Universities’ collaborations with employers essential for building bright futures

By Zhanet Stamatova, Marketing Manager

The University of Strathclyde has been featured in a publication by Universities UK and the UK Commission for Employment and Skills titled ‘Forging Futures: Building higher level skills through university and employer collaboration’.

The report focuses on the relationships many universities and employers build with each other in order to aid the development of highly-skilled workers and jobs by creating specialised courses, aimed at forging the skills required by specific sectors.

The collaborative PhD programme between the University of Strathclyde and GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), focused on the life sciences sector, is presented in the report as a case study example of excellence. It helps students apply theoretical knowledge and gain invaluable research experience.

Professor William Kerr, Programme Director and member of the Department of Pure and Applied Chemistry, points out that “[w]hilst the programmes are demanding, the intellectual challenge, peer review, and recognition that the research work is to contributing towards a higher degree qualification is exceedingly rewarding.”

Dr. Harry Kelly of GSK added: “The programme has provided career development opportunities for talented graduate staff, but also established a culture of academic rigour and enhanced scientific excellence within the wider laboratory team.”

The Forging Futures report also mentions recent findings about employability skill gaps of UK university graduates.

It emphasises the importance of partnerships between universities and employees to resolve this problem. The creation and retention of such relationships does not only aid the development of more skilled graduates, but also the diversification of university courses offered, the employability opportunities of graduates, and the development of current employees.

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