“How to support talent to develop exceptional industry partnerships through our Industry Collaboration Zone?” Salford University’s Talent Forum challenge

Ranked as one of the world’s most international universities, Salford University hosted the Primeast North West Talent Forum in October.  It was a high energy event with excellent participation from HR and business leaders from organisations in the UK’s NW and Yorkshire regions.

Julie Woosey, HR Business Partner and Jen Hinsley, ICZ Programme Manager jointly took to the “hot seat” to describe the University’s Talent Challenge to forum members.  “How to support talent to develop exceptional industry partnerships through our Industry Collaboration Zone?”  They described the significant opportunity for the University to maximise benefits for all three stakeholders – students, staff talent and industry talent.


Quick wins
It quickly became apparent to the group that several win-wins were available to those involved by forging closer links between the University and businesses in the region:

  • Bringing teaching to life by students working on real-world challenges
  • Students getting to know the needs of potential employers and acquiring employability skills and experience
  • Industry partners, cultivating and witnessing young talent in action as a pathway to employment
  • Industry benefiting from projects undertaken in the partnership context which might otherwise not be progressed

In bringing the challenge to life, our hosts described some of the amazing facilities available at the University such as the “Make Space” and the “Digital Sand Box”.  Participants in the forum were visibly energised and there were several suggestions about how industry representatives could help.  These included secondments; bringing real challenges as projects; and the transfer of expertise such as business development skills (essential in business but less prevalent in education).

Attendees were from various organisations and industries and provided valuable insight on how best to engage with the business world, including providing ease of access and agility of response.  That said, there was strong emphasis from several people in the room on the importance of building long-term relationships.

Long term actions
There were several positive outcomes from the Forum for Julie and Jen and they affirmed several actions.  As key priorities, Julie committed to establishing working relationships with industry learning and development teams (including those represented at the Forum) and Jen committed to evolving the marketing and communications strategy of the university to improve accessibility.

Are you eligible to take part in the next Primeast Talent Forum?
Primeast Talent Forums offer business leaders and people management professionals a unique opportunity to meet and engage in high level, strategic people development challenges in the workplace. We ensure a high standard of dialogue is maintained as places are only available for those who hold appropriate corporate leadership, learning and development or HR positions.

This review of the Talent Forum was written by Clive Wilson, the event facilitator, and approved by Julie Woosey and Jen Hinsley from Salford University.  Visit the University’s ICZ pages here.

The next North West Talent Forum is on Friday 26 January 2018 at Salford University for a progress update and to explore new challenges.  For details of all Primeast events visit our events pages here.