Businesses urged to tap into science and technology talent


Picture of Becky Toal, Lauren Hart, Cameron Wilson; also picture of Pam Pickles
L-R: Becky Toal (Crowberry Consulting), Lauren Hart, Cameron Wilson (student interns); Pam Pickles

Businesses can benefit from fresh ideas and technical skills by accessing a talent pool of more than 4,200 science and technology students with sought-after skills.

Lancaster University Science and Technology students - with knowledge and skills in critical disciplines such as chemistry, computing and communications, cyber-security, engineering, environmental science, maths and statistics, physics, and psychology - have a strong record of working with regional businesses on internships focused on bespoke projects, delivering tangible benefits to host organisations.

Professionals from the University’s Science and Technology Partnerships and Business Engagement team, as well as academic staff, support the process by arranging mutually-beneficial partnerships between organisations and students through projects and placements - arranging more than 500 a year. 

Pam Pickles, Student Employability Manager at Lancaster University’s Faculty of Science and Technology, said: “We have a strong track-record of delivering solutions for external partners as well as helping to ensure our talented students gain quality additional experience and skills that will be invaluable for when they complete their studies and begin their careers.

“Internships are available all year round and are flexible in duration. Many organisations use internships during the summer months when students can more readily commit their time. Registering interest now ensures the best chance of matching internship to organisational needs.

Many Lancaster students gain further employment with their internship hosts with businesses finding the process to be a great way to trial potential new staff.

One company to have benefitted from the Lancaster University internship programme is Chorley based Crowberry Consulting Ltd. The team have worked with Lancaster University recently taking on two interns over the summer of 2019.

Becky Toal, Managing Director of Crowberry Consulting Ltd, said: “It massively benefits our business to work with Lancaster University giving quality internship roles to their undergraduates. We deploy these highly intelligent interns to our various projects, which involve research, and customer-facing work and development.

“In 2019 we hosted two internships. The first supported the development of templates to help clients comply with energy management and environmental management regulations. The other intern supported us with research to update our compliance registers for customers again on energy and environmental laws.

“In addition, both interns were able to support us in promoting our brand and our services to North West based businesses. They also both benefitted from learning and achieving a Level 1 in Customer Service Diploma provided by The Growth Company. The support from the interns has helped us to maintain loyal customers and increased our sales by targeting new customers.”

Crowberry Consultancy are taking on additional Lancaster University internships this summer and have been able to recruit suitable candidates despite social distancing restrictions due to the ongoing coronavirus situation.

Ms Toal said: “In 2020 we are enhancing our online training offer, supporting our customers with remote solutions for sustainability. I would highly recommend working with the team at Lancaster University who make the process of recruitment easy and pain free for any business looking for extra resource on a wide range of projects. The summer of 2020 is especially challenging with the COVID19 pandemic, and therefore the option to remote interview the candidates was essential during lockdown.”  

Lancaster University staff are able to help ensure the process remains smooth despite the different working arrangements taking place during the ongoing coronavirus situation.

Ms Pickles, said: “I’m delighted that we have been able to work with Becky and Crowberry Consulting during these difficult times. It is so important that universities and businesses collaborate to ensure that we emerge from COVID-19 in a strong position to move forward and beyond the virus. We are keen to work with more business like Crowberry, who we have an excellent collaborative relationships with, and have some funding available.

“We can work flexibly and respond sympathetically during these unprecedented times so please do contact us with your requirements. We will endeavour to work with organisations to ensure that the experience and impact of such internships is positive and productive.”

Rachel Beauchamp, Student Employability Officer at Lancaster University’s Faculty of Science and Technology, added: “Fully paid internships cost £1,400+VAT per month and this money is paid to the student as a wage. We strive to ensure that all students are paid at the National Living Wage and include holiday pay in all our payments to students. However, there are also some fully and part-funded internships available.

“We also offer other ways to engage with our students, such as careers fairs, collaborative research projects, year in industry programmes, volunteering programmes and recruitment services.”

Opportunities during the summer months between July and September are particularly welcome, though part-time positions throughout the year are also desired.

More information about the internships including costs and funding support are available by visiting www.lancaster.ac.uk/sci-tech/internships/ or by contacting Pam Pickles and Rachel Beauchamp: scitech.futures@lancaster.ac.uk T: 01524 510193/510064.

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