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Sustainability in Enterprise - Gather Social

Recent NTU alumni, Amy Young, shares her experience and her aspirations for her graduate placement at Nottingham-based small business, Gather Social.

Amy Young from Gather Social

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With support from the NTU Employability Team, and part-funding from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), businesses can receive support and funding to recruit a skilled and work-ready graduates on a 12-month placement.

The support is provided as part of the Sustainability in Enterprise project, which aims to support small to medium-sized businesses (SMEs) within the Greater Nottingham SUDS area.

NTU’s offer includes a grant that covers 20% of a salary over a 12-month placement for someone that has graduated within the last three years, along with free recruitment advice and support. Graduate placements are a great opportunity for graduates to apply the skills learnt at university to the workplace, and their role will have a specific objective related to sustainability or carbon reduction.

One of the businesses the project has supported is Gather Social, a Nottingham-based self-described ‘disruptive social media marketing agency.’ We spoke to MD Sam Evans, and their newest hire, Amy Young to discuss the graduate placement.

The agency, founded in 2015 has a ‘strong creative team with unique talents’ that they bring to Gather Social’s marketing activities.

Having benefitted from multiple streams of funding including the Productivity Through InnovationPriority Skills for D2N2 SMEs, and GRADS for D2N2 projects, Gather Social have a strong history of working with NTU.

Sam Evans, Managing Director has centred his business around employing graduates, and sums up by saying: "We believe that every employee is special and has a talent – our job is to help them find it!"

To remain competitive in business, organisations like Gather Social need to plan ahead for the future of the business, including the introduction of fresh talent into the business. Another more pressing consideration is business sustainability and improved carbon management.

With global temperatures rising and ambitious carbon emissions reduction targets like the Carbon Neutral Nottingham 2028 commitment, businesses need to respond to reduce risk, save costs and maintain competitiveness.

Amy started her placement as Social Media Content Creator at Gather Social earlier this year. Having completed her Media and Communications degree at NTU and graduated in 2019, prior to her placement Amy had been steadily building up her industry experience and network with freelance marketing projects and providing social media management services to a local football club.

From the start of her time at Gather Social, Amy was given responsibility to manage clients’ social media accounts and entrusted with copywriting and content creation.

Amy says: “The variety of clients and workload keeps me on my toes. The placement at Gather Social is a valuable experience that has made me realise this is something I want to continue doing.

“Content creators work both solo and collaboratively as part of a team on the projects, combining their different skillsets that offer Gather Social’s clients a wide selection of innovative content to increase their consumer engagement.”

Amy continues: “Every day is different, focusing on a different client and their unique content, influenced by upcoming events, new projects, and consumer interests.”

Sustainability Community Lab

Sustainability Community Lab

In addition to grant support, eligible Nottingham SMEs can support graduates like Amy to become a sustainability advocate within their organisation through a fully funded early careers development programme, the Sustainability Community Lab.

Amy is enthusiastic about making a difference to the business’ sustainability, describing how climate action is a very real concern for her and her peers. With graduates seeking greener job opportunities, businesses which implement sustainable practices will make themselves more desirable to future cohorts of graduates, supporting their long-term business innovation and growth.

Amy says: “I'm looking to become more aware of my carbon footprint and the business’ impact on the environment. The sustainability workshops will give me the knowledge and the space to learn more about changing the planet for the better.”

The Sustainability Community Lab workshops will enable Amy to learn new soft skills that she can transfer within Gather Social, helping her to discuss, negotiate, and implement topics of sustainability. Ultimately, this allows for the promotion of low carbon growth, helping reduce Gather Social’s carbon emissions whilst strengthening relations with NTU and its stakeholder community.

How to access the support available

Find out more about the broad range of support that NTU is providing to local businesses: