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Providing specialist support to solve your challenges

Businesses in the region often look to Birmingham City University for specialist support from students and graduates. In this blog, we discuss how one Birmingham-based company secured student support to ease their workload and grow their business.
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Providing specialist support to solve your challenges

Businesses in the region often look to Birmingham City University for specialist support from students and graduates. In this blog, we discuss how one Birmingham-based company secured student support to ease their workload and grow their business.
Photo of a modern office with desks and equipment

Helping businesses from multiple backgrounds

Is your business wrestling with a particular challenge? Do you find you haven’t got the manpower or the skills needed to solve it? Perhaps it’s time you looked at acquiring a student or graduate to make that difference.

Businesses of different shapes and shapes, from different disciplines and industries, at different stages of development, have all come forward, asked for help and reaped the benefits.

Take Peters Ltd, for example. Based in Birmingham, Peters is the UK’s leading specialist supplier of children’s books and furniture to schools, academies, public libraries and multi-academy trusts.

With a passion for inspiring children and young people to read for pleasure, they offer a range of services to support schools’ reading requirements and help improve literacy levels.

The team also offer bespoke book selections, book packs and a free library design service to help schools transform their libraries and reading zones.

However, as an extremely busy team, Peters were keen to recruit a new member to support with the existing workload and grow the business. That’s where BCU’s upskilling and recruitment service, Higher Level Skills Match (HLSM), came in.

Accessing skilled student support

HLSM is an award-winning, unique collaboration between BCU, Aston University, Newman University and local councils.

It helps to identify a business’ skills gaps, and source them with student and graduate talent.

Following unsuccessful recruitment through various existing channels, Peters partnered with HLSM – part-funded by the European Social Fund – to recruit a student that could seamlessly slot into their business, take on a task and run with it.

Peters felt that by taking on this support would mean they’d gain a student who has amassed the latest skills in design software, something the business required.

“HLSM enabled us to find a candidate not only with the right skillset, but also with an interest in and passion for our specific area within the industry,” the company says.

Long-term support with long-term growth

With support from a dedicated account manager, Peters successfully recruited a student, Rowan, with the necessary skills for the role.

After his placement ended, Rowan’s hard work and talent for the role meant Peters were keen to keep him as a full-time member of the team.

Rowan has secured a permanent role with the organisation and has since gone above and beyond,” the company says.

“In his six months here so far, he has already successfully secured four designs with clients (normally it could take a year to secure one).”

Peters hope to offer work experience or an internship to future graduates across the businesses, giving graduates the support and first step into the industry.

Tailored support to meet business’ needs

By working in partnership with SMEs, HLSM has been able to provide a higher quantity and broader range of roles for students. Furthermore, it assists in ensuring students and graduates remain in the local area, aiding talent retention.

It provides regional SMEs with something they have needed for a considerable time. Namely, tailored support that meets their needs and achieves their goals.

Recently, HLSM has worked with a number of leading companies, including assisting global brand Lounge Underwear.

HLSM also hosted a business speed networking event, which brought together nearly 60 regional businesses to engage with students about filling skills gaps, work placements, employment and advice.

Interested in securing support from a highly skilled student or graduate? Contact us today.

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