Developing student’s employability working with SMEs in the North West of England

Mullin, P.A. and Procter, C.T. 2012, Developing student’s employability working with SMEs in the North West of England , in: Association of Business Schools national conference 2012, 24-25 April 2012, Manchester.

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“The Government has made it clear that we will do whatever we can to respond to the current economic challenges. Higher education can play a central role in supporting businesses and individuals with skills, advice, knowledge and know-how” (Lammy,2008,p2) In addition to the HEFCE report cited above, numerous UK policy documents, most notably the Dearing Review (Dearing 1997) and the Leitch Report (Leitch 2006) have stressed the value of vocational education. The benefits of student placements are well established. Employers recognise the value of new temporary employees with fresh knowledge, skills and enthusiasm, typically at relatively modest salaries, who are potential future long term employees (Harris 2004). Universities and students have recognised many benefits of vocational learning and placements, with research showing students with placement experience substantially enhancing their employability (Neill and Mulholland 2003). This is particularly the case during difficult economic times (Lightfoot 2009). A number of studies have shown the benefits of placements to students (Mandilaras 2004, Rawlings et al 2005), especially the development of students’ soft skills such as communication and team working skills (Hordyk 2007). This paper describes the experience of Unite with Business project, which began in 2010, whose objective is to support Small and Medium sized Enterprises (SMEs) in the North West of England through the work of graduates and students The project, funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) is a partnership between six North West Universities. Whilst assisting the SMEs the project significantly develops the employability skills of graduates, and is a model for future collaboration and development.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Themes: Subjects outside of the University Themes
Schools: Schools > Salford Business School > Salford Business School Research Centre
Refereed: Yes
Depositing User: Chris Procter
Date Deposited: 14 May 2012 09:50
Last Modified: 28 Aug 2021 05:57

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