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Graduates for Business review


Graduates for Business (GFB) was set up with the aim of helping businesses become more competitive by accessing the skills of graduates from Scotland’s universities. Participating graduates take part in projects with quantifiable outcomes. The evaluation aimed to assess GFB’s rationale and performance and make recommendations for the way forward.


The evaluation drew on Scottish Enterprise (SE) documentation and on consultations with executives from SE, managers from GFB and officials from the Glasgow Chamber of Commerce and the Careers Services of the universities of Strathclyde and Heriot Watt.


A number of conclusions were reached, including the following: GFB’s core rationale as a business tool remains valid and the market failure rationale behind GFB remains; roughly equal numbers of male and female graduates have participated; the justification of GFB as a business improvement rather than a graduate employment scheme was borne out by the experience of participating businesses; the Glasgow and Edinburgh areas have benefited most from the programme; and there was a discrepancy between positive perceptions of GFB’s outcomes and the reality as shown by the data, which presented a much less positive picture.


The evaluation made several recommendations: marketing should be enhanced by targeting university departments and regionally rather than nationally, and the website’s profile should be raised; the benefits of graduate placement in SMEs should be stressed to both parties; turnover growth figures should be collected for the end of project evaluation and impact data should continue to be recorded after the end of the project; market failure in rural areas needs to be addressed; SE should continue to deliver GFB as there is as much need for the project in 2008 as there was in 2005, but geographic coverage and consistency need to be addressed.

Author EKOS Limited
Published Year 2009
Report Type Evaluation
  • Enterprise
    Support to existing/growth businesses
  • Labour Market and Skills
    Skills Development