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Students secure business placements to boost SMEs

Productivity and Innovation Centre

Publish date: March 25, 2022

Four Edge Hill University students have been given the opportunity to enhance their commercial skills and knowledge after securing placements working with small and medium enterprises (SMEs) across the North West.

The students have landed placements with Edge Hill’s leading SME Productivity and Innovation Centre (PIC) to support the scale-up ambitions of businesses across the region. 

The SME PIC’s Student Residency Scheme will develop the students’ business analytical, problem-solving, and research skills, helping SMEs with decision making to build a robust strategy for growth. 

Business School undergraduate students Ken McKevitt, Tom Radford, Will Mitten and MBA student Nicholas Webster have each landed a four-month placement. 

BSc Business Management with Logistics and Supply Chain Management student Ken McKevitt said: “I’m looking forward to learning first-hand how businesses can increase performance and to gain a greater understanding of the steps required to achieve that success. 

“I think it will be an invaluable experience that I’ll be able to take forward with me in my future career. It will be a unique opportunity to gain exposure to a variety of business models, and how each SME can tailor its route to success and increase its revenue.” 

Successful candidate Tom Radford, who studies BSc International Business, added: “I decided to apply for this placement because the role looked so interesting, and I thought it would really suit my skills. I want to develop my skills further, and this experience will give me the opportunity to do that.” 

The SME PIC is the University’s gateway for businesses to access support for business growth, leadership, and workforce development through a range of initiatives. Its leading scale-up Innovation Sprint Programme is part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF). 

The initiatives are delivered in collaboration with business support and academic experts from the university in innovation, business management, marketing, supply chain and computer sciences. More than 300 SMEs have received support during the past 12 months.  

L-R Professor Simon Bolton, Nicholas Webster, Ken McKevitt and Tom Radford

Michael Banford, Associate Director (Employability & Enterprise), Faculty of Arts & Sciences, said: “We are delighted the PIC Student Residency Scheme has kicked-off again for 2022. Being able to provide our students with such real-world experience working on live projects with SMEs will make a real difference to the students’ employability prospects.” 

Andrea Cunningham, Work-Related Learning Coordinator, said “The students will develop vital transferable skills, enhancing their problem-solving abilities, improve their confidence, and gain a much deeper understanding of their career options in business. 

“All four students demonstrated a real passion and understanding of business strategy during the selection process and are keen to develop real skills and knowledge that will set them apart from their direct competitors when applying for highly skilled employment opportunities.” 

Edge Hill University Business School offers a range of innovative, insightful and interesting programmes, relevant to the contemporary business environment, geared to providing a stimulating and intellectually challenging Higher Education experience. Designed in consultation with leading employers, our courses ensure students gain highly relevant experience and use industry standard equipment.  

Logos to show European Regional Development Fund and Northern Powerhouse (HM Government)