I have recently been reminded of the phrase “strength in numbers”. More than three years ago, the team behind the New Model in Technology and Engineering (NMiTE) set out to grapple with some of Herefordshire’s greatest challenges – how to attract, retain and skill up vital talent, enhance employment opportunities, support the growth of our current businesses and foster the development of more.
Our solution: to establish Hereford as an international centre of excellence in engineering education. Many regional businesses are working with us to achieve this and a growing number are becoming members of our Founders’ Fund. We’re committed to ensuring their success, just as they are ours, and keen that they should gain early benefits. From January, in partnership with the University of Warwick, an internship programme will be available to our Founders’ Fund members, rolling out to other businesses by mid-2016. Interns, both graduates and undergraduates, will work with businesses for between three months and a year to help address specific challenges or business problems, which don’t necessarily have to be engineering-related.
Meanwhile, it is encouraging to see others setting out to address the same concerns identified at the start of our project. An initiative by Herefordshire & Ludlow College and the University of Worcester to launch a Hereford University Centre will help to enhance the pool of skilled and talented young people available to employers, the prospects for those young people themselves, and the growth of our business economy. Another venture by the University of Wolverhampton to set up a Business Solutions Centre at the heart of Hereford’s Enterprise Zone will help Herefordshire businesses get ahead in a very competitive environment. It is energising to be part of such combined and determined efforts to support world-class businesses and develop world-class employees, right here in Herefordshire.
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