University Welcomes Business Report Findings

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Key figures from the University of Worcester have welcomed a report from the Confederation of British Industry (CBI), which has called for greater cooperation between UK universities and businesses.

The report – ‘Tomorrow’s Growth’ – suggests that traditional university courses alone will not meet the growing demand for degree-level, technical skills in key areas such as manufacturing, construction, IT and engineering.

The organisation, which is the UK’s biggest business group, also says that the higher education sector must working closely with businesses, giving students the opportunity to gain practical work experience alongside an academic qualification.

Professor David Green, University of Worcester Vice Chancellor and Chief Executive, reacted to the report, saying: “In recent years graduates from the University of Worcester have been amongst the most successful in the country in gaining employment after graduation.

“Much of this success is due to the high proportion of students taking up placements with employers as part of their course. This is a vital part of providing the highly skilled graduate workforce that the country needs.

“We entirely agree with the CBI that more students should have the opportunity to take a paid placement year with an employer as well as shorter placements. We urge employers in the region, large and small, to work with us to create these valuable opportunities which are proven to be a big help to participating businesses as well as to the students and future graduates.”

The Head of the Worcester Business School, Mark Richardson, adds: “We fully support the report’s findings, and at the University of Worcester, we already enjoy close relationships with both local and national businesses.

“Our students have the opportunities to take on work placements and participate in Earn as you Learn projects, giving them the chance to truly contribute to their chosen industry as they continue to study with us.

“It has always been our aim to produce graduates with the skills to make an immediate impact in the workplace, but also with the strategic thinking to be able to contribute to their company’s long-term development.”

Another issue raised by the report was the need for the Government and universities to address the 40 per cent drop in part-time undergraduate applicants since 2010/2011.

Professor Green added: “The University of Worcester currently educates several thousand part time students. There are part-time study opportunities on 250 courses at the University of Worcester.

“This provides a terrific range of opportunities to earn highly valuable qualifications whilst continuing to work, bring up a family or both! Many part-time students can now also benefit from Government financial support.

“Detailed advice on the opportunities available for this September may be obtained now from the University.”