The University for Birmingham and the Region – Supporting Jobs and Skills Acquisition

Made Futures

Birmingham City University (BCU) is a dynamic, business-engaged Institution with over 24,000 students from 80 countries. 

BCU’s current 2025 Strategy outlines a dual mission of enabling personal transformation, and to be the University for Birmingham and the region through the provision of a highly-skilled, work-ready graduate workforce; and interdisciplinary academic and industry collaborations. BCU has secured £32.4m of enterprise income since 2017/18 to support large-scale project-based interventions specifically targeted to address identified skills and employment challenges. 

In terms of support for business growth, the national award winning Higher Level Skills Match project provides local companies with access to graduates, interns and project staff with the skills businesses need to grow. It was designed with and for businesses, supporting small and medium-sized enterprises in the GBSLEP area. 

With regard to skills gaps, BCU is working in partnership with FE and HE providers, and leading sector employers across the GBSLEP to deliver an Institute of Technology. The £10.1m GBSIoT project will develop new, industry-responsive technical education with a focus on advanced manufacturing and engineering, supporting employers to address skills gaps through access to relevant technical skills provision and local talent. 

Skills gaps are also addressed through projects such as STEM-Up which helps aspiring individuals evaluate their skills gaps and find the right training courses to meet their needs. The initiative offers a wide and varied selection of free learning programmes provided by a host of recommended educational partners ranging from Level 1 soft skills to degree-level technical skills. 

In terms of employment, the Graduate Re-tune project supports the acquisition of highly skilled jobs for unemployed or underemployed graduates through working in partnership with bodies such as DWP and Jobcentre Plus. Businesses also have an opportunity to work with BCU to support jobs and skills acquisition through the award winning micro-placement initiative. This provides flexible short-term work placement opportunities to students to help them be business ready and support local businesses to grow and innovate by giving them access to young talent.

Lastly, in terms of specialist skills acquisition from academic experts and support for innovation, businesses could consider a Knowledge Transfer Partnership through BCU – part of a UK-wide programme that helps businesses improve competitiveness and productivity. As an example of the practical application of KTPs, the BCU scheme, which secured a national award in September 2020, is working with the Made Group on enhancements to their digital platform. 

Made Futures was created to encourage people to get jobs in manufacturing, in support of those who have lost their jobs over the course of the 2020 pandemic. There's still time to sign up and be part of the exhibition by filling in the form here

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