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For further information or to arrange an informal chat, you can contact the Internships Team at

Alternatively, you can call the office on 01392 722617.  Phone lines are monitored 9am-5pm, Monday-Friday.

The Graduate Business Partnership Scheme (GBP)

The Graduate Business Partnership Scheme supports employers from a range of sectors, to recruit recent graduates into early careers roles.

The internships Team will provide all the help and support you need to attract talented graduates to your role and we can reach final year students and graduates from universities all over the UK.  We want to showcase employers in the southwest to encourage individuals with the skills our region needs to return or relocate to the area.

Next Steps

Before you start the recruitment process, it is recommended that you speak to the Internships Team who can learn more about your needs and provide guidance. You can contact the team at or call 01392 722617. Phone lines are monitored 9am-5pm, Monday-Friday. If the team are not available to take your call, you can leave a message.

University Academics and Recruiting Managers

Please complete the Internal Internship Vacancy Form

I would just like to say that, yet again, the standard of applicant we attracted through the University’s Graduate Business Partnership was outstanding. All three passed the threshold for appointment at interview. We were very impressed with the way the chosen candidate presented herself. She was a credit to whatever work the University does to prepare students for this next stage of their lives.

 Andrew Kirchin, Director, Intelligent Communications and Engagement

We can support employers by...

  • Helping you to create a job description and person specification that attracts the right candidates to your role.
  • Advertising and promoting your vacancy to final year students and graduates from UK-based universities who have qualified within the last 3 years.
  • We use a managed application process which means applications are easier to compare and shortlist.
  • When the team send you the applications, we'll let you know if any of the candidates have declared a disability and require special arrangements.  We'll also make you aware of any international graduates who have working visas.
  • The team will provide detailed guidance and advice to help you shortlist, conduct the interviews and appoint.
  • Once you have appointed, we will provide an internship agreement and offer ongoing support to you and your graduate so you can both get the most out of the opportunity.

The benefits available...

All GBP graduates have access to great benefits in addition to those offered by their employers:

  • My Career Zone Digital which provides online training resources to support ongoing career development.
  • Access to the University's Career Mentor Scheme - this one of the largest and most successful career mentor schemes in the UK connecting students and graduates with experienced professionals for regular insights and advice over a 6-month period.
  • Bespoke networking through The Graduate Network.  This is a network that has been developed exclusively for GBP graduates and their line managers providing networking and professional development opportunities through quarterly events.

The University of Exeter is proud to attract talented individuals from all over the world to study in the region and many want to stay and gain experiece with companies like yours after they graduate.

International students can work full-time on their Tier 4 student visa once they have completed all of their work.  Once the student visa expires, they can apply for the Graduate Visa which does not require company sponsorship.  The Graduate Visa allows them to stay and work in the UK for 2 years after which time, they have the option to apply for the Skilled Worker Visa.

The Internships Team can provide you with futher guidance and advice to give you peace of mind and confidence when employing international graduates.  You can arrange a conversation by emailing or you can call 01392 722617 and one of the team will be happy to help with any questions you have.

Learn more about the application process for international graduates.

You can advertise your graduate role at any time of year.  The GBP scheme is available to all graduates who have graduated from a UK-based university in the last 3 years.

Advertising your vacancy

As the GBP scheme promotes employers who are recommended by the university, our Employment Schemes Manager will meet with you to learn more about your needs and ensure a graduate is right for your business.  You can request an appointment by contacting the team at or by calling 01392 722617.

Creating a job description

Employers can create a job description using the External Internship Vacancy Form

Recruiting managers and academics at the University of Exeter can use the Internal Internship Vacancy Form‌.

You can send your completed form to and this will be reviewed by our Employment Schemes Manager who will then contact you with the next steps.

Promotion of your vacancy

The Internships Team will advertise and promote your role so it reaches final year students and graduates from all over the UK.

  • The team will advertise you role on Handshake - the university's careers portal
  • Targeted emails are used to reach graduates by career sector; occupation; and discipline
  • Your role is promoted on the university's social media platforms including Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn
  • Our Jobs bulletin is sent to over 5k graduate subscribers each week to showcase your role
  • The university's team of Employability Officers are made aware of your role so they can discuss it with final year students and graduates
  • We use graduate recruitment sites to maximise the reach of your opportunity including sites used by other universities across the UK

For GBP roles advertised at the University, the team will also advertise on 

  • The University of Exeter 'Working Here" vacancy page
  •, Indeed, and Glassdoor

Other ways the university can help you with your long-term recruitment strategy...

To raise awareness of your company brand and create a talent pipeline, you can utilise the university's internship schemes that support you to recruit current students into paid part-time roles, or full-time roles during the holidays.  This gives you early access to the future workforce which can make your long-term recruitment easier to manage.

