A guest blog from The Aberdeen Grampian Chamber of Commerce

Going up against large corporates in the competitive recruitment market of the North-east can place smaller firms at a disadvantage.

The Scottish Government has acknowledged the problem, and is supporting a scheme through the Scottish Chambers of Commerce to help businesses boost their graduate recruitment.

Administered in the North-east through Aberdeen & Grampian Chamber of Commerce (AGCC), the graduate recruitment incentive lets businesses with fewer than 50 employees access £1,500 for each position created.

Help is also given in navigating the recruitment process, in creating the job specification and advertising the position, as well as the graduate’s induction into the company and performance management once they are in the post.

Unlike other support schemes, the graduate has to be under 30 and does not have to be from Scotland, as long as they have a right to live and work in the UK.

When the scheme was run a year ago, 40 small businesses created 100 graduate jobs in four months, with 71% of the recruits previously being either unemployed or underemployed.

Liam Chamber of Commerce Enterprise North East Trust BlogLiam Smyth, membership director at Aberdeen & Grampian Chamber of Commerce, said: “We have an ambitious target of finding 20 businesses that can benefit from this funding from the Government to allow them to address crucial skill shortages which are impacting on this region’s business environment.
“With such high employment levels in the region, smaller firms can sometimes be at a disadvantage when it comes to attracting talent.
“Having £70,000 of support available to employers in our region, with £30,000 as direct financial incentives, will go some way to help level the playing field.”

Nationwide, the scheme aims to support the creation of 270 new, permanent graduate jobs for small to medium sized businesses in Scotland which will empower small businesses to employ a graduate and support the growth of their company.

• More information on the scheme can be found at http://www.graduateincentive.co.uk/

Alex Salmond Enterprise North East Trust Chamber of Commerce Graduate scheme

First Minister Alex Salmond at the Graduate Recruitment Incentive launch with Liz Cameron of the Scottish Chamber (second left) and Youth Employment Minister Angela Constance (far right), meeting Scott Muirhead, a graduate who found a position through the scheme with DesignLine Creative in Campbeltown.

Graduate Recruitment Incenteive

If you are a local small business thinking of taking on your first employee, your Business Gateway local adviser will be able to advise you of the best options to suit your situation, and make you aware of all Grants and funding available to you. 

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