Who can we help?
This service is for SMEs (small to medium businesses) based in Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire.
An SME is a company that:
- Has less than 250 employees
- Is not more than 25% owned by an enterprise that in itself is not an SME
- Has an annual turnover of less than E50 million OR has an annual balance sheet of less than E43 million.
‘According to the British Chambers of Commerce, 70% of SMEs have no foreign language ability for their markets and the deficit is greatest in the fastest growing markets. Only 0.5% have any ability in Russian or Chinese, and, with the importance of market growth in Latin America, it is equally shocking that 64% speak no Spanish, never mind Portuguese. Research commissioned by BIS and published last year estimates that the UK’s lack of language skills is costing the economy 3.5% of GDP—or £48 billion—every year. By contrast, SME exporters that do use languages proactively are achieving a far higher export-to-turnover ratio, estimated at 40% higher.”
Baroness Cousins on the importance of languages to GB March 21, 2015
Students can undertake a project within your company to meet a business need. Student placements generally run from January – May or October to December and last for 40 – 50 hours in total (in general this works out to one day per week for 8-10 weeks). The days and hours are flexible and can be agreed between the student and placement provider. Previous projects students have undertaken whilst on placements include:
In terms of your own time, you will need to commit to overseeing the placement student while they are working in your company. This means ensuring that a thorough induction is undertaken including any health and safety requirements, and regular progress meetings are undertaken to monitor the progress of the student placement. If you don’t have a dedicated office space it is possible for the student to work remotely, although you will need to have public liability insurance.
Students working in international groups will take your brief and work on it for 4-5 weeks before presenting their results to you. How much time the students are able to dedicate to the project varies depending on their course and other commitments.
Previous projects have taken the following format:
- Each student will spend around 3-4 hours a week on the challenge. Thus, for a group of 4 students, over a 4-week period, there might be 50-60 hours spent researching, designing and thinking about solutions within your organisation.
- In terms of your own time, you will need to commit to 3 two-hour meetings with your student group with two normally taking place on University Park campus. Students may also have questions throughout the project so it is useful if you are happy to answer quick queries over email.
- We also ask you to offer some written feedback to the student group on how well they have answered the brief and how you might use their information.
Language and business etiquette projects
If you are looking to develop your language capabilities and or knowledge of business etiquette, students with language teacher training and experience will work with you over a four to five-week cycle for two hours per week at a convenient location- most likely your place of work. Again, we ask you to offer some written feedback to the student(s) on how well they have met your needs.
The two interns, Emma and Honor, conducted translation work and product placement market research for the French and Spanish markets respectively. Their work has enabled our research into these regions to be more thorough, and helped to develop our strategy around expanding into these markets. It has also further strengthened our already very productive relationship with the University
Andrew Nightingale, Easy PreOrders
The challenge was to produce Mandarin and Cantonese versions of the brochure – not only in terms of language but also in terms of design and cultural acceptance. The placement(s) tackled the project with enthusiasm and intelligence. They dealt with the respective translations with great care and efficiency, always considerate of any important legal and statutory content. They provided cultural insight which would have been particularly difficult for the company to source without their assistance.
Phil Stubbs, Director of Marketing, Specialist Advisors Ltd
We couldn’t have done this without her – she started the conversations in German – even if they then switched to English the fact that she understood them has meant they are ringing back as they believe they are understood.
Eve Davies, Eve Davies Consulting
Mike has been brilliant. Reliable, conscientious, keen, used initiative. The outcome wasn't ideal in that we've found that Spain doesn't have a developed intervention/remedial/special needs schools market. But it was really useful to find that out.
We've just sent some sample books to Germany (as a result of Jess' work), so that could be a possible market.
David Sharp, Power of 2 Publishing
Pressac have benefitted greatly from the placement. Danielle liaised with Pressac’s representative company in France to ensure Pressac’s marketing communications and technical documentation were translated correctly. Danielle created a plan and tracking document, then worked through the actions. In short, the outputs have been excellent and will lead to an increased/ improved relationship with the partner company and ultimately increased profitability and sales. The knowledge of the French culture and language that the placement provided was immensely valuable. In short, the placement was very worthwhile.
Jasper Spencer, Pressac Communications
Ruoqi's knowledge of the Chinese culture and language was both important and relevant to our business. She was able to read local periodicals and budget plans which we wouldn’t be able to do ourselves. As a result of the research Ruoqi did during her placement with us, we have been able to identify target markets by understanding which regions in China have a better football focus and which local governments have football as part of their 5 year plans. This research has ultimately influenced our business's international trade and choice of export markets.
Kayleigh Renberg-Fawcett, China Britain Football Centre