Preparing students for employment in small businesses

Thursday 21 November, Birmingham City University Business School

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 include:

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

Rory Daly, Head of Careers, Lancaster University Management School

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

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

Lucy McGrath, Programme Leader, Liverpool Business School

Professor Kiran Trehan, Professor of Leadership and Enterprise Development and Director of External Engagement, Birmingham Business School


09:30   Registration and refreshments

09:50   Welcome and introductions


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.


11:00   Break


11:30  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.


12:30   Lunch


13:50  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.


15:10   Break


15:30  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.


15:45   Chair's summation


16:00   Close

This workshop takes place at Birmingham City University

The Curzon Building
4 Cardigan Street
B4 7BD

Click here for directions

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 (

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