Nottinghamshire scheme supports SMEs to recruit graduates

This summer, the University of Nottingham, Nottingham Trent University, Nottingham City Council and Nottinghamshire County Council are coming together to create a ‘city graduate scheme’ called Fuse. The scheme will give small to medium businesses in and around the city access to outstanding graduate talent, and will give graduates access to a range of excellent job opportunities.

The programme will provide businesses with a corporate standard graduate attraction and selection process, including video interviews and assessment centres to find the best people – at no cost to the company. If you have been considering recruiting graduates, or found it difficult in the past, then this scheme could be for you and your business.

Why are you doing it?

FUSE 3Fuse aims to better connect Nottingham’s greatest assets, our businesses and graduates. We know that graduates are not routinely recruited by SMEs and that graduates often don’t consider SMEs for graduate employment. Fuse is here to help address this disconnect and position SMEs as an excellent alternative to a corporate graduate scheme, whilst making it easier for you to attract, recruit, train and keep graduates in your business.

Is my business eligible?

    You are eligible for support if you:

  • Have less than 250 employees
  • Are based in Nottingham or Nottinghamshire
  • Are new to graduate recruitment or looking to recruit them in new ways

Do I have any flexibility in the length of the position?

We would recommend a minimum length of 6 months for the job, in order for you to get a reasonable return on the investment. If you do choose to advertise for a 6 month position, you could offer the opportunity for it to become permanent depending on performance.

What do I get?

If you participate in Fuse you will get:

  • The support of a graduate recruitment/development consultant from end-to-end
  • Support to spec out the role the graduate will do
  • Support with writing the job advert
  • In-house training and development on running a graduate scheme
  • Job advertising as part of the high profile Fuse campaign
  • Screening of the application forms, video interviews and assessment centres
  • A shortlist of candidates to interview
  • A business briefing with the other SMEs on the scheme, providing useful information for final interviews and graduate development
  • A one day launch event for your graduate
  • An optional development session on graduate recruitment methods
  • Training and development sessions for your graduate for the first 6 months
  • Opportunities for you to network, learn and share with other SME owners in the city region
  • Positive press for your organisation through case studies and PR

What do I have to put in?

There are four things you must give a graduate as part of this scheme:

1. An induction
2. A line manager
3. Some good quality work for them to do
4. An appraisal

You will also pay their salary and employers national insurance. The exact rate of pay will be up to you (though we strongly recommend a minimum of £16,000pa).

What will happen and when?

6th June – 18th July – Scoping roles and writing adverts – undertaken by Fuse/Employer
18th July – 8th August – Advertising of all roles – undertaken by Fuse (supported by our partners)
11th August – 14th August – Video interviews – undertaken by Fuse
22nd – 26th August – Assessment centres – undertaken by Fuse
August 30th (TBC) – Employer briefing – undertaken by Fuse/Employer
W/C 29th August – Employers receive candidate packs and interview schedule – undertaken by Fuse
29th – 9th September – Final interviews – undertaken by Employer
16th September – Business induction (for graduates) – undertaken by Fuse

The exact start date, end date and length of the placement will be up you, your needs and budget.

What kind of graduates will you attract/recruit?

We are looking for graduates with a positive attitude, determination and the motivation to learn and succeed. For example, graduates that:

  • are self-starters that don’t want to work in large corporates
  • are hardworking and motivated
  • are driven have been doing other challenging stuff alongside their studies like working part-time jobs, leading projects, volunteering or excelling at sport
  • want or need to stay in Nottinghamshire
  • are driven, business focused, professional and able to work well in a team
  • can do the job you need them to do!

Who can I contact to find out more?

Fuse Business Engagement Manager: John Brown, 07532 349113,
Fuse Project Manager: Caroline Hill, 07584 030 527,