Grad Start Programme


Seeking New Talent: Hire a Graduate Today?

Gradstart offers Local Enterprise Office client companies financial support to hire top graduate talent and develop a talent pipeline.  One Irish or International graduate can be hired at any one time for a two-year period by companies.  During the placement, the company must define the a project aligned to its growth plan for each graduate to complete.  Graduates are also assigned an in-company mentor to support their development.

Key Points to note:

  • companies must be incorporated.
  • companies must operate in the manufacturing or internationally traded services sector.
  • Companies must employ a minimum of 5 staff.
  • Roles in any discipline are eligible for support, except for direct sales and direct marketing positions.

Financial Support:



Language Support


(€15,000 per year) or 50% of individual graduate salary costs (whichever is lesser).


(€21,000 per year on a maximum allowable salary of €30,000 per year) or 70% of individual graduate salary costs  (whichever is lesser).  

The graduate role must clear requirement for language proficiency.

How to apply:

All company applications for funding should be discussed with the Local Enterprise Office Wexford prior to submission.  The scheme is open for applications on the Enterprise Ireland Online Application System using the LEO tab.  All applications for Gradstart can be made throughout the year. 

Application Process

All company applications for funding should be discussed with your Local Enterprise Office prior to submission. Companies are responsible for attracting, interviewing and hiring their own graduate(s). Graduates should apply directly to companies.

You can apply via the Enterprise Ireland Online Application System. LEO Client can register on the system and apply through the LEO Tab.

Prior to applying you must do the following:

Funding Approval Process

Applications will be evaluated by the LEO's Enterprise officer / Business advisor and put forward for approval to the Head of Enterprise and Economic Development. Applications will be assessed using the criteria below for each project submitted:

  • The potential impact of the project on the strategic direction of the company;
  • The commitment of the company to enhance its capability;
  • The quality of the proposed infrastructure within the company to enable the graduate to fulfil the aims of this initiative;
  • Previous Local Enterprise Office/Enterprise Ireland financial support and performance against targets;
  • All companies must identify a suitable in-company mentor.

The company, at application stage, sets out the specific title, role and purpose of the graduate for the 2-year contract.

Any change / revision to the graduate title, role or purpose made by the company post-letter of offer will result in the offer being null and void and the grant being cancelled.