Economic Development Project Assistant

  • Job Reference: GBP 5771
  • Date Posted: 10 September 2021
  • Recruiter: University of Exeter (Graduate Business Partnership)
  • Location: Exeter, Devon
  • Remote Working: 100% remote working possible
  • Salary: £19,217
  • Sector: Administration, Government & Defence
  • Job Type: Contract, Internship or Placement
  • Duration: 12 Months
  • Work Hours: Full Time

Job Description

A graduate is sought as a Economic Development Project Assistant. Employed by the University of Exeter, you will be seconded full-time to work for Devon County Council. The broad scope of the post is to provide capacity to the Business Support & Innovation team to enable the development and implementation of: business support programmes; initiatives to encourage growth; activities to progress funding projects and development of future funding; campaigns aimed at raising Devon’s profile as a place to live, work, invest, learn and visit and schemes that champion business sustainability. This remote working role is part of the Graduate Business Partnership scheme and is for 12 months from Mid-October.


Summary of Company or University Department

Devon County Council, is a modern, vibrant place to work offering a range of jobs and staff benefits. We work together to improve life across Devon for everyone. We want to create a place that people enjoy living in, as well as a place that you enjoy working. You’ll see the impact you’re making every day, whether your work in healthcare, education, roads and transport or waste and recycling. Make Devon proud. Every day, everyone who works here is making an impact and able to see the differences that they make to the people of Devon. At Devon County Council, we do everything we can to support you and help grow your career.

Business Support and Innovation (Projects and Programmes) is a dynamic team delivering grants, business & social enterprise support and sector development across Devon and the Heart of the South West. We are a fast-moving team where flexibility, professionalism and practicality are key to maximise opportunities for our local economy in a changing strategic landscape. 



Purpose of Role

Strengthening the Devon economy is a priority objective of the County Council's Strategic Plan. This post contributes towards achieving this aim through supporting the delivery of a wide range of economic activities, projects and funding. Supporting the effective delivery and evaluation of certain programmes or projects as allocated. 

The broad scope of the post is to provide capacity to the Business Support & Innovation team to enable the development and implementation of: business support programmes; initiatives to encourage growth; activities to progress funding projects and development of future funding; campaigns aimed at raising Devon’s profile as a place to live, work, invest, learn and visit and schemes that champion business sustainability.   

Duties and Responsibilities

  • Supporting with the development and implementation of a new CRM system
  • Coordinating the creation of a new team website, planning and design using wordpress (training will be provided)
  • Effective delivery and evaluation of programmes or projects as allocated.
  • To provide monitoring and evaluation capacity, using Excel and Word, to DCC programme managers for a wide range of economic development projects and research initiatives.
  • To provide signposting, liaison and information sharing services that will support the ongoing management and further development of effective partnerships with a range of businesses, external agencies and colleagues to deliver economic priorities.
  • To demonstrate understanding of Devon County Council's identified priority trade sectors and contribute to the development of sector specific plans and strategies by undertaking of appropriate research. 
  • To communicate by telephone, email and face to face with a wide range of internal and external, private and public sector, stakeholders to promote and deliver Devon County Council and the Heart of the South West (HotSW) Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) priority outcomes. 
  • To work in partnership with colleagues and external partners to coordinate the promotion and delivery of a range of economic development activities through the use of research and evaluation reports, organisation of events including workshops, conferences and steering groups, maintenance of team websites, targeted social media campaigns and development of content for newsletters and press releases.
  • To work with more experienced members of the Business Support & Innovation team to develop skills in the use of DCC finance system software in order to provide assistance with purchase orders and budget monitoring.
  • To use MS Office to provide administrative resource for the collation and dissemination of information required for the development and submission of external funding applications.
  • To contribute as required to policy consultation exercises at national, regional and local level as directed and where appropriate undertake or commission research and analysis to support the development of plans, strategies and economic activities.
  • To conform to, actively commit to and promote DCC Customer Service Standards both with internal and external 'customers' when using any communication media including telephone, email and face to face. 
  • Undertake any other reasonable activity that is in accordance with the role as deemed appropriate by senior management

Training and Development opportunities

Opportunities available to the intern include:

  • Support from our team of experienced staff who will mentor the post holder; for example
  • At Devon County Council, you are encouraged to reach your full potential. Employees are supported in their roles with regular appraisals, one to ones with managers and around the clock access to Devon E-learning. Growth and career development is encouraged, and many employees have climbed up the career ladder whilst working for the council.
  • Potential for progression for the right candidate, our team has 4 current members who started as Graduates. We have a comprehensive graduate development programme, which some of these staff members were involved in designing when they were Graduates themselves.

GBPs are offered a ‘how to make the most of your internship’ introductory session, career mentoring, work shadow and career consultancy opportunities.

