8 April, 2009
One of the first UK businesses to benefit from the University of Salford’s £3 million employer engagement drive has praised the institution following the successful delivery of its first module to support the development of its future managers.
Capita Symonds is one of the UK’s largest multidisciplinary consultancies specialising in the building design, civil engineering, environment, management and transport sectors. Its Regions Division has worked with Salford Business School and the University’s Employer Engagement team to design a programme to help its graduate employees acquire the all-round business skills needed to support their technical expertise.
To date more than 50 graduates have enrolled on the two-year BusinessWise programme, which leads to the award of a Postgraduate Certificate in Business Management from the University of Salford.
“We wanted to introduce a more-rounded programme of development at an earlier stage in people’s careers to encourage them to look at the bigger picture within Capita and help us to retain our best staff,” said Ann Graves, Organisational Development Manager at Capita Symonds Regions Division.
“We looked at the skills we wanted to include in any training and realised we didn’t have the capacity internally to effectively manage this. The University of Salford provides the necessary accreditation to support our graduates throughout their careers, and of course Salford is already well known in our industry for its strong reputation in the Built Environment.”
The first module, Effective Management, was delivered at a weekend retreat at Lledr Hall in Wales. It brought together graduates, academics and Capita Symonds’ senior management team and covered issues such as problem solving, team working and leadership. Tracy Calvert, Communications Co-ordinator at Capita Symonds, Cumbria and Northwest, is a member of the first cohort.
“Having been with the organisation for 18 months I thought it would be a really good opportunity to learn more about the business as a whole and for my own personal development,” Tracy said.
“Already I have a better understanding of how my managers work and have been able to apply the problem solving techniques to many aspects of my job. All assignments fit in around our work, and another plus is that it allows us to mix with colleagues who we might only have ever spoken to over the phone.”
The next module, Commercial Awareness, has just started and will be followed by Responsible Business Practice and Leadership and Empowerment.
“We recognised that internally we needed to change how we are working by addressing the needs of employers directly instead of offering standard solutions,” said Programme Director Renata Eyres.
“We are challenging academic thinking about business engagement and developing a ‘yes we can’ attitude, and the project with Capita Symonds marks a significant milestone in how we are making our mark.”
Source: Salford University