Contact the team to learn more about...

  • The Student Business Partnership scheme that supports employers to recruit current students into paid internships
  • The Casual Jobs and Internships Fairs that takes place twice a year on campus in Exeter and Penryn. The fairs are mainly attended by small to medium sized employers with a base in the South West who can promote their job and career opportunities to thousands of Exeter students.
  • The Career Mentor Scheme - discover how you can join one of the largest and most successful career mentor schemes in the UK that connects experienced professionals with Exeter students and graduates to offer support, guidance, and sector insights over a 6-month period.
  • Deliver a Recruitment Presentation to showcase your brand and raise awareness of the careers available in your business

Email or call 01392 722617

Graduates can undertake various learning and development activities to support them at the start of their careers. Below is a list of learning and development activities open to all graduates; graduates employed by the University of Exeter; and graduates employed by other employers.

Learning and Development opportunities open to all graduates (GBPs) recruited through the Graduate Business Partnership scheme

  • Career Mentor Scheme - The University of Exeter's Career Mentor Scheme is one of the largest and most successful career mentor schemes in the UK.  This scheme connects graduates with an experienced professional for sector insights and one-to-one careers advice and guidance over a 6-month period. Meetings can take place online or in-person once a month, providing flexibility to opening up access to mentors from all over the world. Two schemes are offered each year and a dedicated team is on hand to provide guidance and ongoing support.
  • Handshake - Handshake is an early careers network and careers management platform which allows graduates to discover employers and opportunities including the Career Mentor Scheme, job application support, and career fairs and other employability events.  
  • Ask An Alum - Ask An Alum is a simple and reliable way to connect you with University of Exeter alumni, to answer careers questions, via a short email exchange. Hundreds of alumni are signed up to the Ask An Alum scheme, and come from a variety of job roles and from a huge range of organisations, sectors, and countries. Graduates don't need to have a set career in mind, just a desire to gather more information and gain insight into the careers they are considering. Your GBP can ask almost any type of careers related question and apply as many times as they like. There is no long term commitment, objectives, training or preparation needed to participate in Ask An Alum. Just fill out our quick and easy Ask An Alum Application Form (in term-time only) and your GBP can be introduced to an alumni within a matter of days. Our only requirement is that they respond to the introduction as soon as possible and within 3 days!


  • Online: Your graduate can join the UoE Internship groups on Facebook and LinkedIn; follow Career Zone on Twitter @UoECareers; follow Internships  on Twitter @UoEInternships
  • Events: GBP graduates and their line managers are invited to join The Graduate Network.  This offers quarterly networking and professional development opportunities.
  • Abintegro – Abintegro (formally known as My Career Zone), provides over 5000 employability resources for your graduate to use- including careers assessment tool; IT Skills; Employability skills and the latest industry developments. Graduates of the University of Exeter will automatically have an account and can access it if thye still have an active (extended) Exeter student email address. If not please email requesting renewed access to Abintegro using a new email address. Graduates from other universities who are participating in the GBP scheme can access Abintegro by sending an email to stating the first name, last name and personal email address so we can request a new account to be set up by our Abintegro Administrator.
  • Work Shadow Scheme – Bespoke work shadowing opportunities can be can be arranged at any time of the year*, by request. We offer to broker a work shadowing opportunity on your behalf using our network of local employers (including within the university) for a half or full day. If this is to aid you to undertake your current role you can ask you line manager to take out of work (and still be paid) to undertake this opportunity. If it is to help you to develop your career only, then you can ask to be released from your duties, but your manager may ask you to take the time as annual leave or flexi.

Training for GBPs employed at the University 

Your GBP will need to undertake a University of Exeter induction process with you.

Your GBP should be supported to undertake at least one day (pro rata) of learning and development per month. This can include any relevant University of Exeter in-person or online training courses; using University of Exeter's Learn Smart resources; MS Training; or any of the opportunities highlighted above via the GBP scheme. 

GBPs must undertake the following mandatory training:

  1. An Introduction to Prevent as it Affects Higher Education
  2. Equality and Diversity Introduction
  3. Health and Safety Introduction
  4. Information Governance.

Requests for exemption from the essential training will be considered only in exceptional circumstances e.g. when the internship is for one week only. Unfortunately HR will not accept similar training with a host organisation as a reason for an exemption from the University's essential training. To apply for an exemption please:

  • Log into the SID Online system.
  • Start a New Enquiry”, choosing "Mandatory Training Dispensation" (not the Mandatory Training General Enquiry) from the “Category” drop down list.
  • Dispensations must be sought on behalf of a member of staff, associate or casual worker by the line manager or requester (or an individual must attach an email to the enquiry from their line manager explaining why dispensation is being requested).  Dispensation can be requested for individual courses or for multiple courses.
  • For all other courses please refer to the Table of Mandatory training and contact the course sponsor / owner directly with your request.
  • Please note, the People Development Team can not authorise dispensations.