Level of Support

Please provide details on the support that will be offered to interns such as:

  • Weekly meetings with line manager
  • Workplace buddy or mentor
  • Comprehensive Graduate development programme.
  • GBPs are offered 1:1 support from the Internships Team.

Other Benefits, Rewards and Recognition

Please provide details on the support that will be offered to interns such as:

  • Flexible working
  • Having a job that allows you to ‘give something back’ to the community
  • Health and wellbeing e.g. eye test and the Employee Assistance programme.
  • Reference
  • LinkedIn recommendation
  • Social activities with colleagues


Degree and Attainment

    • A relevant degree or qualification equivalent in Economic and / or Sustainable Development, Tourism/ Hospitality Management, Marketing and Communications
    • Graduated in the UK within the last 3 years of your most recent degree (see further details below)

    Skills and knowledge

    • Experience or aptitude with database / CRM systems
    • Excellent IT skills, in particular a high proficiency in the use of Microsoft software packages.
    • Knowledge of or a desire to learn about website design and development, e communication techniques and social media.
    • Excellent writing/report writing skills
    • Experience of working successfully as part of a team
    • Ability to use own initiative and make decisions without referring to senior manager.
    • Ability to monitor projects and keep up to date records, for example:  budgets and agreements with partners / suppliers
    • Capable of managing workloads with conflicting priorities, work under pressure and deliver within agreed timescales both individually and for others.
    • Copy writing and proof-reading skills and attention to detail
    • An understanding of communication plans and strategies, including developing websites and newsletters.
    • Excellent and broad range of communication skills
    • Ability to fulfil all spoken aspects of the role with confidence and fluency in English.
    • Good analytical and problem-solving skills.  
    • Ability to demonstrate creative and innovative thinking and to successfully implement creative and innovative solutions.
    • Ability to communicate effectively in a professional, appropriate and concise manner both orally and in writing
    • Interest or background in business economy.
    • Experience of coordinating, and delivering projects, activities and initiatives. 
    • Good knowledge and understanding of the Devon economy and good knowledge of small, medium & micro business sectors. 

    Behavioural Characteristics/ Personal Qualities and Attributes

    • Dynamic, enthusiastic and creative in approach to work
    • Flexible and able to work on multiple projects.
    • Adaptable to change and the ability to implement and learn process quickly.
    • Ability to work accurately under pressure to tight deadlines
    • Confident, tactful and diplomatic approach to enquiries.
    • Ability to perform the role with reasonable adjustments
    • Ability to travel and work some evenings / weekends

    Other Scheme Requirements

    To be eligible to apply and undertake a GBP role you must meet all of the following criteria: 

    • Achieved* (or about to achieve) a full undergraduate degree (or Masters or PhD). 
    • Graduated in the UK within the last 3 years of your most recent degree (we will consider extenuating circumstances of potential applicants that may have prevented them from undertaking a graduate role within 3 years of graduation). 
    • Attended a British university (or spent time studying at a UK university through ERASMUS)
    • The University of Exeter is committed to developing an environment which promotes equality of opportunity, values diversity and inclusivity.  
    • The University of Exeter is a Disability Confident Employer, committed attracting and recruiting people with disabilities, and retaining and supporting staff with disabilities. If an applicant declares a disability and meets all the essential criteria, they will be invited to interview.  
    • We welcome applications from all eligible students and in particular those from the following underrepresented groups. Selection and recruitment itself will be entirely on merit alone unless there are multiple applicants demonstrating equal merit. In this clear circumstance, preference would be shown to applicants from under-represented groups. This is in line with lawful positive action measures under sections 158 and 159 of the Equality Act 2010.
    • Right to Work in the UK for the duration of the GBP internship evidenced by the ‌Intern Guidance- Proving Right to Work the UK. This can includes British citizens; individuals with an EU Pre-Settlement or EU-Settlement Status; and those with a Graduate Route Visa. 
    • Current immigration legislation prevents the University to provide sponsorship certificates for GBP roles, as they do not meet the requirements for a Skilled Worker visa as explained on the International Student Support webpages.
    • All graduates need to reside in the UK whilst undertaking this role.
    • You cannot undertake another GBP role if the contract length in total exceeds the maximum duration of 23 months working as a GBP. 

    Key Dates
    Closing Date: 30/09/2021
    Interview Date: 07/10/2021
    Start Date: ASAP/Flexible
    End Date: After 12 months

    *To undertake a GBP role you must achieve your degree. In the unlikely scenario where a degree is not awarded, the GBP hours may be reduced to 15hrs a week (for undergraduates) or 6hrs a week (for postgraduates) to enable to the graduand the capacity to successfully complete their degree. If the graduand fails their degree the GBP role will end early. 


    To apply for this role please complete our internship application form which can be downloaded here

    Please send your completed form by clicking apply for this job now, or send it direct to stating that you saw the job advertised on Gradsouthwest. 

    Please ensure you use the Personal Statement section to fully explain why your skills, personality and experience make you the right person for the job.