Skills for Business initiative established

Optima Training was selected by De Montfort University to help establish the processes, mechanisms and delivery teams needed to ensure the success of their Skills for Business programme. From February of this year our Business Director, Mark Small, has been providing interim project management services DMU on an exclusive basis.

The Skills for Business initiative seeks to make a range of services available to regional small and medium businesses. At the heart of Skills for Business is a new University Certificate in Professional Development (UCPD) in Work-Based Learning that will make higher level education available to people that are employed full time who want to pursue development opportunities while remaining in the workforce.

The key milestone for the initial project phase was to achieve validation of the UCPD, enabling courses to be tailored to the needs of business by combining units of learning within a pre-validated shell. The process of validation is essentially the quality assurance mechanism for Higher Education courses and the ability to select and combine learning units from a pre-validated framework greatly increases employer responsiveness.

Validation of the framework was achieved successfully in September and since then Mark has been helping to select the project team to take this initiative forward.

Professor Stephen Baskerville, Pro Vice Chancellor, said that Mark had played “an important role in bringing together the disparate parts of the University involved in an undertaking of this size” and that he “certainly contributed to its success”. Professor Baskerville also commented that it was “refreshing to see a professional consultant become so emotionally invested in the project.”

Mark worked closely with the new Project Manager, Kerry Wright, during the last months of his own involvement to ensure a smooth handover.

For more information about Skills for Business, contact Kerry Wright on 0116 207 8940