To check the mandatory training compliance status of everyone within your team please use the ‘Training’ tab of the My Team report

Objectives will need to be set and reviewed in the University's Performance Development Review (PDR)

As an University of Exeter employer you do have to option to convert your GBP to an apprentice so they receive apprenticeship training. GBPs need to be employed at least 12 months to participate and released from 20% of their work time. 

Training for GBPs employed at the University and seconded to DCC or The RAMM

You are expected to undertake an induction process with your intern within the first two weeks of employment. If your organisation does not have an established induction, please complete the Internship Induction Checklist with your intern.

Please set clear objectives for your GBP. You can use your own organisation’s ‘Performance Development Review’ (PDR) paperwork; alternatively you can use the Internship PDR Form.

As University employees, your GBP must undertake the following University's mandatory training:

  1. Equality and Diversity Introduction
  2. Health and Safety Introduction
  3. Information Governance

Training for GBPs employed with other companies

Your GBP is expected to undertake an induction process with your intern within the first two weeks of employment. If your company does not have an established induction, please complete the Internship Induction Checklist with your intern.

Please set clear objectives for the GBP.  If your company does not have an established PDR/appraisal process, please use this Internship PDR form.

This guide, Making the Most of Your Intern explains how you can manage and develop your intern. 

GBPs can expect to have regular 1:1 sessions with their line manager. We recommend daily catch-ups during the induction period or if the intern is working remotely.

If in the workplace with other team members, 1:1 catch-ups with line mangers can reduce in frequency, depending on the intern’s need for direction, decision making and information. This can range between once a week to once every 4 weeks.

We will be in regular email communication to check the internships progressing well and offer support to you or your intern if needed. 

GBPs employed by the University are also able to access staff wellbeing services.

Management Fee

  • Advertising - includes advising on job details and person specification, advertising your role in a variety of places, and appropriate timescale;
  • Managing the application process - includes handling general enquiries and applications;
  • Training – Meeting with the GBP
  • Contract/Agreement support – includes providing internship agreements and liaison with HR about contracts for GBPs
  • Support and guidance – For interns and employers on placement and employability issues.

External Companies

  • £400+VAT per internship.
  • £200+VAT if you appoint a second GBP intern from the same internship advert.

University of Exeter Employer

  • £300 no VAT per internship.
  • £150 no VAT if you appoint a second GBP intern from the same internship advert.

External Companies (DCC/ECC) using University of Exeter Payroll

  • £400+VAT per internship.
  • £200+VAT if you appoint a second GBP intern from the same internship advert.
  • £75+VAT per internship for payroll set up
  • £50+VAT per internship for extensions


We ask that graduates are paid a minimum £22,715 per annum, based on a working week of 36.5 hours. When setting the salary we ask you to consider pay expectations in your sector, for that role, and the location of your business. The average graduate salary in the South West is £19,000-£22,000 per annum. To find out the latest salary that graduates get paid see the Complete University Guide.


From 2018 all employers must provide a workplace pension scheme. This is called ‘automatic enrolment’. The only exception will be if your company has a pre-standing agreement with the pension regulator to allow you to have a 3 month opt out window for a new employee, before placing them onto the company pension scheme.

National Insurance

Employer National Insurance contributions (NICs) are currently 13.8% of pay above the “salary threshold”, which is revised by the Government each year. In practice, employer National Insurance contributions are approximately 12% of salary. Technical information on the contribution rates and thresholds for National Insurance can be found on the UK government’s webpages.


GBPs working at the University automatically become members of the University of Exeter Retirement Savings Scheme (ERSS). The employer contribution of 22.5% covers both ongoing deficit contributions to the closed ERBS scheme and employer contributions to ERSS. You should always budget for the employee being a member of the pension scheme. Even if they opt-out, they can (subject to the rules of the scheme) choose to re-join at a later date and they may also be re-enrolled through the statutory scheme for pension auto-enrolment. It is an offence to induce an employee to opt out of the relevant pension scheme.

Apprenticeship Levy

The Apprenticeship Levy is a  tax introduced by the UK government from April 2017 to fund its planned increase in apprenticeship training. The Apprenticeship Levy is calculated and applied at employer level (rather than employee level like National Insurance). The Levy is 0.5% of the University’s total payroll costs, less an allowance of £15,000 per annum. In practice, this means that a charge of 0.44% is applied on each employee’s and casual worker’s pay each month The Levy applies to everyone paid through both the main and casual payrolls. Technical information on the Apprenticeship Levy can be found on the UK government’s webpages.

