Information for SMEs

Would you like access to a talented pool of enthusiastic students and graduates?

Keele University offers eligible companies a free of charge internship service, with funding towards the wages provided by Santander. Keele's Internship scheme is now in its third year, and many companies have gone on to offer permanent roles.

An internship can be an excellent way to inject some fresh student or graduate talent into your organisation, and is less risky than taking on permanent staff.

If you employ more than 250 employees, please refer to our internship scheme for larger organisations.

It's a great way to bring fresh student and graduate talent to your organisation.  It's less risky than taking on permanent staff, although many companies do decide to extend employment after the internship period has ended.  For the student or graduate, it's a chance to gain some additional skills and experience.  For both of you, it's a good way to see if you are suited in the longer term.  The internship model is often used by companies with one-off, fixed term projects.

Internships through Keele University are paid (we do not support unpaid work), we can offer salary advice if required.

The internship can be as short as 2 weeks or up to 10 weeks, either on a full time or part time basis. If you intend to use the internship as a trial period, we can advertise your role as "view to permanent". Shorter fixed term internships are more suitable for your one-off projects.

Does your role suit a student or a graduate? Or Either?

Students who do internships during their studies are advised by the University to limit their working hours to one or two days per week, although they can often commit to full time working over the summer period (Mid may to Mid September).  On the other hand, our graduates, who will have completely finished their studies, will be more interested in full time work.  Teaching on undergraduate courses is usually finished in May, returning at the end of September. The scheme runs all year round, and we have students and graduates from a wide range of disciplines, including Business, Marketing/Media, Science, and IT.

The Keele-Santander scheme offers eligible organisations £1,500 towards student/graduate wages.  To be eligible, you'll need to:

  • Have an annual turnover of less than £50m and be UK based.

The following types of companies are all eligible to apply:

  • Franchise
  • Limited Company
  • Social Enterprise
  • UK Subsidiary
  • Partnership
  • Charities

Keele University has assisted businesses in a variety of sectors and a wide range of job roles. Some of the most popular ones are listed below and these reflect the breadth of subjects studied at Keele.

  • Business/Management
  • Marketing/PR
  • Policy/Research projects
  • Technical/IT
  • Scientific/Environmental

Please contact us with your specific requirements, we will be happy to discuss with you.

The Internship team at Keele provides a free of charge internship scheme to eligible companies, and this includes:

  • Initial consultation with you to discuss your requirements
  • Advice on salary, length of internship, skill sets available
  • Advertising of your role on relevant media
  • Sifting and shortlisting of students/graduates against your person specification/job description
  • Candidate telephone screen
  • Funding of £1,500 toward the student/graduate's wages (eligible companies)

Once we have sent you the most suitable students/graduates, it's over to you to arrange interviews directly.  You make the final choice of candidate.

We ask you to keep us informed about interview dates and internship start dates.

At the end of the internship period, you will be asked to complete a short evaluation form which Santander and Keele use to monitor the effectiveness of the scheme.

Once we have sent you suitable candidates to consider for interview, it is up to you to arrange interviews directly with them.  It becomes too complicated with dates and arrangements for us to be involved.

At the start of the process, we need some basic details from you - please download, complete and return the Employer Details and Job Description Template.

The student/graduate needs to work from your offices (working exclusively from home is not allowed under the scheme), and have a designated line manager/supervisor.

We expect students/graduates to be treated in the same manner as other employees, for example company induction and specific on the job training if required and to employed according to legislation - they are therefore entitled to paid holidays.

We will ask you to complete an evaluation form at the end of the internship at the same time as sending in your invoice for the wage contribution - your feedback will help us improve our internship scheme.

The scheme minimum is £8.60 per hour (£16,770 based on 37.5 hour working week) although certain skills sets will demand a more competitive rate - our advice is to offer a competitive rate of pay, commensurate with the role.

We can offer salary advice, and we like to understand the opportunities for progression in your organisation, as this is an important factor for us when we are searching for your ideal intern.  For shorter term, one-off projects it can be more acceptable to offer our scheme minimum, as graduates can still benefit from the experience.

The internship can be offered on either a part time or full time basis, and the max funding that you can receive is £1,500 which is based on a 10 week full time internship.  Interns need to be payrolled by you.

The Keele-Santander Internship scheme provides eligible companies a wage contribution of 50% of the wage cost (based on a 35 hour working week paid at the min £8.60)   The maximum amount is £1,500 for a full time 10 week internship. Funding is payable at the end of the internship (by company invoice).  A small amount of paperwork is required at the start of the recruitment process, and PRIOR to advertising a role on your behalf.

Keele offers a broad range of undergraduate and postgraduate courses and we offer many dual honours programmes. 

Keele's internship scheme runs all year round.  Students and graduates are looking at different times of year, and we are able to contact graduates who finished their studies in the last three years.  Your role is promoted via many online channels and through Keele's Alumni.  Internships can be offered on a part time basis, so we would advertise these mainly to current students who are studying at Keele. 

We do ask employers to be mindful of certain times of the year when students are preparing for exams or doing a dissertation and we provide students with advice on working hours.

The Keele-Santander scheme is very flexible, enabling you to offer part time or full time roles.  We can discuss with you the recommended length of internship.  It will depend on your project/work and your ultimate aim with the internship.

Keele Internships is proud of its successful engagement with companies who take on student/graduate interns.  We can guide you through the process, but here are a few key areas that we feel are important to establish a valuable experience for both you and the graduate intern:

  • A clear and concise job description - outlining the main duties of the post
  • A meaningful job title - best to keep it simple
  • A rate of pay appropriate to the role
  • Communication to us and the graduate of the potential career and salary progression in your organisation
  • A structured induction to the internship
  • Appropriate support to the student/graduate, especially during the first few days/weeks