Business leaders from across the Liverpool City Region discovered how they can work with Liverpool Hope University to ensure the needs of local industry are met at a recent networking event.
Representatives from 45 organisations attended Educate, Engage, Employ to learn about the cutting-edge research of Hope academics and to discuss how they can collaborate with the University to develop the workforce of tomorrow.
A diverse range of businesses from both the public and private sector visited Hope Park, where Staff from Hope’s 10 Schools and Departments had the opportunity to showcase the impact of their research and hear what they can do to ensure their courses continue to meet the needs of employers.
The event was opened by the University’s Vice-Chancellor and Rector, Professor Gerald Pillay, who championed the need for collaboration.
"Universities are here to serve the public good, to create opportunities for all to participate equally and to prepare graduates who will make a difference for good.
“But we can’t do it alone. We can only do it by working with employers and those who lead our city."
Among those in attendance was Head of Place for the Civil Service in the North West, Paul Caldwell, who is responsible for connecting leaders within his organisation with the talent available in the region.
He was impressed with Hope’s holistic approach to education and felt the event provided a worthwhile opportunity to explore how organisations can develop a mutually beneficial relationship with the University.
“I like to find out a bit more about what places like this have to offer and for people to learn from us about what we can offer in return,” he said.
“Creating jobs in the area is an ambition. Creating a pipeline of talent in order to make those jobs sustainable is more than an ambition - it is an essential.
“I think it’s really important universities work with businesses and I think there are areas where we can work with universities to make sure that students make the most of the academic side of their potential, but also realise the skills they will need to translate that potential into success.”
The student experience was at the heart of many discussions.
That was particularly the case for Lt Colonel Graham Rainey, Commanding Officer of the British Army’s North West Training Regiment, who says forging links with higher education is a key aim for the armed forces.
“It is important for the army and I think it important for the University as well,” he explained.
“I think we are after the same thing. We are both here to improve the experience and the life of the student in order to develop a more well-rounded individual.
“It’s vital [that we work together]. It’s got to be an all-informed network. The more networked we can be, the common goals that we have will produce a better end state for the individual and the University.”
Kerry Milton, Development Officer at Tate Liverpool, was one of several representatives from the creative industries and she is confident engaging with the University can have a positive impact on people across the Liverpool City Region.
“I think this is such a major institution in the city and it is really important for an organisation like Tate to be in partnership and work closely with Liverpool Hope,” she said.
“We want to work together so we can support what you are doing here and so Hope can support what we are doing.
“We want to be more connected to the city, we want to showcase art that is more relevant to the people of Liverpool and having that connection with Hope is a key way of doing that for us.”
Event organiser and Dean of the School of Social Science, Professor Michael Lavalette added: “This event provided us with a valuable opportunity to connect with influential people from industries across Liverpool.
“We were able to highlight our research and teaching and explain how businesses can work with us to enhance our offering, but, crucially, we learnt what we can do to ensure the work that is undertaken here supports the organisations who are looking to employ our graduates.”