Each year two Leeds graduates will have the opportunity to create, shape and run a not-for-profit digital marketing business thanks to a first-of-its-kind scheme.

Leeds University Union and digital marketing agency Epiphany have teamed up to create a new programme, challenging conventional approaches to graduate recruitment.  

To achieve this, they have created a new ‘micro agency’ which will initially provide digital marketing services across the Union’s activities, projects and events.

Two Leeds University graduates will be employed each year to run the business, with the first intake this year having the added task of defining and establishing the enterprise.

“Leeds is an entrepreneurial city and a centre for digital marketing excellence, which we are constantly seeing through the demand for talented and innovative graduates,” said Leeds University Union chief executive Aidan Grills.

“We’re confident that the students of the University of Leeds can help cement this reputation and this partnership has been designed to create a stepping stone into the sector for Leeds’s future digital pioneers.”

Epiphany MD Tom Salmon added: “Leeds has some of the best digital talent and strategists in the country and if we are going to take our industry to the next level, we need to bring new thinking and fresh ideas in to the sector.

“We hope that this partnership will provide an opportunity for graduates from a range of disciplines to forge a career in digital marketing.

“We think like the mathematicians, marketers, designers and coders that we are; we want accountants, geographers and biologists to bring a new way of looking at what we do and challenging the status quo.

“If we get this right, it will be good for our business and good for the Union but great for Leeds and our industry.”

The graduates will draw on support from the undergraduate base at Leeds University to deliver a range of projects, with the expectation that services will be offered across Leeds as the micro agency develops.

After each twelve-month placement, the ambition is that the graduates will have the experience, skills and contacts to take on permanent digital marketing roles in the city.

They will be supported by a board of trustees drawn from the two organisations. Epiphany will provide digital marketing training, drawing on support from their partnership with Google and Microsoft.

Leeds University Union will provide mentoring and training in core business disciplines including human resources, finance and governance.