Finding great people: A 101 on Bristol and Bath University Internships

The challenge of finding great employees is one which is felt acutely by growing companies across the region. There are a fabulous range of organisations working hard to equip young people with the skills they need to join our workforce, whether vocational or academic, and some alternatives to the mainstream too. I have mapped some of the services and organisations that work in this area, and those facilitating recruitment on the Scaleup Support Map and I’m keen to add more.

I have discovered growing (scaleup) companies running their own internship programmes, recruiting directly from independent training organisations, utilising university programmes and providing live briefs to students too. However, the level of awareness about what is possible when working with the 4 local universities is lower than I imagined so I thought I’d spend some time gathering the intel about what’s on offer for companies looking to recruit or work with university-based talent.

1. Bath Spa University

  • Santander Internship Programme (paid – 10wks, part time) This scheme is aimed at SMEs and prioritises those organisations who are intending to offer further employment at the end of the placement. The scheme provides £1,575 funding towards the cost of a 10-week placement (maximum 35 hours per week) which the organisation must match fund. This scheme is also open to graduates from previous years, however targeted promotion will go towards 2019 graduates. More information about the schemes is here.
  • Curricular placements (unpaid 70 – 120 hrs, part time) If you are interested in offering a work placement but do not want to commit to a long period, some Bath Spa University students undertake a Work Placement module (BMA5120). This module requires the student to complete 70-120 hours of work experience which is of graduate level and provides a genuine learning experience. Students must complete the required hours by 24 May, 2019.
  • Summer Placement Scheme (paid – 12wks, full-time) This is only open to undergraduates. The placement must take place between June and September, be on a full-time basis and last for 12 consecutive weeks. Bath Spa University provides businesses with £1,500 funding and the placement provider funds the remainder of the wages bringing this up to at least National Minimum Wage.
  • Job Shop Do you need part time staff? The Job Shop is a term-time service, based on campus, which advertises over 4,000 part-time and vacation jobs every year and works with over 460 employers. Further information here.

Find out more info about Bath Spa here and here

2. University of Bath

The University of Bath is keen to connect with start-ups and SMEs regarding opportunities for University of Bath students and can help with recruitment needs. The majority of their undergraduates undertake 6 to 12 month placements during four year courses and a growing number look to smaller businesses for a well-rounded opportunity within a growing company.  Work placements are managed within the four distinct areas of the University: The School of Management, Faculty of Science, Faculty of Engineering & Design, and the Faculty of Humanities & Social Sciences.

The central Careers Service promote shorter internships and graduate roles to the students on campus.  Find out more here

3. University of Bristol

  • SME Internship Scheme (paid – 4wks, full-time) University of Bristol offer £900 towards the wages for a 4-week internship. This scheme is open to current undergraduate students and recent graduates (within 6 months of graduation) who meet specific eligibility criteria. More info here.
  • Santander SME Internship Scheme  (paid – 10wks, part/full time) This is a match funded 10-week internship scheme (£1531.25 outside of London). This is open to final year students and recent graduates (within 18 months of graduation) who meet specific eligibility criteria.
  •  Graduate Scheme: Work This Way (paid – 7wks, full time) This pilot-scheme aims to connect growing, local SMEs with graduates over a 7-week internship, with a view to the business offering a successful intern a permanent graduate level role. The University offers £1000 towards internships for home students who graduated in 2018. More info here.
  • Q-Step Internship Scheme  This scheme is managed by the Professional Liaison Network in the Faculty of Social Sciences and Law and offers work experience in applied quantitative data analysis to current undergraduate students and recent graduates (within 6 months of graduation) studying specific courses. If you have any questions, contact

4. UWE

  • Internships (paid – 10wks, part/full time) UWE Bristol offers a subsidised undergraduate internship scheme over the summer period. UWE Bristol provides £1500 to employers recruiting undergraduate interns on a 10 week full-time/ twenty week part-time basis with the internship commencing once students have completed their studies in May. The employer matches UWE Bristol’s contribution and the £3,000 sum total is paid directly to the intern in the form of a monthly wage. UWE are currently accepting internship vacancies from employers. The scheme will officially be launched to students on 20 March 2019.
  • Graduate Internships  In partnership with Santander Universities, UWE Bristol also offers a limited graduate internship scheme. Organisations must be of SME status (workforce up to 250 employees) and with an annual turnover of under £50million and graduates must be from the 2018 or 2019 graduating cohort.
  • Six Month Internship Pilot In partnership with Santander Universities UWE will offer four SMEs that have experienced year on year turnover growth for three years the opportunity to engage with a new pilot six-month internship scheme. Employers will be invited to submit a project proposal for consideration. The winning proposals will receive £2,500 in funding which contributes directly towards the interns wage. The employer will be required to support the rest of the intern’s wages (£4,700). Business support will be provided by Santander which may include support with recruitment, attendance at Breakthrough events, specialist workshops and/or mentoring to both business leaders and interns.
  • International Talent (paid –  up to 8wks, part/full time) The UWE International Talent internship scheme part funds an international student intern to work with an organisation for the summer period on a part- or full-time basis. This scheme enables employers to capitalise on International Students’ cultural and linguistic expertise, knowledge of their home countries and local market insight. More info here 
  • Placements For more established businesses, placements are also a good way of trialling students, exposing them to the workplace for up to 48 weeks and embedding them into the company culture. Many placement students choose to remain with their placement employer upon graduating.
  • Consultancy Projects & Live Briefs Student consultancy projects offer local organisations free consultancy in exchange for hosting a student or group of students allowing them to take a step toward gaining management and/or leadership roles. Opportunities exist currently in disciplines within the Faculty of Business and Law and Faculty of Environment and Technology.
  • Graduate jobs/programmes As well as advertising free of charge on UWE’s CareerHubfor internships & placements, employers can advertise to recruit graduates. These can be graduate level jobs or a structured development programme to provide a talent pipeline into business-critical roles.

What does this mean for growing businesses?

There are many ways to engage with our local universities and to work with their students, it is important to keep an eye out at the right time and make the most of the incentives and opportunities available. The subsidised internship opportunities are very well utilised so it’s worth contacting the university involved ahead of time to be sure you can benefit.

If your organisation offers support to growing companies, particularly in relation to skills and talent, and you would like to be included in the scaleup support map, complete this short form to add yourself to the ecosystem support map:

This content came from our friends at the Scale Up Generator. Check out more of the work they’re doing here.