Universities now have to work hard at attracting students and that includes making sure they are ready for the workplace. Today at the Leicester Mercury Connections breakfast briefing, we heard from Helen Donnellan, Director of Business Engagement at De Montfort University.

Helen made it clear the DMU is focused on providing students with the right education and experience to get them ready for work. The DMU wants businesses to be able to employ students who are creative, hard-working and able to fit straight into a role.

For this to happen, the links between businesses and the DMU need to be strong. The DMU makes sure every student gets meaningful work experience. Helen urged companies to get in touch where they might need someone for a specific project. The DMU pays for the cost of the student so there is no cost to the business, and the university will find the right student for the placement.

Helen also explained the help and advice available to start-up businesses such as the Innovation Centre on campus which is a co-working space providing advice and information along with events and speakers.

Helen also talked about the lead the DMU is taking in helping businesses to stay safe by training in cyber security. They offer courses which focus on both technical solutions and the psychology of cybersecurity and provide short course and taster sessions.

It was a good introduction for me into what the DMU offers businesses and it is great to see such a positive and proactive attitude. Businesses can get a lot out of their local universities. For more help from the DMU, contact Helen Donnellan and her team at the Innovation Centre: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..