Universities in Yorkshire vow to help region bounce back stronger from Covid-19

27th May 2021

Universities, employers, and local leaders will be working together to create thousands of local jobs as the recovery from the pandemic gathers pace.

New research published today by Universities UK (UUK), ‘Universities and the UK’s economic recovery: an analysis of future impact’, which was compiled by the National Centre for Entrepreneurship in Education (NCEE), predicts that over the next five years universities in Yorkshire and Humber will:

  • Provide support to businesses and charities worth over £1.2 billion
  • Give 3,500 years’ worth of upskilling and training to businesses and charities
  • Help 1,000 new businesses and charities to be formed
  • Train 14,000 nurses, 6,000 medics, 18,000 teachers

The research is published as UUK launches #GettingResults - a campaign to put universities at the heart of the economic and social recovery - with a renewed commitment from universities to do even more to reach out to new partners locally and nationally and deliver even greater impact than currently estimated.

Throughout the pandemic, businesses, and a wide range of sectors not just within the Yorkshire and Humber region, but across the UK, have suffered greatly, leading to economic and social damage. The contributions made by universities and their students through knowledge and skills exchange, partnerships and support for local employers have huge potential to help businesses, industries, and other partners to continue, recover and thrive following the pandemic.

The skills of Sheffield Hallam University graduates will also have an important role to play in the future success of businesses and sectors during the Covid-19 recovery process.

To support graduates to enter the incredibly challenging jobs market, Sheffield Hallam has put in place a package of measures for the ‘Class of 2021’ including specialist careers advice, paid internships and discounts on further study.

Full support is also provided for enterprising students who want to start their own business, including access to funding, a dedicated start-up adviser, and online networking opportunities.

Sheffield Hallam graduate Mazen Musaeed, provided a vital lifeline to Sheffield’s independent supermarkets and grocery specialists during lockdown with his pioneering app 3miles.co.uk. 

The 3miles online portal allowed these smaller independent businesses to start sell their products online in a low-cost way. 

The business has helped the city’s independent retailers secure orders of more than £100,000 and is attracting an average of 500 new customers per week as growing numbers of shoppers turn to the internet for their weekly shop.

Founder and CEO of 3Miles, Mazen Musaeed said: “When lockdown happened, we were able to help independent shops keep their businesses open, and we were able to help people stay safe at home and receive their essentials. 

“Now we have built a trusting community that is supporting us to provide more help and service for both the local people of Sheffield and Sheffield's local independent food and drinks retailers.” 

The University is also working with regional businesses to provide innovation support through the Sheffield Innovation Programme as well as access to skilled students and graduates through placements and internships.

Richard Calvert, Deputy Vice-Chancellor at Sheffield Hallam University, said: “Universities in Yorkshire are very much open for business and we want to develop even closer links with industry and charities, as we all work to recover from the impact of the pandemic.  Our students, staff, researchers, and graduates have much to offer, and we’re keen to ensure that our local employers and partners are getting the most they can from our universities during this challenging time.”

Professor Julia Buckingham CBE, Universities UK’s President, said: "By working closely with their partners, including local government and employers, universities will play a vital role in the UK's post- recovery. Together, they can contribute significantly to future economic success and improve lives. Moving forward it is important that employers fully take advantage of universities’ support and develop productive relationships so the region can bounce back stronger from the pandemic.”

Find out more about Universities UK’s #GettingResults campaign www.universitiesuk.ac.uk

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