PONTYPRIDD, Wales, September 21, 2017 /PRNewswire/ --
A new concept of business hub which puts together the needs of SMEs with the skills of academia was launched at the University of South Wales (USW) this week.
The USW Exchange, sponsored by Barclays, is a one-stop-shop for businesses wanting to tap into talent at the University, providing business support advice while offering a unique student experience.
Technology entrepreneur Sir Terry Matthews, the key note speaker at the launch, said: "You cannot do without properly trained people, you cannot do without interaction with clients, you cannot do without the training that comes from groups like the University of South Wales.
"We hire people in the companies that I'm involved in from this university and I am really pleased to say that it works out well. Is it the in-depth training, the experience that comes from the staff? I can tell you that training gives us new entrepreneurs, give us innovation, gives us growth in any society and it has a massive impact in the economy."
Speaking at the launch event, Economy and Infrastructure Secretary Ken Skates, said: "Following the core principles of 'Be The Spark', we are committed to working with others to create the right conditions in Wales for businesses and entrepreneurial talent to thrive and grow, and a key part of this is ensuring they have access to new labour market talent.
"This new facility provides an ideal environment for students to gain a better understanding of the skills and experience needed in the workplace, and it will enable businesses in the region to access the support and advice needed to help grow their enterprises and collaborate more closely with academia."
As well as supporting the local economy, USW Exchange enables students to gain the valuable real-life experience of working on live industry projects.
Through the Student Consultancy Firm, students are matched with companies in need of their particular skills. All students work alongside a supervising academic on live projects.
Professor Dylan Jones-Evans, Assistant Pro Vice-Chancellor at USW, said: "The USW Exchange is a first for Wales. It provides an open door for businesses to come into the University and identify the knowledge, experience and expertise they need to help their businesses to grow.
"Businesses can use the USW Exchange Centre on the Treforest campus as a space for collaboration and interaction. It is a place to support start-ups and expand existing businesses, and somewhere to build links between industry and graduate talent."
Dominic Page, Head of the South Wales Business School, said: "Through the Exchange our students get valuable real-life experience of working on live industry projects.
"They can see how their skills directly impact on the growth of a business. This is great for their career development and prospects when they graduate."
SOURCE University of South Wales