UK business schools and mid-sized companies implored to increase collaboration

A call to action has been issued to mid-sized businesses in an effort to encourage closer ties with business schools.

A call to action has been issued to mid-sized businesses in an effort to encourage closer ties with business schools.

Business minister Michael Fallon is urging companies to invest in staff and see what local business schools can offer.

The rallying call comes as part of a Business Schools Task Force report which sets out steps to help improve how schools and the reported 10,000 mid-sized firms in the UK ‘work together to support growth’.

Contained within the report are recommendations such as encouraging business schools to actively target mid-sized businesses by offering taster sessions and tailoring courses to the needs of local companies.

It also suggests prompting business schools to promote careers in mid-sized companies to students, and asking for speakers from those businesses to come and speak at schools.

Fallon comments, ‘The UK’s 10,000 mid-sized firms are the muscles powering our economy, but we must make sure that those muscles are trained and working at the top of their game.

‘This report spells out the practical measures that must happen to make sure of success.’

Fallon believes that mid-sized firms will miss out if they do not invest in employees and utilise what local business schools can offer.

Other report proposals include stimulating the involvement of mid-sized business in the management and advisory boards of business schools to make sure that the ‘voice of local firms is heard’.

Sue Cox, chair of the Business Schools Task Force, comments, ‘It was clear from the Task Force’s research that there are some excellent examples of good practice in reaching out to mid-sized firms but, equally, that there is much that business schools and mid-sized firms can do in support of this mission.

‘Our report sets out practical and achievable steps to help make this happen, and I hope that companies and business schools from across the country take our findings on board.’

The Task Force is made up of business school leaders and business representatives and was established by the government in November 2011.

Industry representatives on the panel include Hayley Conboy of the Confederation of British Industry, Mark Robson from UK Trade & Investment and Mike Jones of the Foundation for Management Education.

Emma Wild, head of enterprise at the Confederation of British Industry, adds, ‘At the moment too many [medium-sized businesses] are unaware of or unconvinced by business school collaboration, so the practical ideas in this report should help persuade them of the value of engagement ­ for example, the availability of ‘mini-MBAs’, a tailored version of executive programmes to support firms who may not have the time or financial resources for traditional MBA courses.’

Hunter Ruthven

Hunter Ruthven

Hunter was the Editor for from 2012 to 2014, before moving on to Caspian Media Ltd to be Editor of Real Business.

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