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Graduate interns in the running

2nd August 2017

The company set up by Olympic legend Brendan Foster and behind the world-famous Great North Run has picked up the pace on expansions plans by recruiting a graduate through a scheme managed by Northumbria University.

Mass participation-sporting events specialist The Great Run Company has appointed Northumbria graduate Susie Brown as an Event Administrator. The 26-week paid internship, facilitated by the Northumbria Enterprise and Business Support (NEBS) initiative, is part funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF.

The size and specialist nature of the Great Run Company can make it difficult to hire experienced event managers in mass participation. A strategy of recruiting graduates and developing them internally, however, means it can build the expertise it needs from within. Taking this strategy further, Northumbria history graduate Susie has been hired initially to provide support for The Great Run Company’s events managers.

Rebecca Brown, HR Manager at The Great Run Company, said: “When Brendan Foster organised the first Simplyhealth Great North Run in 1981 it must have been difficult to imagine that 36 years later it would be one of the biggest mass-participation sporting events on earth. Today, this famous half-marathon is just one of more than 30 annual events we organise.

“As well as a core team of 80 staff, we work with a range of partners, contractors, specialist crew and volunteers to help us deliver our events. Ensuring we have enough people with the right skills set to make this all happen can be a challenge, which is why we already invest in recruiting and training graduates. Taking on Susie adds a new dimension to this as we seek graduates who can provide dedicated administrative support to the managers, while also keeping open a path to them to grow their career in event management.

“The support from Northumbria in terms of funding is great for us. We are introducing a new role for the business and financial help for the first six months, assists us in assessing the requirements of the role and the person.”

Victor Ottaway, Graduate Internship Manager at NEBS, said: “The overall aim of the NEBS ERDF grant is to ensure that small and medium-sized businesses can access help to invest in their next generation of talent, become more competitive and commercially sustainable. The Great Run Company’s graduate development strategy complements this perfectly, so that together we can help the business expand sustainably and create a fabulous employment opportunity for a high calibre graduate.”

The NEBS graduate Internship scheme aims to help 130 individual small and medium-sized businesses in Tyne & Wear and Northumberland find their next generation of talent. It can contribute £3,825 towards the salary costs too (minimum salary £17,000 pa pro rata).


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