Sensor City tackles tech skills shortage with matching programme

Sensor City is a £15m collaboration between the University of Liverpool and Liverpool John Moores University and is launching an internship matching service for tech SMEs. Tony McDonough reports

Sensor City
Sensor City will match the right people with the right firms 

 

Mersey tech innovation hub Sensor City is launching a bespoke internship matching service for the city region’s growing technology businesses.

Sensor City is a £15m collaboration between the University of Liverpool and Liverpool John Moores University and has created a world class research and business incubation facility focused on the use of sensors across multiple business sectors.

Working with both universities, Sensor City has placed 14 interns from a number of disciplines with hi-tech SMEs in the region and is now putting in place a more formal programme to match the right students with the right businesses.

Maintaining a pipeline of skilled people is one of the biggest challenges faced by firms operating in Liverpool city region’s knowledge economy. Some of the students placed with firms by Sensor City have gone on to secure full-time graduate positions.

Pulse Systems, one of Sensor City’s member businesses, offered a full-time position to one of the students undertaking an internship with them over the summer. Managing director Kevin Davies said: “Sensor City helped us recruit three students through the University of Liverpool’s internship scheme.

“Each individual was given autonomy to deliver against a set of tasks aligned with our Smart Buildings project for Sensor City. We have been really impressed by Sensor City’s facilitation service and equally by the calibre of the students involved.

“So much so, that we have offered a full-time contract to one student, Oliver Newman, upon graduation and will be covering his degree costs over the next two years so that he no longer needs to work night shifts to support himself through his degree.

Dr Joanne Phoenix, interim executive director at Sensor City, added: “Accessing top talent is one of the key issues that our members face, and finding the best way to do this is a question we are asked regularly.

“While our internship matching service gives valuable experience to the region’s innovation stars of tomorrow, it’s also one of the most accessible ways for businesses to connect with talent and has even helped some businesses recruit key members of their teams.”

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