Guest blog by Richard Buckle, director of Wellmeadow Consulting.
Very soon Shropshire will have a new university. In fact, by September 2015 it will start accepting undergraduate students which means a few years after that there will be the first wave of graduates from the University of Chester Shrewsbury Institute.
It does then seem like the perfect time for businesses to start thinking seriously about how they might retain these talented youngsters here in Shropshire once they graduate.
After all, these students could well be Shropshire’s business leaders of the future.
Here at Wellmeadow Consulting we don’t want to see good talent drift away. That’s exactly why we have just awarded our first university sponsorship package to Shrewsbury Sixth Form College Student Stephanie Antrobus.
We put nine students through an assessment centre testing their team working skills, mathematical abilities and performance during an interview.
Our Wellmeadow team were impressed by all the students, their professionalism, confidence and desire to succeed but unfortunately we could choose only one candidate.
Stephanie will now be awarded a £500 grant towards the cost of her university studies and she will join us here at Wellmeadow Consulting for a paid internship during holidays from university.
We hope to be able to give Stephanie an insight into the services we offer here at Wellmeadow and experience of the business world in Shropshire.
We hope it will be enough to convince her to come back to this wonderful county to work once she graduates. Somewhere we feel is the perfect place to work and live.
As far as we know we are the only company in Shropshire offering this sort of student sponsorship. We are pleased to be leading the way, however for us to have any real impact on building up a pool of talented graduates in Shropshire we would encourage other businesses to think about investing more in students too.
Don’t let them walk away and take their talent elsewhere.
Of course, it goes without saying that as well as undergraduate investment, businesses also need to be providing graduate job opportunities and telling students about them.
Here at Wellmeadow Consulting we work with small and medium sized businesses throughout the West Midlands providing advice and consulting services on a range of business matters including board support, strategy development, marketing, recruitment and a wide range of other business services.
We help fill in the gaps for businesses where they lack expertise and provide businesses with extra horsepower to strengthen their capabilities and get things done.
We do lots, but unfortunately we don’t have the time or resources to be able to hop on to the university milk rounds to tell students how great we are to work for.
Our strategy is to shout to students about how great we are before they leave for university and hope we stick in their minds when it comes to searching for a job after graduating.
It would be great for Shropshire if other businesses started shouting a little louder too!
J&PR are a Shropshire PR agency covering Shrewsbury, Telford, north Shropshire, south Shropshire and parts of Mid and North Wales. As well as working with businesses, organisations and events across the region on PR campaigns J&PR run regular DIY PR Training Courses and DIY Digital PR Training Courses at venues in the county.