Graduate programme a boost for city business

Graduate programme a boost for city business

Local Enterprise Office Cork City is encouraging businesses to apply for its ‘GradStart’ graduate placement programme, which can fund up to 50% of a graduate employee’s salary to help companies scale and grow. Pictured at Northside Glass on the Old Mallow road are Tony Finn, NSG Production and Glazing Manager with GradStart trainee, Dean Hornibrook. Picture Clare Keogh

CORK city’s Local Enterprise Office is encouraging businesses to avail of a graduate placement programme that could cover 50% of employee’s salary and help participating companies scale and grow.

The GradStart programme offers eligible Local Enterprise Office client companies employing a minimum of five staff financial support to hire top graduate talent for new positions within the company and develop a talent pipeline.

One graduate can be hired at any one time for a two-year period by eligible city-based companies operating in the manufacturing or internationally traded service sectors.

LEO Cork City Business Advisor, Anthony Russell, said the financial supports being offered are designed to enable SMEs to hire top graduate talent and attract graduates to the SME sector.

“GradStart is an excellent initiative offering financial support to eligible Cork companies in hiring top graduate talent. This Enterprise Ireland funded initiative is a very practical support for eligible companies in the manufacturing and internationally traded service sectors,” he said.

Roles in any discipline other than direct sales and direct marketing positions are eligible for support and graduates must have graduated within the last four years.

Cork manufacturing company, Northside Glass (NSG), was successful in applying for the GradStart programme last year and recruited IT graduate, Dean Hornibrook, for a two-year placement commencing last January.

Financial controller at NSG, Claire Hanifin, said: “GradStart has been a fantastic opportunity for our business. It enabled us to offer a competitive salary to recruit skilled graduate talent, which in turn has meant we’ve been able to develop our online presence and the IT side of the business.

“Dean has helped us create Covid Sneeze guards, he’s also creating an online store, bringing us to the next level for e-commerce — we can now sell online. We wouldn’t have been able to do these things without the GradStart programme and the support from LEO Cork City. It’s been hugely beneficial, and I’d recommend the programme to any company.”

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