The Royal Society of Chemistry – in partnership with Cogent Skills – is offering £20,000 grants to help SMEs in the chemicals sector recruit chemistry undergraduates for a 12-month placement.
Each grant is worth £20,000 and covers the student’s salary and the employer’s national insurance payments for one year and are open to any company who joins their EnterprisePlus Scheme.
The placement grants are supported by Cogent Skills, the UK’s strategic body for skills in the science industries, who collaborate with employers to recruit the most suitable candidates. Using extensive recruitment channels, Cogent Skills will advertise and shortlist candidates to minimise the impact of the recruitment process.
Clare Wilson at Royal Society of Chemistry said: “We offer these placements as part of our wider support to small chemical science companies, EnterprisePlus. Our aim is also to encourage more chemistry graduates into industry and to enhance their research and employability skills and finally to help bridge the gap between academia and industry.”
Donna Dainton at Cogent Skills said: “If you’re an SME in the chemicals sector and you want to grow, it’s vital to take on chemistry undergraduates. Having students on a placement scheme gives businesses the opportunity to sample the talent that’s available and support with projects that need additional resources while the students themselves can bring fresh ideas.”
The chemicals sector is at risk of a skills gap with recent research collated by Cogent Skills highlighting that just 8.5% of the UK industrial sciences workforce is made up of graduates and school leavers, making it more important than ever for companies to attract and develop talent via placement schemes.
In previous years placement roles have included synthesising new products, QA and method development and optimising production of existing products. The roles clearly need to be useful for the company but should also include a strong chemistry component and an opportunity for some impendent research.
Applications for grants close at 5pm on 9 November 2015. To apply visit www.rsc.org/sme/industrial-placement-grants