Local SME Businesses are Invited to Discover What the DRIVEN Programme’s 2020 Vision Can Look Like for Them

SME businesses in the D2N2 region can find out more about support available from the University of Derby’s DRIVEN programme at a special 2020 Vision event next month.

Since the launch of the University of Derby’s DRIVEN programme a year ago over 170 local businesses have enrolled to gain support in fulfilling skills gaps and recruiting graduate talent.

The programme has created over 130 student internships, with almost 60 additional graduates having been placed in positions with local SMEs across the Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire region.

The University of Derby is working as part of a group of higher and further education providers across the D2N2 region to deliver the European Social Fund (ESF) High Level Skills programme.

The project is receiving up to £2,468,598 of funding from the European Social Fund which supports local areas to stimulate their economic development by investing in projects which will support skills development, employment and job creation, social inclusion and local community regenerations.

Employers who enrol with the DRIVEN programme can potentially reach over 27,000 students and graduates of a gold rated University, and the project has already received over 1,000 applications from this talent pool.

Lorna Taylor from Jolly Back Enterprise Ltd, a company who has benefited from the DRIVEN programme, said: “It’s been brilliant. I’ve enjoyed the process and learned through it too. I’ve offered further project work to our intern as I’m so impressed with our initial result. I would recommend this to many others.”

Abbie Wagstaff, Student Intern at Positive ID Labels, said: “I think there is a stigma around working for small to medium enterprises. Students want to work for the big employers such as Disney, Nike and Aldi, but working for a smaller business gives you more of a voice and a bigger responsibility.”

Kieran Chester, D2N2 External Engagement Manager at the University of Derby, said: “It has been fantastic to see the impact our project has already had for a multitude of stakeholders including students, graduates and organisations across the region.

“The team has worked incredibly hard to deliver a high level of support, connecting student and graduate talent with a range of companies in D2N2 to deliver higher level skills into their organisations.

“We are excited to develop a host of new initiatives for 2020 that will continue to add value to the project and look forward to engaging with more regional SMEs in the New Year.”

The DRIVEN team would like to invite small and medium sized local businesses to their 2020 Vision event, taking place on Tuesday 11 February at the University’s Kedleston Road site from 5.30pm -7.30pm.

To book onto the event please visit the University of Derby website www.derby.ac.uk/events/latest-events/drivens-2020-vision/