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Santander Universities Employability Scheme

Santander Employability Scheme.

Do you need an extra hand on board? Are you thinking of creating an internship or work project for a student? Would a grant of up to £1,000 towards their salary be helpful?

The Entrepreneurship Centre, in collaboration with Santander Universities, is making grants available to assist SMEs with the cost of hiring a University of Cambridge student or recent graduate for a work project or internship.

This grant of up to £1,000 can be used to fully or partly fund the placement.

Participants on the Accelerate Cambridge programme are eligible to apply for £1,260 for a fully-funded four-week internship.

Internships or work project placements

  • Minimum duration of 70 hours (55 hours if located within the boroughs of Greater London).
  • Minimum pay rate of £9 per hour (£10.75 per hour if located within the boroughs of Greater London).
  • No more than 35 hours per week.
  • Working hours, if mutually agreed, can be distributed across the year but must always be in line with the stipulated pay rates.
  • Can be completed virtually or in person.
  • Students/graduates who have completed a funded placement cannot be funded for a second or extended placement with the same business.
  • SMEs must operate the placement in accordance with all employment laws and regulations.
  • Any salary expenditure above £1,000 must be funded by the SME in line with the stipulated hourly pay rate.

Eligibility criteria

  • Must be a for-profit company registered and based in the UK.
  • Placement must be offered to a University of Cambridge student (undergraduate, postgraduate or PhD) or recent graduate.

Recruitment and application process

SMEs are responsible for managing all aspects of the recruitment process including advertising, interviewing and selection.

The University of Cambridge Careers Service offers a recruiting service where vacancies can be posted. There is also help and advice available from their knowledgeable team. For further enquiries, contact [email protected].

If you need a smart, hardworking intern for a business project, why not consider a student from Cambridge Judge Business School? Register and post on the School’s job board. The job board is the prime source of internships and projects for the over 500 experienced postgraduate business students of Cambridge University.

Once a student or graduate has been recruited, a representative of the SME may submit an application for funding.

Submit an application

Applications are reviewed on a rolling basis and applicants will be notified of the outcome within 14 calendar days of submission date.

Submission of an application does not guarantee funding. 

For more information, email Zizi Hollander.


Funding for 2021 has been fully allocated.

SMEs with pre-approved funding may still submit their application.


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[email protected]