Businesses access new student talent and support at networking event

Logos of HLSM and the ESF

This project is part-funded by the European Social Fund.

Up to 60 businesses came to Birmingham City University’s Business School to meet and engage with students who could make a difference to their organisation, as part of an exclusive ‘speed networking’ event.

Posted 23 May 2022

Networking with fresh talent

The event, which took place on Tuesday 17 May, saw a host of businesses from across multiple industries – including PwC, Lounge Underwear, Lloyds Banking Group, award-winning content agency Tribera and retail brand Hoodrich – attend in order to network with future talent.

The students present at the event represented a wide range of disciplines, including marketing, business, human resources, accounting and finance.

It provided businesses within the region to get to know the undergraduate talent at BCU and understand how they could potentially make a difference to their business, whether it be through a full-time vacancy, part-time support or a work placement.

“We organised this event in order to display the talents and real-world skills that our students and graduates possess, skills that can make a positive difference to the region’s businesses,” says Emma Neale, Associate Professor and Employability Lead for Birmingham City Business School.

“By bringing businesses and students together, there’s a chance to build mutually fulfilling partnerships that can enhance skills and performance, solve challenges and help businesses stand out.”

Nationally recognised student and business support  

The event was organised by Higher Level Skills Match (HLSM), which matches SMEs within the Greater Birmingham and Solihull Enterprise Partnership (GBSLEP) to student and graduate talent.

Furthermore, HLSM – which is part-funded by the European Social Fund – works closely with a business to identify workshops and training opportunities, as well as creating personalised skills development plans, to upskill their workforce.

In turn, HLSM helps students and graduates to prosper – so far, it has engaged with 1,263 of them on numerous initiatives, including jobs, work experience and mentoring.

The HLSM project – which also works with in partnership with Aston University, Newman University, Tamworth Borough Council and Lichfield District Council – has been nationally recognised, recently being named as a finalist at three separate awards.

Successful networking with long-term prospects

The speed networking event proved to be a huge success, enabling students to find out more about employability prospects, build their contacts, discover new knowledge and showcase their abilities to businesses.

Conversely, it gave the region’s businesses a vital opportunity to meet future talent that could make a positive difference to their organisation, as well as pinpointing businesses challenges and skills gaps they may currently be encountering.

“Well done to Emma and the team (for organising this event),” says Andrew Connors, Head of Sector and Region at Lloyds Banking Group. “We were delighted to spend an afternoon with such high-quality students.”