Sector Insights

Why Your First Grad Job Should be with a ScotGrad SME

SME stands for small and medium sized enterprises. In Scotland, there are SMEs in every sector, from Food and Drink to Engineering, from Tourism to Energy.

Published: 14/05/2019

Don’t be misled by the name, an SME isn’t necessarily a tiny company or small start-up. SMEs have fewer than 250 employees:

  • Micro: 1 - 9 employees
  • Small: 1 - 49 employees (includes micro)
  • Medium: 50 - 249 employees

The most recent figures, from the start of 2018, show that SMEs account for 99.9% of all private sector businesses in the UK (99.3% small). Total employment in SMEs was 16.3 million; 60% of all private sector employment in the UK. The Scottish Government also reported that there were 343,535 SMEs operating in Scotland, providing an estimated 1.2 million jobs.

At ScotGrad, we support these ambitious growing businesses to find the talented individuals they need to take their business forward: you!

Getting your first job after graduation can feel daunting, but with a ScotGrad SME you can apply to vacancies locally, work in a small team, and get hands-on, fixed-term experience. As each role is a placement of up to 12 months, there’s no obligation to stay if you find it’s not the right environment for you, but you’ll have gained excellent experience along the way.

When you’re thinking about your first step after graduation, you may not have an informed idea of what you’re looking for. A small company offers you an insight into all areas of the business.

Smaller businesses often have one base of operations instead of many around the country or even the world and there may be a less defined organisational structure giving you access to fantastic networking opportunities; your desk mate could even be the Managing Director!

With fewer resources and smaller budgets, companies need to constantly innovate and stay up to date with the newest developments in their field making it an exciting work environment.

When you work in a smaller team, you have a higher profile within the business, so your efforts and performance will be noticed and rewarded. Through our projects you can play a pivotal role in driving innovation.    

Each placement we advertise is completely unique, offering our graduates the opportunity to manage an exciting project, plan how to complete it, set challenging but achievable targets and deadlines, and evaluate outcomes. You’ll gain project management experience to take forward into your next role or to continue to benefit your placement company. About half of all placements become full time, permanent jobs!

Don’t take our word for it… these are the benefits our graduates love about their placements:

  • ‘It’s never dull!’
  • ‘Transferable skills and you develop your skillset in general’
  • ‘Variety and flexibility to get involved in a number of different tasks and projects’
  • ‘Feeling that you are making a real contribution to the business’
  • ‘Seeing your ideas implemented’
  • ‘A professional network to utilise throughout your career’

Find current vacancies on our graduate placements page.