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One Minute Business Read – Want to Know a Secret?

Universities and colleges are open for business!

In many conversations with business we receive really positive feedback about the work and support provided by our partner colleges and universities.  We do however receive a number of regular critical themes.  These include:

  1. They waste money on irrelevant research!
  2. Graduates are not trained for the jobs we have!
  3. How on earth do you find the person you need?

Taking each criticism in turn, although we may not have all the answers, let us try out some of the following responses:

  1. Wasting money on irrelevant research.  All publicly funded research is subject to assessment of value and impact so an external opinion is made and affects future funding allocations.  Recent results by partners include practical strides in relation to advances in turbo charger design (University of Huddersfield) that are instrumental in new investment in Leeds City Region, particularly Borg Warner in Bradford; University of Leeds has secured funding to ensure that the UK remains at the cutting edge of regenerative medicine, a key industry for Leeds City Region success; the Universities of Bradford, Huddersfield and Leeds are all making significant strides in cures and treatments for illnesses such as Alzheimer’s and Cancer whilst our transport and rail infrastructure reaps benefits from the Institute for Transport Studies (Leeds) and the Centre for Innovation in Rail (Huddersfield). There are so many more examples of the critical impact on the local and national economy and the above just represent recent developments.
  2. Students aren’t trained for jobs. Very often a fair comment as the universities and colleges offering higher education do not train people for specific jobs (other than subjects such as medicine, dentistry, pharmacy, optometry and nursing) but rather provide the deep understanding of subjects and the ability to be a self directed learner. Any new employee will require time to settle in and learn company specific approaches regardless as to whether they are graduates or not.  However:
    1. All our partners are actively seeking opportunities for their students to undertake work experience and internships as we realise these are the best proven route to support employability. The value of students on such placements and project work can be astounding, take the example of the 100 plus students who have supported local voluntary and charity organisations with architectural planning support via the Leeds Beckett University Project Office.
    2. There are many examples of where our partners work hand in glove with employers to design degrees to match exactly the business/sector requirements, take the degree in logistics at University of Huddersfield developed with a group of the UKs leading logistic firms; the post graduate degree in Broadcast Journalism at Leeds Trinity who work closely with major national and regional broadcasters; the Sports Courses at Leeds City College endorsed by the Sector Skills Council; Film courses by Bradford College as part of the world renowned Whistling Woods Institute or the Financial Planning degree for Independent Financial Advisers developed between University of Bradford and Beaumont Robinson.
  3. How on earth do you find the person you need?  Believe us, it can be difficult but that is where we come in.  Discuss your needs with us and we will do the leg work to find the right contacts in one or more of our partners and support you to connect with them. So call us today on 0113 343 2312 or e-mail