Small is beautiful: how graduate talent is empowering the SME in the Liverpool City Region’s post-Covid recovery


  • Shulah Jones Liverpool John Moores University, Student Futures



The role of universities has never been more critical or under more scrutiny. The increased demand for HEIs to respond to the post-pandemic challenges set by Covid-19 is one of the key factors driving the Liverpool City Region’s endeavours to balance education and economics, facilitating a mechanism to sustain far-reaching impact on the economy, society and ultimately through nurturing a sense of community purpose on the road to recovery. Moreover, by retaining graduate talent consideration needs to be placed on the role of universities in providing training and mentoring for businesses, from founder through to scale-up, supporting a critical mass of economic activity and ultimately positioning the Liverpool City Region as a ‘pool of talent’ in attracting new investors to the region. Across the Liverpool City Region, the positive economic impact and social value that retaining graduate talent can have on the wider economy, especially in those communities with higher-than-average levels of educational disengagement and social deprivation, is already regarded as significant. By harnessing European funding (through the European Social Fund), the LJMU Graduate Futures project has set out to provide a platform to facilitate effective dialogue between LJMU and businesses, at scale and across all sectors, fostering a network of collaboration and shared opportunity that will ultimately create positive impact in our communities. Opportunities to increase graduate retention through collaboration, joint working and knowledge transfer partnerships across the Liverpool City Region eco-system will be central to this project so that we might build a sustainable legacy that continues to champion graduate talent on the long road to economic recovery whilst encompassing all 6 Boroughs of the Liverpool City Region and those communities therein. This presentation will set out to reappraise the considerable currency and value graduate knowledge can bring to businesses as part of this recovery process which is intrinsic to the mission and purpose of LJMU Graduate Futures.





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