Skills & Talent in the Region

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Encouraging better dialogue between businesses and education providers has been central to Business South’s thinking for some time.

GraduationWe are only too aware of issues such as the skills gaps that exist in some sectors and the brain drain that sees graduates qualifying with good degrees but leaving our region for jobs elsewhere.

Having a clearer idea of the needs of businesses along with the type of qualifications they would like their workforce to have, has been part of that discussion.

Our partnership accord with Southampton Solent University is a good example how we are working to bring education and business closer together for the benefit of all.

The South’s businesses have to compete in the top end of this global economy. Quality, innovation, knowledge creation and application will be some of our key watchwords. The key differentiator will though undoubtedly be one thing alone – our people. Their competence, their commitment, the way they are led and engaged in their working lives will be critical to success, whether at the individual company, industry sector or regional economy level.

To make sure that the Business South region and the companies based in it are best placed to secure competitive advantage through people, Business South has established an HR Forum. It pulls together Human Resource professionals, academics and business people interested in the people agenda, with a view to driving change in the region.

As well as working with universities across our region, Business South has also been closely involved with a number of colleges. Steve Frampton, Principal of Portsmouth College, was clear on the benefits of being a Champion.

"Through your events we have found super mentors for our thriving entrepreneurship programme working with UNLOC.

"Additionally Business South has been one of the most pro-active supporters of early engagement programmes involving Primary and Lower Secondary Science and Maths, that could help address the long-term Local Enterprise Partnership's need for more students progressing onto STEM related employment," he said.

“Business South provides us with our best networking opportunities to assist us with the planning and delivery of our Enterprise, Employability and Entrepreneurship schemes “

Steve Frampton, Principal, Portsmouth College

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PhD students talk businessDigital dynamos from the University of Southampton’s Web Science Doctoral Training Centre got the chance to mingle with business leaders at a Directors Forum held at the Chilworth Manor Hotel.The showcase for web science - and the PhD students who have a passion for all things digital - was a huge success with guests from some of the region’s leading businesses finding out more about this talented bunch over the dinner table.

Champion Director Leigh-Sara Timberlake commented: “The evening was a great success. Over dinner the students were able to find out more about the needs of business and they were able to share some of their expertise with major names form the world of business.

“Business South is keen to endorse moves to retain talent in our region. We need to encourage phd students like these to stay in the south and work for local businesses or help them develop their own entrepreneurial skills by developing their own businesses.

“We are planning to host more opportunities like this when academia and business can get together, share opportunities and break down perceived barriers,” she said.

During the evening Dr Les Carr, Co-director of the University’s Web Science Doctoral Training Centre (DTC), introduced the concept of Web Science and what research is currently being undertaken by MSc and PhD students at the DTC.

Jacqui Taylor, Founder and CEO of Flying Binary, a technology solutions company for Enterprise and SME businesses, also shared real life case studies looking at how web science projects are empowering corporate entities and shaping their future strategies and plans.

"Working with Business South is enabling our students to practically develop leadership and other skills through the relationship between students and businesses"

Professor Les Carr, Computer Sciences, University of Southampton Professor Les Carr, Computer Sciences, University of Southampton

Industry Leaders in the South

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University of Southampton

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