Giving people employable skills for the future – and nurturing the natural talents that lie within everyone – is a driving force for Jane Mudd. As Leader of Newport City Council and the CCR Cabinet member responsible for Learning, Skills and Talent, Jane’s zeal for realising the potential of people – and her passion for building great employment destinations – has seen her take a lead role in championing the establishment of Venture, the new CCR Skills & Talent Hub.
As the deadline of 17th October approaches for employers to sign up to Venture’s next (free) graduate recruitment programme, we asked Jane about her vision and ambitions for a pioneering hub that’s focused on fulfilling the employment opportunities for all stakeholders in the region…
“My own career background is in Higher Education, and I’ve witnessed at first-hand how the right skills and training can motivate and inspire people to achieve their ambitions and build a fulfilling future. So, Venture to me is vital to both creating inclusive economic success and giving people the life chances, they deserve – because skills and economic growth go hand in hand.
“It’s been a real privilege to make an informed contribution to this pioneering new hub, using both my professional relationship with educational establishments and understanding of the qualification frameworks. I genuinely believe Venture has the potential to become a world-class model for providing the skills required by people and employers in the post-pandemic world – the ‘go-to’ place that delivers the expertise and knowledge people need for a life of meaningful work, tailored to the requirements and workforce plan of employers in all sectors across south east Wales.
Venture is all about helping people in all communities and employers from all sectors achieve success together
“Over time, Venture will be here to provide a diverse range of skills programmes, helping people in all communities and employers from all sectors achieve success together – building confidence and resilience in both organisations and potential employees. So whatever the future holds – and as a Newport County season-ticket holder I know that life can be unpredictable – Venture will be there to help people find themselves and the role that’s right for them in that future.
“Why am I so confident? The spirit of collaboration and innovation we have shown in bringing together all the constituent parts behind Venture leaves me in no doubt that we’re building something special. We’ve already experienced how close collaboration between 10 unitary authorities can be the catalyst for building a strong foundation that delivers more than could ever have been thought possible. Now imagine unleashing the full potential of people and employers across our whole region – with everyone working together to make the most of all opportunities. That gives some idea of how transformative Venture can be – and why I believe in it so strongly.
“In many ways Venture is a brilliant example of the key strengths in this region: that passion for collaboration and our capacity for co-production. We seem to have an innate willingness to come together to understand what’s needed – and then act upon that. I’ve seen this in the much stronger relationships between FE and HE, the growing connectivity between industry and academia – and the way that employers and training providers have sat around the table and been overwhelmingly supportive of our strategic approach. The strength of these relationships and this ‘coming together’ are both vital, as we have the opportunity to build something exemplary from the economic shock of the last 18 months.
The spirit of collaboration that’s made Venture possible shows just how powerful we can be when we work together across this region
“We’re at the beginning of the Venture journey of course – and have many different programmes yet to develop and deliver. But I’m already particularly excited about the next graduate recruitment programme which we’re offering as a totally free-of-charge service to any employer in CCR. We have already made 100 successful graduate appointments in a wide range of employers across the region. This newly designed graduate programme will be even more effective, as we’ve engaged with all the career services as well as the academic departments in our universities, to get an even greater understanding of the courses undertaken. This, together with our deeper dive into the exact need of each employer we work with, means the graduates we deliver are ‘employment-ready’, with the core attributes and behaviours needed for each individual workplace. So, we’re bringing a real ‘quality assurance’ to every employer, as well as a rewarding experience for every graduate.
“I know from first-hand experience how much hard work and insight has gone into bringing together the best recruitment practices from quality employers and top universities – and I’d urge any employer who wants to tap into this service to do so before the closing date of 17th October. It will bring you a high-calibre graduate who matches the culture of your enterprise and the role you need to fulfil – helping you develop your organisation, enabling your new graduate employee to bring all their energy and talent to the workplace; and giving a glimpse of the way Venture will help realise the full potential of this region moving forward”.