ScotGrad: developing growing businesses through graduate talent

September 12, 2014

ScotGrad is a Scotland-wide graduate placement programme for growing businesses. The programme was designed to help Scottish based companies find suitably skilled graduates who will use their skills to work on key business projects over three to 12 month paid placements. Here, Reni Onayemi from the ScotGrad team shows what opportunities are available for employers and graduates and highlights the success stories so far…


The startup environment is a very dynamic and complex one, and building the right team is essential for a company’s success.  Finding talent is the most difficult and important challenge that a young business faces. That’s where ScotGrad comes in. The programme was set up in 2010 to help businesses find graduates to carry out specified project work with the aim of making a real impact on your business growth. Graduates on ScotGrad placements also receive a suite of professional development activities designed to improve productivity and support in the delivery of your placement project and the whole process is free of charge for employers and graduates.

The programme has already seen great success. Since inception, 635 companies across Scotland have used ScotGrad to access skilled graduates to work on well-defined projects and have seen excellent results.

IC Mobile Lab is just one of the recent success stories. It was set up in December 2011 and as a growing company, resources were limited.  That’s why founder, Lee McLaughlin, turned to ScotGrad for help, “We got a real benefit from using ScotGrad, not just in reducing the financial risk of taking on new staff, but also in being able to understand how to develop new members of the team to get the most out of the experience for both parties.”

While ScotGrad has numerous benefits for employers, graduates also reap the benefits.

Zeinab Hussain applied to ScotGrad at the start of 2013 and was recruited by IC Mobile Lab for a Sales & Marketing Officer placement after they identified the need for somebody to design and implement a new marketing strategy for the company. The initial placement was for 6 months up to September 2013 which was extended to March 2014 and then turned into a permanent position through the Commonwealth Graduate Fund in April 2014. The placement has been mutually beneficial for both parties- Zeinab now has a permanent job using her degree qualifications and IC Mobile Lab now has a CRM system in place and a strong presence on social media.

Coming straight from university, graduates can sometimes lack the confidence they need to succeed but ScotGrad provides mentoring and support throughout the placement to help their development, personally and professionally.  By working with a start-up company, Zeinab has managed to gain first hand marketing experience and she now knows that this is definitely the career path she wants to follow.

IC Mobile Lab is just one of many creative companies to benefit so far from the ScotGrad scheme, with others including YomegoBlipfoto and EmuBands.

It’s an approach that’s made a real difference to lots of businesses across Scotland. Take advantage and you could be next.

Are you an employer interested in offering a placement through the ScotGrad programme? Or a graduate looking to kick-start your career? Visit the ScotGrad website for more information or contact us.