Students at the University of Central Lancashire have been described as “inspirational” by the boss of a national skills organisation.
Barbara Spicer, chief executive of the Skills Funding Agency, visited UCLan as part of a visit to Lancashire, organised by Downtown Business.
She spoke to final year business students taking part in the prestigious leadership development LaunchPad programme, a fast-track project run by Lancashire Business School providing talented students with enhanced opportunities for work experience, business mentoring and networking.
Barbara said: “I’m very impressed with the initiatives in place at UCLan.
“The LaunchPad programme allows students to take the skills they learn during their studies and hone them in a professional business environment giving them a competitive edge.
“All the students I spoke to came across as highly motivated individuals and I found their enthusiasm to succeed very inspirational.”
She also met representatives from the UCLan backed Call NorthWest, a scheme which supports the contact centre industry in the region, and from Innovation Lab, a project based in UCLan’s Media Factory that assists North West SMEs to utilise new approaches in creative design, new media and ICT technology.
The chief executive was also told that more than 1,000 UCLan students and graduates had been helped by the Business Incubation Unit’s Northern Lights programme to become self-employed in the last five years.
John Lonsdale, head of Innovation and Enterprise at UCLan, said: “We are pleased to welcome Barbara to the University to meet some of our most talented students who are striving to be the leaders of the future.
UCLan is consistently in the UK’s top three for the number of graduate start-ups and Barbara’s visit gave her an opportunity to speak to graduates and students who are utilising the Northern Lights programme to develop their businesses in the region.”