Footballer scores industry placement thanks to Malvern business

A footballer will be pitching his sales skills against some of the giants of the electronics industry thanks to support from Malvern Hills District Council’s new Graduate Grant Scheme.

Ben Hayes, who is studying for a BA Business Management degree at the University of Worcester, wanted to complete a year in industry as part of his studies to give him a competitive edge when he started looking for a job.

But the 21-year-old, who plays for Malvern Town FC, was left frustrated by a lack of opportunities locally and tough competition for national placements.

Fortunately Ben was taken on by Malvern Company HD Connectivity (HDC), who took advantage of Malvern Hills District Council’s new Graduate Grant scheme to support his placement. The scheme, which is a link up with the University of Worcester’s Business School, gives grants of £1,000 to companies offering industry placements to graduates.

Ben will now be putting his sales and marketing skills to the test at Integrated Systems Europe, the continent’s largest AV and electronic tradeshow, where he’ll be helping to promote the Malvern company’s innovative multi-media systems alongside industry giants such as Samsung.

Chris Pinder, Managing Director of HD Connectivity, said: “This is the first time we’ve taken a university student on placement, but Ben has become a real asset to the business. It’s been a great way to test out some new ideas and explore whether we need to create a new permanent job in the business. Employing an undergraduate student means you get a high calibre candidate with the right aptitude, who is used to working under their own steam to meet set targets and deadlines.”

Amanda Lloyd, Economic Development Officer at Malvern Hills District Council, said: “Malvern Hills District is home to some of the most innovative technology companies in the UK, but they are small businesses in a rural area and struggle to compete in the graduate labour market. Our grant scheme, together with the Worcester Business Schools placement office, encourages businesses to look at the talent already on their doorstep. The next generation of bright young things are here, it’s just about finding them.”

Tim Maxfield, Director of Business Development at the University of Worcester Business School, added ” Our students and graduates are equipped with the knowledge and skills to have an impact from day one, and we know that students who do their placement year with a local company, are more likely to stay in the area and are much more employable.”

For more information on eligibility and how to apply for the Malvern Hills Graduate Grant Scheme visit or email

Businesses interested in offering placements, internships or part time work to University of Worcester business and computing students should contact the Worcester Business School placement office by emailing or calling 01905 855556.