Preparing students for employment in small businesses

Thursday 21 November, The Curzon Building, Birmingham City University

The majority of private sector employment in the UK is in small businesses. Working for a small business offers business school graduates a wealth of opportunity and, likewise, graduates bring many benefits to small businesses. Yet, many Millennials and Generation Z are failing to recognise the significant opportunities in small businesses, and it remains something of a ‘hidden jobs market’ as employers lack the resources of larger companies to recruit graduates.

Designed for both academics and professional services staff, this one-day workshop explores how business schools and small businesses can work together to get more students working in small business.

Join us and find out about:

  • Why a career in a small business can be attractive to Generation Z students, and how it can fit with the aspirations of postgraduate students
  • How business schools can give students a taste of small business life through insight days, internships and work placements
  • How small businesses can get involved in the design and delivery of business & management education
  • How business schools and employers can work together to improve students’ awareness of career opportunities in small businesses
  • How business schools can help international students take advantage of the two year post-study work visa and connect them with small business employers

Speakers:

Vanessa Airth
Head of Work Based Learning, Policy and Practice, London Metropolitan University

Dr Sam Giove
Assistant Dean Student Experience, Sheffield Business School

Rory Daly
Head of Careers, Lancaster University Management School

Iwan Griffiths
MSc Business Careers Consultant, Aston University

Mohammed Ali
Business Start-Up and Entrepreneurial Development Manager, University of Birmingham

Lucy McGrath
Programme Leader, Liverpool Business School

Claire Hughes
Course Leader (CMDA, BA Business Management and BA Business Enterprise and Entrepreneurship), School of Business, Law and Communications, Solent University

Michael Head
Senior Lecturer, School of Business, Law and Communications, Solent University

Programme

09:30   Registration and refreshments

09:50   Welcome and introductions

Dr Bruce Philp, Head of Business School Research and Enterprise Activity, Birmingham City University Business School

10:00  Session One: The relationship between graduates and small business employers

This session explores what skills and behaviours small businesses need from their employees, why a career in a small business can be attractive to undergraduate (Generation Z) students, and how it can fit with the aspirations of postgraduate students.

Rory Daly, Head of Careers, Lancaster University Management School

Lucy McGrath, Programme Leader, Liverpool Business School

 

11:00   Break

 

11:10  Session Two: Giving students a taste of small business life

A key aspect of employability programmes are placements, consultancy projects and internships. This session digs into detail about how business schools are working with small businesses on these initiatives and how they are benefitting students, graduates and employers.

Vanessa Airth, Head of Work Based Learning, Policy and Practice, London Metropolitan University

Dr Sam Giove, Assistant Dean Student Experience, Sheffield Business School

Mohammed Ali, Business Start-Up and Entrepreneurial Development Manager, University of Birmingham

 

12:30   Lunch

 

13:10  Session Three: Engaging international students

The return of the two year post-study work visa presents important opportunities for international students who want to work in small business. This session explores the ways in which business schools can connect international students and graduates with small business employers and how to tackle the particular challenges associated with international student employability.

Iwan Griffiths, Careers Adviser, Aston Business School

 

14:10   Break

 

14:20  Session Four: Bringing students and small businesses together

This session explores how to get more students taking advantage of the opportunities of placements and internships in small businesses, other ways in which to connect students with small business employers and how small businesses can raise their profile with students and graduates.

Claire Hughes, Course Leader (CMDA, BA Business Management and BA Business Enterprise and Entrepreneurship), School of Business, Law and Communications, Solent University

Michael Head, Senior Lecturer, School of Business, Law and Communications, Solent University

 

15:20   Chair's summation

Dr Bruce Philp, Head of Business School Research and Enterprise Activity, Birmingham City University Business School

 

15:40  Close

 

Vanessa Airth
Head of Work Based Learning, Policy and Practice, London Metropolitan University

Vanessa has worked in Higher Education since 2001 and has 15 years’ experience of developing/delivering employability enhancement. She is a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy and holds a Master's Degree in Learning and Teaching in HE.

Responsible for the management and strategic direction of Work Based Learning in all curricula at London Met, she manages a team of 12 and is experienced in leadership of work placement and professional skills modules.  Vanessa also led on the University's 2015 'Programme for Improved Student Outcomes' to re-design work based/placement learning and has delivered talks at conferences on best practice in this area.

Her previous experience includes public relations, arts fundraising and retail banking and she enjoys weight training, play drum kit and walking in the Highlands of Scotland.

Dr Sam Giove
Assistant Dean Student Experience, Sheffield Business School

Sam has over 24 years of experience working in higher education.  She has held various academic positions including Deputy Head of Department, Head of Student Engagement and Employability, Assistant Dean - Employer Engagement and most recently Assistant Dean - Student Experience at Sheffield Business School.  She has worked in the food industry and been an entrepreneur, owning her own businesses over a 16 year period.

She has significant teaching and research supervision experience in the disciplines of marketing, product development and consumer psychology and behavior.  Her PhD was awarded for research into the influence of social values on consumer perception of risk (applied to food purchasing and consumption).  Her research interests include Student Empowerment, Value Creation in HE and Food Consumer Behaviour.

Her passion for providing an excellent student experience has forged her work in academia.  She drives the development of a supportive and challenging practice based education where applied learning experiences result in more resilient and confident students who become empowered professionals and responsible leaders.

