Making students employable with Plymouth University

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June 2017 saw Gradsouthwest undertake a student project with Plymouth University.

Through Plymouth University’s Inspiring Futures team, we have been working with a group of BSc(Hons) Business Management students completing their 2nd year of study with a Project Management module. The students completed a 2 week business project that we set the brief for – reporting their findings back to us.

By engaging with students, as part of their courses, on real life business projects, we are helping the next generation of students become more business ready and immediately employable. Something our employers are always looking for in their new recruits.

Dr Deborah Watson, Director of Gradsouthwest said, “Here at Gradsouthwest, we very much believe in ‘walking the talk’ – we encourage employers to take the leap and work with their local Universities and Colleges – and so it is only right that we do so too!”

The students received a short written brief and a verbal briefing from Gradsouthwest on the project we wanted them to undertake – in this case a short competitor analysis. The students then took 2 weeks to project manage and research the brief, before reporting back to us.

“We were very pleased with the quality of the work presented to us by the students. They completed the brief, providing an electronic report and verbal feedback. Our challenge now is to use their insight to improve our service to both students and employers.”

Penny Hele, Inspiring Futures Project Officer at Plymouth University said: “Plymouth Business School students develop their employability and entrepreneurial skills whilst adding value to local business community by undertaking free, consultancy projects as part of their studies. Projects include creating a social media strategy, undertaking competitor analysis, conducting a website review and researching funding options.”

If you are interested in undertaking a project with Plymouth University, please contact penny.hele@plymouth.ac.uk for more information.

Key messages for attracting and retaining graduate talent in the South West

Following Gradsouthwest’s work with DCBC over the past few months, June 30th saw over 100 people gather at Plymouth University to discuss talent retention and attraction at the DCBC quarterly conference.

Charlie Ball, from Prospects, gave an overview of talent migration from a national perspective. We also heard from our partners Unlocking Potential with Nicky Luke speaking about ‘recruitment being like fishing’. Sharron Robbie, of Devon & Cornwall Training Network discussed the use of training for retention, and employer-led developments in the Building Plymouth project were provided by Julian Phillips of Midas.

Click HERE for the key messages from the sessions.

Invitation: Stakeholder Workshop for #TalentSW campaign – 26 April, from 10am-1pm, Plymouth Science Park

In 2016, the UK Commission for Employment and Skills found that there were over 70,000 job openings in the South West region and around 17,000 of them difficult to fill because of a lack of skilled recruits. The number of job vacancies going unfilled, is reported to be linked to candidates lacking appropriate skills, and the FSB (2015) found that this is the third biggest barrier to growth.

Devon and Cornwall Business Council are therefore developing a campaign in partnership with Gradsouthwest and the Western Morning News to promote the region as an excellent place to build a career, with the aim of attracting and retaining highly skilled people. This campaign will be aimed at both graduate skills, and individuals who have developed their skills base throughout their working history.

Thus, we would like to invite you to join us on Wednesday 26th April, from 10:00 till 13:00 at Plymouth Science Park for a stakeholder workshop. At this session, we will identify what’s currently being delivered in support of this agenda, what’s working well and what’s not, and where the gap’s are. We want to pinpoint the challenges that we face as a region, and develop innovative approaches working towards overcoming them, which will form the basis of our campaign activity.

We would really value your input at the event, to help to inform and focus our efforts.

If this is something that you would like to get involved with, please register your interest via our Eventbrite page – here.

We hope to see you there,

Ben Rhodes (CEO DCBC) and Deborah Watson (Director Gradsouthwest)

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Talented people needed to build careers in region

FindingWMN-Article-30Mar17-02 the right skills for the job is no easy task in the South West.

In 2016, the UK Commission for Employment and Skills found that there were over 70,000 job openings in the South West region and around 17,000 of them difficult to fill because of a lack of skilled recruits.[1]

The number of job vacancies going unfilled, is reported to be linked to candidates lacking appropriate skills, and the FSB (2015) found that this is the third biggest barrier to growth.

Devon and Cornwall Business Council are therefore partnering with Gradsouthwest and the Western Morning News to develop a campaign to promote the region as an excellent place to build a career, with the aim of attracting and retaining highly skilled people.

With unfilled vacancies, and untapped potential, business growth and our continued prosperity will require employers to retain and upgrade the skills they already have, and to attract more highly skilled people to work within the South West.

Aligned with the South West Growth Charter’s commitment to “invest in productive people and retain talent within our region”, our first job is to develop a strong and inclusive partnership of employers, educators and regional champions.

Launched at DCBC’s spring budget conference, our aim is to focus on the key industries in which we excel, where the potential for building a career here is assured.

Therefore, we want you to join us and showcase your opportunities in comparison to those in other major cities, with the added benefits of living and working in the South West. In return you will be part of a national campaign, and receive help to attract, retain and develop the talent that your business needs.

Ben Rhodes, CEO of DCBC said “This campaign will need to be different and innovative in its approach. We need to inspire talented people to build their careers in the SW and to do that we need inspiring companies. We aim to champion the best companies from across the SW, to highlight those who have already chosen to build their careers here and to seek out those who might”

Dr Deborah Watson, director of Gradsouthwest, the region’s specialist graduate job board said “retaining graduate skills in the area is crucial for future jobs and business growth and recent graduates are often unaware of the careers open to them here in the region. Our aim is to make businesses consider recruiting new talent, and to encourage students to work here.”

As well as graduate skills, we recognise employers are also keen to employ individuals who have developed their skills base throughout their working history.

If this sounds like something you want to get involved with, to begin to overcome the skills and productivity shortage not only in your business, but also here in the region, please get in touch via campaigns@dcbc.co.uk / admin@gradsouthwest.com or tag us with #TalentSW and we will contact you with a range of opportunities and a timetable of activities.

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[1] http://www.tbebathandsomerset.co.uk/skills-shortages-leave-17000-of-south-wests-jobs-unfilled/