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Bridging the gap: FSB’s partnership with New College Lanarkshire

At the FSB, we’re always arguing about the need for better links between education and industry.

That’s why the FSB and New College Lanarkshire (NCL) struck a groundbreaking accord last year designed to help local smaller businesses and the area’s economy. In the last year, we’ve been working hard to forge important local connections. Together, we:

Hosted three Lanarkshire Business Hub events, where FSB members addressed over 100 local business owners and important decision-makers

Held a special event looking at how the college and small firms can work together in areas such as Modern Apprenticeships, procurement, employability and business support.

Conducted a joint survey to help the college understand challenges smaller firms face regarding workforce training.

Provided FSB members with the opportunity to sell their products and services through the college intranet.

Promoted FSB Connect membership to the college students interested in starting-up in business.

If that wasn’t enough, we also invited NCL student photographers to snap-up real life experience at FSB events.

This innovative partnership has been a great success, benefiting local firms, the FSB and the college. Now more members know about what the college offers, while the college understands better what local business wants.

NCL ImageSo what now? Well, we’ve just held a joint event to celebrate Scottish Modern Apprenticeship Week 2018 and we’ve a pipeline of events in March, June and December that will attract hundreds of local businesses.

Even more ambitiously, we’re looking at a collaborative study on the college’s approach to procurement to try and get more local firms involved in local supply. NCL also plan to tailor-make training courses for smaller firms, and have scheduled a new web-interface for local businesses.

Bridging the gap between business and education should be a priority for anyone who wants to develop thriving local economies. With the team at NCL, FSB is trying to do just that.