A new initiative has been launched at Teesside University to build stronger links between students and employers.
Leading entrepreneur and networker Meryl Levington has been appointed as the new Head of Student Futures and will work with the business community to find out how the university can meet its needs with its graduate talent.
She will develop programmes for students at the University to ensure that they are ready for the world of work when they graduate.
She will also work alongside the University’s award-winning graduate enterprise initiative to encourage entrepreneurship amongst students and grow the number of business start-ups emanating from the university.
Levington, who has an MA in Entrepreneurship from Durham University, joins Teesside having spent 16 years working in the private sector as a business consultant and mentor.
She said: “My first degree was in modern languages and living and working abroad really taught me how to network and get to know people.
“I have always had a hunger to work with business and I’ve spent a lot of my career working with entrepreneurs helping them to set up their own companies.
“I’m really looking forward to transferring these skills to my role at Teesside University.”
A key aspect of Levington’s job will be engaging with employers and the business community to promote the benefits of working with the University and developing opportunities for graduate employment and student placements.
She added: “We will be working with students to develop key skills for employment so they are better equipped for work and help raise aspirations for graduates.
“We will work alongside employers to understand the changing needs of their businesses and respond to them by developing our programmes and modules accordingly.
“Particularly for SMEs, recruiting a graduate can be a relatively inexpensive way of bring in extra skills and talent into your company and as a university we can help with the recruitment process.
“I really want to create strong industrial links and showcase all the fantastic expertise there is here at the university and demonstrate that the university is not just about endowing academic qualifications on students but also works to create valuable future employees.”