The Higher Level Skills Match Extension brings Birmingham City University, Aston University and Newman University together in partnership with local authorities in Cannock Chase, Lichfield, and Tamworth. The funding has been awarded by the European Social Fund (ESF) following a bid last year.
It will continue the work and learning started by Higher Level Skills Match (HLSM), which delivered successfully with the same partnership from 2017 to 2019 supporting over 300 businesses, completing 189 skills projects and engaging over 1200 students and graduates on initiatives including paid jobs, work experience and mentoring. The success of the HLSM project saw it win the AGCAS Building Effective Partnerships Award 2020. AGCAS is the Association of Graduate Careers Advisory Services.
Over the next two and a half years, the project will see Account Managers from the three partner universities developing long-term relationships with businesses to identify and tackle their higher level skills needs. Particular focus will be placed on graduate job opportunities by targeting small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs).
It is expected that the HLSM extension will engage over 1300 micro-businesses and SMEs in the GBSLEP area and provide higher level skills support to around 300 local businesses through a specially created SME Skills and Graduate Talent Charter.
Lucia Puricelli, Programme Manager – HLSM
“We are delighted to get this project up and running. It is providing much needed support to both employers and to students and graduates during these difficult times and in the years to come. Now that we have funding confirmed, we can continue with the good work which has taken place since January”
“The ESF support endorses the approach that we have taken as a partnership over the past three years to target success by building mutually beneficial long-term relationships between the partners and businesses rather than taking a short-term transactional approach”.
“A key innovation of HLSM is its Account Management service delivery model which provides a single point of contact from an HLSM partner as a gateway to all partner Institutions products and services for busy SMEs and micro-businesses”.
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