Canterbury 4 Business

An Opportunity for your Business Which Will End in March 2011.

Does your business employ fewer than 50 people?

If so, it could benefit from funding by the Higher Education Funding Council for England's(HEFCE) new Graduate Internship Scheme (GIS) at Canterbury Christ Church University. The University will contribute up to £1500 towards the cost of employing a graduate for up to 13 week internship. Participating businesses will be required to contribute to ensure that graduates are paid to at least the minimum wage.

What's in it for you?   

  • Subsidised graduate level help
  • Internships are a proven, cost effective and flexible approach to providing businesses with a low-risk introduction to graduate employment without the need for long-term commitment

What's in it for graduates?

  • Valuable relevant experience and contacts which could lead to future employment
  • At least the minimum wage for up to 13 weeks

How does it work? 

  • Complete and return a job profile form
  • Job profiles will be matched with participating graduates' profiles / CVs
  • You will be sent matches that most closely meet your requirements
  • You will interview and select most appropriate graduate(s) for the role
  • You will sign an agreement with the University which specifies the terms and conditions including duration and payment terms
  • You will invoice the University for its contribution and will pay the graduate the agreed salary
  • Calculations template for your contribution and the University's is available on request.

If we cannot make a suitable match then we will keep your request on our database for futurework placement opportunities, unless you ask us not to do so.

For more information, e-mail Samia Abdiche (Project Manager), 01227 782093

Finding a Way to Get Through Economic Hard Times.

Scott Hodson and graduate Charles Hunter develop software for the health, sport and leisure industry.

Scott Hodson, managing Director of OFS, a computer software and web design company forthe Health, sport and leisure industry was one of the first to recognise the advantages of thescheme. He took on Charles Hunter, an IT with Digital Culture and Media graduate, on a threemonth contract to develop a specific programme for the company.

"I thought this project was a terrific opportunity for us. We had reached a point where we needed to expand, but didn't want to take on the commitment of a permanent member ofstaff. The internship enabled us to select the best graduate for a project we needed to help our business grow. A lot of people have retrained and joined the health and fitness industry because of the recession and now need our services. However, many of them may not have technological skills. Charles has been working on the new software that will enable anyone to have their own website up and running within three clicks and twenty minutes of their time, completely free. This will lead to these clients coming to us for bespoke programmes or services in the future. So it is of enormous value to us and the growth of our business."

"It's a completely innovative programme which is aimed at anyone from a personal trainer, individual physiotherapist or dietician through to multi-national companies," Charles explains."The web development time has been reduced from three or four months to three clicks. The whole experience for me has been fantastic. I have learned such a lot and am up to industry standard speed now, which is invaluable and great for my CV. It has also made me realise that this is definitely where I want my career to go."

For more information, e-mail Samia Abdiche (Project Manager), 01227 782093

Local Businesses Urged to Join New Apprenticeship Grant Scheme

Firms in the Canterbury district are being encouraged to take up a new grant designed to create places for apprentices in local industry.

Funded by the European Social Fund, the Apprenticeship Grants for Employers 16-24 grant scheme (AGE) aims to generate over 1,000 new apprenticeships across South East England.

The grant provides up to £1,500 for small and medium sized employers in the private and third sectors employing no more than 250 full time equivalent staff, to take on unemployed 16 - 24 year olds as apprentices. The grant will be available from April 2010 until October 2010 and is open to businesses across the district, within a wide range of industries and applicable to companies of all sizes.

Despite the huge challenges that the economic downturn has presented optimists are now predicting the beginning of a recovery. In this way apprenticeships are key to developing the skills of the workforce to enable businesses to respond in the upturn.

As well as providing young people with vital life and career skills by helping them learn a craft, build expertise and to excel in a particular vocation, extensive research has shown many acknowledged benefits to businesses of apprenticeships.

Amongst the advantages they can bring apprenticeships can contribute to improved efficiency, productivity and staff retention, increased workforce flexibility, employee loyalty and motivation. They are also associated with opportunities to recruit and develop ambitious, well-motivated individuals trained to your company's standards while avoiding skill shortages and high training costs by providing cost effective and relevant training and bringing on board a younger workforce.

Local businesses are encouraged to move quickly to sign up to the scheme. There are only 1,025 grants available for the South East region and these will be offered on a first come first served basis. Firms from across the region are likely to want to take advantage of this unique opportunity.


A Flyer / Employer Fact Sheet for the grant scheme is linked to this article on the C4B website

Aspire Learning and Development Limited (Aspire) will administer this grant in the South East in collaboration with the learning providers in the region to support employers to be able to claim this grant.

There are various terms and conditions relating to the scheme. To find out more and apply for the 'AGE 16 - 24' Grant please email:

Canterbury College is the major local provider of apprenticeship training, delivering over 300 apprentices and advanced apprentices annually. The College is able to support your business in identifying your training needs through its dedicated business account manager service and your apprenticeships through its team of work based learning training advisers. For more information contact the Business and Employer Line: 01227 811163, email or visit the dedicated employer section of the College's website at

This article has been prepared for C4B by Canterbury City Council's Local Economy Team. They can be contacted on 01227 862532 or at