She maintains strong links with a range of external stakeholders to include employers, business, alumni, professional bodies and other professional networks.  She plays a critical role in the business schools accreditation and TEF ambitions, driving a culture that delivers a high quality student experience for all.

Rory Daly
Head of Careers, Lancaster University Management School

Currently Head of Careers at Lancaster University Management School, Rory manages a team of seventeen, supporting students ranging from 1st year undergraduates through to students on LUMS’ Executive MBA.

Rory is a graduate of Lancaster University having completed a BA in Politics and Philosophy and an MA in Applied Research and Consultancy. He has worked at Lancaster in student facing roles since 2005, focusing on academic and soft skills development, coaching, and recruitment. Prior to that, he was a project manager for the University of Salford working on their implementation of the Higher Education Active Community Fund

He has a special interest in placement years (particularly in SMEs), the development of links with local and regional employers, and supporting international students.

As a Small Business Charter Gold Award winner, LUMS is dedicated to working with the SMEs on their doorstep and the careers team succeeds in imbuing their students with the skills necessary to thrive in that environment.

Lucy McGrath
Programme Leader, Liverpool Business School

Lucy is a Programme Leader at Liverpool Business School with a keen interest in employability. Having qualified as a Chartered Accountant with Coopers & Lybrand (PwC) she has worked in finance/management roles in financial services for 25 years before entering academia in 2011.

Mohammed Ali
Business Start-Up and Entrepreneurial Development Manager, University of Birmingham

Mohammed Ali is the Business Start-Up and Entrepreneurial Development Manager at the University of Birmingham, based within the central Careers Network department. He leads on the full spectrum of business start-up and entrepreneurial skills development, working with students and graduates to develop both their ventures and entrepreneurial capabilities for work. Mohammed also engages with local SMEs to understand their skills requirements and develop mutual opportunities for development between industry and the University.

Prior to working in entrepreneurial development within the Higher Education sector, Mohammed was based in the United Arab Emirates and China where he founded the World Solar Congress, a C-level business development agency for the solar industry, and Gartex Consultancy that provided recruitment and property brokering services between the Middle East, East Asia and the UK.

Claire Hughes
Course Leader (CMDA, BA Business Management and BA Business Enterprise and Entrepreneurship), School of Business, Law and Communications, Solent University

Claire has worked at Solent University for 9 years across both professional quality services and academic roles, where she is currently Course Leader in Business. Having come from industry, working for global market leaders and worldwide partners, she draws upon these experiences to inform her teaching where she has taught across wide ranging pedagogies including standard, blended, work based and real-world learning.   Her focus is to share best practices across core teaching and learning areas, including apprenticeships, drawn from her own courses, but also her work as an Solent HEA Assessor and Internal Moderator and External Examiner across UK and International areas.    She is a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy and a Chartered Fellow Manager of the Chartered Management Institute.

Michael Head
Senior Lecturer, School of Business, Law and Communications, Solent University

Michael is currently a Senior Lecturer in Business and Level 4 Leader where he is responsible for the academic and pastoral progression of the first year business students.  He is also the Course Work Placement Lead; as the work placement lead he sits on the School wide working group for placements, where he has a pivotal role in disseminating best practice.    Prior to working at Solent University, he worked for a software house as a Web Developer, but his passion for teaching saw him return to Solent,  where he has taught across a number of courses in the subject areas of business start-up, personal professional development and data analysis.

Iwan Griffiths
MSc Business Careers Consultant, Aston University

Iwan has worked at Aston since 2008, providing individual careers advice, delivering career management programmes, and tutoring on the Professional Development Programme for MSc students. Iwan has a specialist interest in supporting international students, has an MA in Learning and Teaching, and is a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.

This workshop takes place at Birmingham City University

The Curzon Building
4 Cardigan Street
Birmingham
B4 7BD

Click here for directions

Are you driving?

The nearest car park is at Millennium Point Multi-Storey Car Park:

There is a multi-storey car park owned and managed by Birmingham City Council situated adjacent to Millennium Point. The car park entrance is on Howe Street off Jennens Road.

If you are using a sat nav please use the postcode B4 7AP.

If you are heading to the Curzon building from here, head towards Curzon Street when you leave the car park, turn left when you reach the East Side City park and walk along the front of the Parkside Building and you will see the Curzon building on the opposite side of the road with a red façade .

Please retain your entry ticket on entering the Car Park. Payment is via machines located inside the car park building at the end of your visit. This car park takes cash and card payments. There is a cash machine available inside Millennium Point on Level 0. There is also a cash point on the ground floor of Curzon building.

One participant: £180

Two participants: £315 (save 25% on the second place)

Three participants: £450 (save 25% on second and third places)

Four or more participants: Group booking discount available, contact Oliver Lowe for a bespoke package (oliver.lowe@charteredabs.org)

View the Chartered ABS policy on cancellations, transfers and substitutions.

This workshop will be of value to academic and professional services staff who are involved in student and graduate employability. It is of particular relevance to:

  • Departmental Leaders
  • Directors of Learning & Teaching
  • Course Directors and Senior Lecturers
  • Directors of External Engagement
  • Lecturers
  • Entrepreneurs in Residence
  • Student Experience Managers