Champions column: I’m impressed by the positive attitude from people in town and what they want to achieve
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These are: support for our students and graduates, as well as those in the communities we serve; Linking business to academics and research students to assist with research, knowledge exchange and consultancy; Provision of skills that are relevant to industry, whether through courses, apprenticeships, CPD or further training; Showcasing specialist facilities and associated technical support that assist originations in research and design, testing, and modification of product.
What was the greatest achievement for your business or organisation over the past year?
An achievement that we are particularly proud of is once again achieving Gold in the Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF), recognising our outstanding student experience and outcomes. We were also ranked in the Top 20 for assessment and feedback in this year’s National Student Survey (NSS).
Vibrant, Contemporary, Community
What are your favourite places to visit in Chesterfield?
The vibrant town centre is always a favourite place to visit, with an array of shops offering high street names as well as a variety of independent shops, cafes, and restaurants. Chesterfield also offers the opportunity to unwind and relax with nature.
How is your business or organisation becoming more sustainable?
Sustainability is embedded into all aspects of the university. Our new business school will follow plans to be net zero in construction and operation. Our De-carbonise project helped 1,000 SMEs. It provided grants of £1.6 million for energy efficiency measures, delivering savings of over £3million per year, and saved 32,000 tC02e against a target of 2,400.
Why do you love working or doing business in Chesterfield or North Derbyshire?
I have met a number of Chesterfield and North Derbyshire businesses, as well local authorities. I have been struck by the extremely positive ‘can do’ attitude and a sense of direction for what Chesterfield wants to achieve.
How are you supporting young people in your business?
We believe in supporting young people to enter the workplace by providing them with opportunities to develop practical, key skills that are relevant to their career ambitions.
To do so, we provide a range of apprenticeships, work experience and internships.
Our Careers and Employment Agency supports students with work experience, placements, CV writing, workshops and career guidance, to prepare them for life after university.
How are you, your business or your team supporting local people?
The Help to Grow programme combines online sessions with face-to-face learning and one-to-one mentoring, to support senior managers of SME businesses.
In partnership with Chesterfield College, we are delivering programmes for the Construction Skills Hub at Staveley. We are also involved in the Derbyshire Rail Industry Innovation Vehicle (DRIIVe).
The Derbyshire Festival of Business will have a strong presence in Chesterfield and surrounding areas focusing on supporting businesses.
What is your vision for Chesterfield and North Derbyshire in 2030? What do you think the town needs to achieve this?
I see Chesterfield as a hub with a strong and vibrant community, with organisations working in direct partnership with education and skills providers to ensure local people have access to cutting-edge education and expertise.