ambitions to grow through accessing graduate talent and the expertise of academic staff, with the NEBS2 project being the third occasion the University has been able to secure European funding to do so. It is extremely pleasing to see so many Tyne & Wear/Northumberland based businesses benefitting from the support provided.”

  • Graham Baty, Head of Student and Graduate Enterprise

To find out more about Northumbria Enterprise & Business Support, and how you could benefit, visit the website at or email

Credit: Bdaily

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