GRADS for D2N2: Customer Plus

GRADS for D2N2: Customer Plus

The University of Derby is DRIVEN to help small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) across Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire to recruit and retain the area's most talented students and graduates.

The DRIVEN programme is the University of Derby's GRADS for D2N2 project, which enables their team to offer tailored packages of fully and part funded services to meet the individual needs of businesses whilst enabling less financial risk to the company.

The GRADS for D2N2 project is part-funded by the European Social Fund and is part of the ESF High Level Skills programme.  The GRADS for D2N2 project is delivered by the University of Derby as part of the High Level Skills consortium which also includes Nottingham Trent University, Derby College, Nottingham College, and Nottingham City Council.

In light of the coronavirus pandemic the service has been adapted to provide businesses with a wide range of remote working internships.

Customer Plus, a customer experience consultancy  based in Duffield Derbyshire, has benefited from the DRIVEN programme.

Richard Beevers, Director of Customer Plus, says: "The main reason we wanted an intern was to get help with some projects that are important to us but not urgent; we're a small business and everyone's pretty fully occupied, with lots of things that we know we should do that we don't necessarily get round to, so it's great to have an extra pair of hands and an extra brain to get those projects kick-started and finished."

"I think we get a number of benefits, one is we get someone who's bright, capable, good communication skills, and we find those individuals can turn their hands to anything. Secondly we actually do get the brainpower and the bandwidth that we're perhaps lacking for these discretionary projects, and of course we get the challenge and the view of a young person, and we think we're committed to supporting young people on the start of their career, we know that academic background is good but employers are looking for people with practical work experience so I think we're keen to give people that start in life, it is a win-win because we get their ideas and intelligence as well, but we do like to give back and we do like to give people at their start."

"We've got projects done that I don't think we would have done; we've got ideas and insights into that particular generation, and it's been a source of talent so one or two folks we've actually liked so much we've taken on board permanently."

For more information about the DRIVEN programme, visit the University of Derby's website.

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