03 May 2012

“Higher education and business are natural allies”, says Open University Director of Communications

Speaking at a CBI East of England event, Director of Communications Lucian Hudson said that The Open University had the ‘winning formula’ to bridge the rising skills gap, and emphasised the university’s intentions to engage more with employers. He said that “In an increasingly competitive world, we at The Open University believe higher education and business are natural allies; and The Open University is open for business and open to business – wherever that business is.” He added that fellow speaker, CBI Director General John Cridland ”is providing tremendous leadership at a time when the economy can only benefit from stronger collaboration between business and the Higher Education sector.”

The Open University is a world leader in distance learning and works closely with businesses to tailor learning to employer’s needs. 70 percent of OU students are in employment while they study with four out of five FTSE 100 companies sponsoring staff to study with the OU. Hudson said that businesses "find our part-time learning model is uniquely flexible, relevant to work and cost-effective"

Citing the recently launched higher apprenticeship scheme with CapGemini as an example of where this integrated relationship between higher education and business has been a success, the Director of Communications said that "developing employees skill base through this model is a win for employers, it’s a win for employees and it’s a win for the economy, because we all know that re-skilling and upskilling staff is vital to boost recovery."

Director of Communications at The Open University, Lucian J. Hudson, was speaking at the CBI East of England Dinner with CBI Director General John Cridland CBE.

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