Consultant Kate Danielson has recently submitted a consortium bid to the Creative Employment Programme on behalf of a consortium led by Create Gloucestershire - see the project page for more information. Here she shares some information about an alternative internship programme specifically for graduates and employers in the South West.

I recently found out about the Grads for Growth programme which is running in the South West during 2014.  It could be an interesting alternative for employers in the cultural sector who are looking for a more experienced intern than would be available through the Creative Employment Programme and are able to pay £16k pro rata.  The employers also benefit from the mentoring and CPD for the intern that comes with it.

“The programme is aimed at SMEs in the South West with innovative ideas for the future of their business that will add value, improving competitiveness and profitability. We will help you identify an innovation project and help recruit an ambitious graduate to deliver this project, supported by expert mentors and a dedicated Business Development team.”


They offer £1,800 “investment” (ie subsidy) towards the salary for a 6 month project and £2,400 for a 9 month project.  This leaves employers with salary costs of £6,200 (£16k pro rata) for 6 months or £9,600 for 9 months. 

Funding comes from the European Regional Development Fund.


All placements must be finished by June 2015 so the latest start date is December 2014.


As employers, you go through a speedy review and approval process to determine whether you have an eligible INNOVATION project which you could use a new graduate to work on.

They help you recruit and they support you (with business support) and the grad (mentoring support – funding of up to £1,200 available) throughout.

 Aim of the programme

To support SMEs, encourage innovation and create/strengthen links between SMEs and HEIs.

For more information