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Support for SMEs

We appreciate that University support can be difficult for businesses to navigate, particularly for those with limited resources.

We have listed the main ways we can support SMEs below, but please do get in touch using the contact details provided if you have any specific requirements or would like to discuss anything in more detail.

Laura Smith
Employer Services Manager, Careers & Enterprise

Recruiting Graduates, Interns or Placement Students

  • We offer a free vacancy advertising service where you can register your organisation and upload job adverts for graduate roles, internships, placements or local part-time work. The system is self-service and simple to use, and all vacancies listed are available to all current Durham University students and a number of registered graduates.
  • You can take out an advert in our weekly email bulletin to further promote your vacancies. Visit our Digital Advertising webpages for more information.
  • Businesses offering exclusive opportunities to Durham University students will be offered email advertising, social media postings and targeted promotion to students free of charge.

For more information about online vacancy advertising and a link to the online system, please visit our Advertise Opportunities webpage.

To discuss offering exclusive opportunities or developing a collaborative relationship with the Careers Service, please contact Cathi Howe, Employer Engagement Officer, at 

Recruitment Events and Marketing

Engaging with students directly to promote opportunities with your business is a great way to generate interest and talk to students about what it's like to work for your organisation. We offer a range of events and activity that you can get involved in, the majority of which comes at no cost at all to you as an SME.

Due to the pandemic, we are currently only offering virtual career fairs and recruitment events, but we hope to be able to offer face-to-face activities again starting in early 2022.

Financial Support and Funding

We have a range of funding opportunities and discounts available to SMEs:

  • SMEs can attend Durham University career fairs at a discounted rate.
  • SMEs based in County Durham may be able to access funding to employ interns through the Durham Internships & Collaborative Enterprise Project.
  • Any SME may be able to access part or full funding to employ a student or recent graduate into a short-term project role through the Santander Universities SME Internship Programme.
  • Social Enterprises may be able to engage with Durham University students via the Social Enterprise Live Programme.

All of the above financial support and funding is subject to availability. Please visit Tailored Recruitment Services & Funded Projects for more information about the funded schemes available.

For more information please contact Laura Smith, Employer Services Manager, at

Research & Innovation Services

Durham University works with external organisations across a wide range of sectors. Whether you are interested in collaborating with our world-leading academics or you wish to access our research facilities and equipment, we can work with you.

For more information on how Durham University can help you with all aspects of research and research-related work, including securing funding, working with partners, undertaking knowledge exchange, demonstrating impact, commercialising outputs, ensuring good research practice and supporting professional development, visit the Research & Innovation Services webpages.

Apprenticeship Funding

Durham University has a pledge to transfer our apprenticeship levy funds to fund another organisation’s apprenticeship training and assessment. Businesses located in the Durham area can seek support from Durham University’s Apprenticeship Levy via their preferred training provider. Our support is available to levy paying and non-levy paying businesses facing challenges securing funding for an apprenticeship for one of the following reasons: 

  • the business would benefit from 100% of the apprenticeship training costs to be covered
  • the business is a levy payer which has committed all its own levy funding.

The apprenticeship(s) can be at any level and from any sector but must be an apprenticeship standard not a framework. Once the training provider has been selected, you can ask the training provider to register the apprenticeships requiring funding on your behalf.

Our pledge has been created as pledge 7KJ7G9, it is now public and can be viewed online here. Please scroll down to view the pledge under the name of Durham University. The pledge is open for applications from all industries.

 Please contact Claire Hunter at with any queries.