RETAIN AND INSPIRE

Employers engage with students to identify their next generation workforce

Industry-informed teaching and learning is at the heart of the Industrial Biotechnology Innovation Centre’s (IBioIC’s) strategy to develop the next generation of employee.  Appropriately skilled and experienced employees at all levels are required to support sector growth.  The further education sector was identified as a partner to deliver an HND in Industrial Biotechnology (IB) to complement the existing MSc and PhD-level qualifications we already support and I’m proud to announce we have our first graduates!  All have secured their first choice destination to be employed in IB or undertake further study at undergraduate level.

The College Experience
I have been truly inspired by the experience the students have been exposed to at Glasgow Clyde College, from the inspiring teaching staff to the facilities and amount of practical-based learning they have the opportunity to participate in.  To complement this, working in partnership with the Course Director, an extracurricular programme of industry engagement was delivered over the last academic year.  It aimed to increase retention in the HND programme from year 1 to year 2 and inspire students to focus on the contribution they can make to the sector, whether through immediate employment, or undertaking further study first.

IBioIC Industry-readiness Programme – Retain and Inspire
Retain and Inspire in 2018/19 included eight events and students received a certificate of participation for their commitment outside of their core teaching hours.

Events in the 2018/19 academic year included: 

  • Introduction to IB in Scotland
  • Apply now – your CV
  • Pitching and Networking skills
  • Public Engagement in Science – The Good, the Bad and the Biotech
  • Meet a Member – Marine Biopolymers
  • Meet a Member - site visit – GlaxoSmithKline at Irvine, Ingenza and IBioIC's FlexBio
  • Next Generation Workforce – Pick your Crew – Speed networking with employers
  • Complementary pass to IBioIC Annual Conference

Win-win
This programme complements academic learning and gives students a broad view of opportunities in the sector.  It breaks down barriers to employment by providing inspiring, real-world examples of industrial processes whilst also supporting the preparative activities (CV writing and networking).  Importantly, it’s often just creating opportunities for conversation.  Students overcome their nerves and realise employers are really just looking for someone with the skillset and personality that will complement their existing workforce.

Future plans
I’m very pleased that the programme for the 2019-20 edition of Retain and Inspire is coming together nicely.  Glasgow Clyde College students will have the opportunity to meet member companies, tour facilities and learn how to “vaccinate” themselves against fake news.

For more information please contact skills@ibioic.com

By Rachel Clark, Skills Programme Manager