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Graduates for growth: evaluation – final report


Graduates for Growth (GfG) was established in January 1998 as a means of bringing together graduates and SME (small and medium-sized enterprise) employers. Scottish Enterprise Edinburgh and Lothian (SEEL) has supported the project and been its main funder since its inception. Matrix was commissioned by SEEL to review GfG, looking particularly at: whether it should be continued based on its performance to date and, if so, how it should be taken forward; whether external funding could or should be found; how GfG fits in with national priorities; and whether it could or should be expanded throughout Scotland.


Consultations were carried out with the Project Director, members of the Advisory committee, other universities, other LECs and Scottish Enterprise. A review was undertaken of relevant quantitative information and other existing documents including the GfG Business Plan for a Scottish service, an evaluation report prepared in 2000 and an employers’ survey, also from 2000. A small survey of participating employers was also carried out.


The project was considered to be relatively successful in quantitative terms, although certain qualifications were made with regard to market penetration and the need to clarify which sectors should be targeted. In qualitative terms, the project was highly thought of by all interviewees and the arguments for its continuation were strong. GfG was found to be well aligned with every Scottish Executive agenda regarding graduates and employment. Replacement funding might require the project to increase its scope beyond the local level. Overall, GfG has represented very good value for money for SEEL.


It was recommended that the ideal funding arrangement would be a partnership of funding from Scottish Enterprise and/or the appropriate LECs, the universities, and one or more high profile private sponsors. SEEL, potentially with the support of Scottish Enterprise and LECs, should underwrite the preparation of a business plan for the project to be extended to national level, and continue to support GfG until a new structure is implemented.

Author Matrix Management Consultancy
Published Year 2009
Report Type Evaluation
  • Labour Market and Skills
    Skills Development