Made in London and the New Engineering Foundation (NEF) are today calling for a bigger role for further education in helping London's businesses.
Made in London, which represents all the capital's manufacturers and production companies, is backing the efforts of the Putney-based education think-tank NEF to boost enterprise through 'knowledge transfer' between colleges and small businesses.
The Foundation's Enterprise & Knowledge Transfer Programme has already meant that 45 London lecturers in science, engineering and technology have worked with local companies or universities, helping develop new products and services as well as bringing new ideas back to the classroom. Since it began in 2007, the scheme has made an impact on an estimated 9000 London students.
NEF Chief Executive, Sa'ad Medhat, said:
"London's potential as a hub for the global high-skills, high-technology economy is not in doubt. Even in these difficult times, we can help make that potential a reality. London needs to unlock the expertise of further education colleges"
Martin Stevens, Chairman of Made in London (and a member of the London Skills & Employment Board), urged that:
"Improving skills can offer protection against a downturn and ensures that businesses and individuals are well-placed to exploit opportunities when the economy picks up. Schemes run by the New Engineering Foundation offer the financial and practical support needed now, today, to help educators, students and entrepreneurs to benefit from each others' expertise and innovation. We strongly encourage everyone in London's colleges to make the most of these opportunities."