The programme to encourage entrepreneurialism amongst graduates is a collaboration between Santander and its university partners and aims to promote the benefits of working for a SME to third-year or recently graduated students, whilst 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.
Botín 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 provide our talented graduate community with the opportunity to gain vital experience in the work place, whilst 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. Santander is proud to be supporting and recognising the entrepreneurial skills demonstrated by students through our Entrepreneurship Awards, as well as announcing an additional £1.5 million of funding to support British universities, taking our total investment to £7 million in the UK and £120 million globally, this year.”