Making sure students get the must-have skills: Scott Watson from Teesside University speaks to Bdaily
In the role of business development manager at Teesside University, Scott Watson provides the vital link between what businesses want, and what the higher education establishment can deliver..
Scott specialises in working with the Arts and Media department at the university, which includes film makers, actors and journalists – three areas where it is notoriously difficult to find a job.
However, Teesside University is committed to providing students with the right skills to get them the position they are after.
“We’re a university that listens to the companies we serve,” explains Scott. “And this means we can help people develop skills which are not available elsewhere.”
“In the creative sector it’s very important that individuals keep their skills up to date and relevant, to ensure they can get into and stay in the workplace.”
Teesside University have invested heavily in new technologies to provide that edge, such as Green Screen training for actors, and an online video journalism course designed with the Trinity Mirror Group.
Scott is particularly proud of an MA in Dance, which looks at far more than tap shoes and pirouettes.
“It was developed by the sector itself to fill specific skills gaps,” he continues.”
Employers were looking for entrepreneurial and management skills, as well as knowledge of how to work with different target audiences.
“We invited them in to discuss their needs so we could ensure we delivered what they want – I mean we could’ve just used an off the shelf course, but by getting their buy in, we are providing value for money for everyone.”
Scott hopes that providing flexible and affordable training will help to retain and attract further talent.
“From our point of view, 65% of our students are from the region, and as they actively choose to stay in the region, we need to ensure we can provide them with up to date skills and new opportunities,” he continues.
“Traditionally the region is known for industry, but this is evolving. I’m incredibly proud to be working at the heart of an area which is developing a reputation for creative media – it has never been more exciting.”