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Northumbria Enterprise and Business Support Internship Scheme (NEBS2)


Grow Your Business With a Graduate - Northumbria Enterprise and Business Support

Northumbria Enterprise & Business Support (NEBS) Internship Scheme is funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) to support the growth of your small to medium sized business by providing financial support to recruit graduate talent.

Hiring a graduate offers a wealth of benefits to your business, including an injection of skills, knowledge, passion, and enthusiasm to drive your business further.

A graduate intern could help your business fill a skills gap or vacancy, address a project, or contribute to the development of a new product, or improvements to business process. It’s a low risk and effective opportunity to experience the benefits of recruiting a graduate, with the potential to find a permanent employee who is right for your business.

Businesses who are looking at ways to respond to the challenges of Covid-19 are encouraged to apply.

The scheme offers:

  • eligible SMEs funding of up to £4,050 towards the salary of a graduate on a full-time, paid internship of up to 6 months (pro-rata funding is available for internships for a shorter duration of 8 weeks plus)
  • promotion of the internships to recent graduates and, if required, support with the recruitment and selection process.

To be eligible your business must:

  • have less than 250 employees and be an SME as defined by the EU
  • create a new, full-time, position for a graduate, lasting from 8 weeks to 6 months
  • be located in Tyne & Wear or Northumberland
  • be able to pay a salary of, at least, £18,000 pa/pro-rata
  • have received less than €200,000 in De Minimis funding in the last three years
  • have a trading arm or generate an income, and currently engaged in economic activity

“Having a talented and highly qualified graduate is hugely beneficial for us and our clients – something that was made affordable and really simple to do through the support of NEBS.” Graeme Mills, SmartCarbon

We talked to some of the employers about their experience of the internship programme.


For further details and an application form, please contact us, or you can download a copy of the Application Form here.

 To view the Northumbria Enterprise and Business Support Privacy Notice click here.



Complete an application form – These can be requested via email or you can download a copy here. Ensure the application is fully completed, signed and dated. Incomplete forms may delay the process.

Eligibility – the Internships Team will assess that your business is eligible in line with the criteria above and will let you know within two working weeks.

Internship advertising - Once we have confirmed eligibility, we will promote the opportunity across our vacancy platforms and networks.

Recruitment – applications will go directly to you, and you will recruit via your usual methods, carrying out a fair recruitment process including shortlisting and interviewing, and informing unsuccessful candidates. Your processes must comply with current equal opportunities legislation. We can provide advice and support if required. It is your responsibility to ensure that candidates have the right to work in the UK.

Appointment – Once you have identified a candidate you will appoint them under your usual terms and conditions with a full-time employment contract of a minimum of 36 hours per week. We will require a copy along with some brief Health & Safety information, and the signing of the Agreement Letter prior to the commencement of the internship. The internship can then commence!

Payment – We will request your banking information to enable the grant payment to be made. For 6-month internships it will be provided in two payments (mid-point and at completion), on provision of required evidence of payment to the graduate.

Concluding the internship – towards the end of the internship we will be in touch to finalise the paperwork and send you the Project Evaluation Form.

If the internship has been successful, and you are in a position to offer the intern a permanent role, this will be for negotiation between yourself and the graduate.

Small & Medium Sized Enterprise Definition

An enterprise which employs fewer than 250 employees at the time the support is given (inc. part time, seasonal and temporary staff) and is involved in economic activity. In addition, the enterprise will:

  • have an annual balance sheet total not exceeding 43 million euros, or have an annual turnover not exceeding 50 million euros
  • be not more than one quarter (25%) owned by firms that do not comply with the above.


Project duration

Applications are open from April 2021 and internships must be completed by 31st March 2023.



Minimum salary must be, at least, £18,000 pro-rata. The Scheme will contribute a maximum of £4,050 towards a 6-month internship. There is also the opportunity for shorter internships of 8 weeks plus.



The internship must be full-time and open to graduates who have completed their studies in the last 3 years (inc. 2022).


Please note that, although most sectors are eligible for funding, there are some exceptions. If you are unsure, please see our Eligibility & Definitions Document.


At the time of the organisation applying for the scheme, and at the point of the recruitment process, the graduate must not be an existing employee of the organisation.



Contact us

A member of the Internships Team would be happy to speak to you. To speak to a member of the Team, please email or contact 0191 215 6300. 

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