University project will boost workforce skills

The initiative will focus on small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), with the aim to meet the training needs of employers through a cutting-edge portfolio.

It will take into account the particular concerns of individual businesses and develop a learning programme to suit these, as well as holding workshops and external events.

The University was awarded a Joint Information Systems Committee (JISC) project to develop an employer-responsive curriculum. JISC has asked for bids in relation to schemes which enable higher education institutions to meet the needs of the local workforce.

It will be managed through the University’s Institute for Learning Enhancement (ILE), which focuses on developing academic excellence through innovative initiatives.

Project Leader Alison Felce, the University’s Co-ordinator of Work-based Learning, said: “This is an opportunity to develop a cutting-edge curriculum to meet the learning needs of local SMEs and to build on our excellence in the use of technology to support learning.

“We understand the importance of matching individual learning with the performance needs of a business and will be looking at flexible delivery and easily-accessible e-learning.”

The University is nationally-recognised for its excellence in e-portfolio learning using the latest technologies and the project steering group will include Professor Sally Glen, Pro Vice-Chancellor (Academic), Professor Glynis Cousin, Director of ILE and Dr Dave Johnson, External Evaluator, as well as SME employer representatives.

The team will work closely with Kim White, Chief Executive of i-CD (Intelligent Careers Development), which is driving forward professional development.

The project, which will run until March 2011, is part of JISC’s Institutional Innovation Programme under the Institutional Innovation projects in lifelong learning and workforce development.

Further information

For media inquiries please contact Emma Kilvert in the Media Relations Office on 01902 322003.

The project was awarded £142,000 from JISC, which has been match-funded to total £306,000.

For more information about the University’s Institute of Learning Enhancement see


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