HUDDERSFIELD firms have been urged to offer a helping hand to enterprising students.

Oil giant Shell UK has launched its annual Shell Step programme to provide hundreds of high-flying undergraduates placements in small and medium-sized companies during their summer breaks.

The students work on projects such as product development and marketing strategies tailored to the host companies’ needs.

In 2007, it was estimated that a quarter of students on placements added more than £15,000 of value to their host companies while two-thirds added at least £5,000.

Details of the programme are available at

James Smith, chairman of Shell UK, said: “Shell Step lets undergraduates cut their teeth in the world of work and also helps the businesses for which they work.

“The programme is now in its 22nd year. It’s great that it continues to be so popular and beneficial to all involved.”