Annual Cost of Living Increase 

GBPs employed by the University are subject to the annual cost of living increase which is reviewed in August, but sometimes are not agreed and implemented until October. GBPs will be paid backpay. 

Incremental Rise in Salary

All GBPs employed by the University salary scale L5 Pay increments to salary scale point L6 will automatically be given to GBPs in post more than 6 months on the 1 August each year and payments will be made in the August payroll.

Salary and Oncost Breakdown









































































If you would like to read feedback from previous GBP employers, take a look at our case studies.

We ask that you please complete the Internship Feedback Form - Employer Submission and also encourage your intern to complete the Internship Feedback Form - Intern Submission

Can I appoint a graduate into a GBP role without advertising?

The University has a policy to advertise all employment opportunities in the interest of openness and fairness. Exceptions to this rule will only be considered if :

a) the role has a specific skillset and or knowledge that only a specific person can undertake; and/or

b) there is a time limitation that prevents you from going through the normal recruitment process e.g. the project is ending soon or funds need to be spent by the end of the financial year; and

c) these reasons have been approved by your HR Business Partner.


Do I need to pay a graduate intern?

The University of Exeter has committed to paying the Living Wage to all our employees and workers. Employer Engagement and Student Employment has a policy of not advertising unpaid opportunities through our vacancy service. The Internship Team only advertise paid internships, through the SCP, SBP and GBP schemes.


Can I advertise for a graduate intern with a protective characteristic?

  • Protected characteristics. There are 8 protected characteristics: race, gender, religion, age, sexuality, disability, marriage/civil partnership status and pregnancy/maternity (Equality Act 2010).
  • Positive Action is defined as measures employers can introduce take to address any imbalance of opportunity and or reduce disadvantage that those with a protected characteristic could face. In order to demonstrate the need for positive action the employer must have at least twelve months’ worth of data indicating that particular groups of people are under-represented in a particular area of work. Positive action can be used to encourage particular groups to apply, or to help people with particular protected characteristics to perform to the best of their ability e.g. positive action statements in recruitment adverts.
  • Positive discrimination is illegalDiscrimination occurs when a candidate is given preferential treatment because of a protected characteristic, or is employed specifically because of a protected characteristic, rather than because they are the most qualified or equally qualified for a role.
  • Occupational requirement. There are certain instances when an employer can specify particular characteristics for a role, if the role needs to be done by a person with that particular characteristic. For example, it would be legal and appropriate to specify that only women can apply for a role in a women’s refuge. This type of occupational requirement is permitted only if the employer can demonstrate:
    1. Robust and demonstrable link between the requirement and the job
    2. Good business case or aim for holding the specific requirement
    3. Holding the requirement is proportionate (i.e. appropriate and necessary)


What are Exeter graduates are looking for from their graduate employer?

  1. Type of work
  2. Location 
  3. Quality of training and development programme 
  4. Quality of staff already working for the organisation 
  5. Work-life balance
  6. Overall reputation of the organisation  
  7. Organisation’s business performance  
  8. Starting salary and additional benefits (Exeter graduates have an average starting salary of £23,000, DHLE-Jan 2018)
  9. Potential to work for the employer longer term
  10. Culture of the organisation
  11. Opportunity for overseas experiences  
  12. Employer’s corporate social responsibility


What are Exeter graduates are looking for in a graduate role?

  1. Being challenged and stretched on a day-to-day basis
  2. Genuine responsibility from day one 
  3. Early opportunity to work with clients or customers
  4. Responsibility for managing people
  5. Working with senior managers and executives 
  6. Joining the part of the organisation you want to work in straightaway
  7. Being part of a structured graduate training & development programme
  8. Doing a series of placements in different parts of the organisation
  9. Working towards a professional qualification
  10. Using their degree subject
  11. A job that allows you to ‘give something back’ to the community 
  12. A good social life around work
  13. Not working evenings or weekends 
  14. Opportunity for increased responsibilities and rapid promotion 


What do I need to do if my graduate is leaving their role before the end of their contract?

If your intern is leaving their role early please inform the Internship team asap on with the new end date. 

If your intern is employed at the University of Exeter and they are leaving, here is the leaving process for staff.

If your intern has access to My Career Zone as an administrator, please contact and advise that they are leaving.


Can I accept an expired passport as Right to Work evidence?

Yes, but only if it is a UK passport.

The following terms and conditions detail the obligations of all parties:

Any data provided to the University by any party will be processed in accordance with Student Employability and Academic Success (SEAS) Privacy Policy.