Santander UK chief executive Ana Botín has extended the bank’s support for SMEs with the launch of a new programme to place graduates from the country’s top universities on internships with SMEs across the UK.
The programme aims to promote the benefits of working for an SME to third-year or recently graduated students, while also providing smaller businesses with an injection of talent not always easy to obtain by companies with limited administration resources.
Santander will work with its partner universities to find students and companies who will benefit most from the scheme and will help with placement and administration, including project management, as well as part-funding a basic salary for the students.
Ana said: “Youth unemployment, and particularly graduate unemployment, is one of the most pressing issues for the UK economy. We hope our new programme, offering 500 student internships to SMEs, can help our talented graduate community to gain vital experience in the workplace, opening their eyes to the benefits of working for smaller companies.
“SMEs have not typically attempted to compete with the graduate recruitment schemes of the big FTSE players, and we hope that this initiative will give a wider range of companies the benefit of fresh young talent.
“As the engines of progress and invention, universities have an important role to play in incubating the enterprises of tomorrow.”