Chamber News 22nd June 2015
The Voyager Project was a partnership initiative involving SE, UWS, Renfrewshire Council and the Chamber – whereby UWS students were assigned to Chamber members and local businesses that had a suitable piece of international themed research needing done that would serve as an excellent learning opportunity for the students and also add value to their business. Voyager like ExpoRen in 2014 – had the Jobs & Economy Thematic Board of the Community Planning Partnership as a catalyst. Following a request from the J&E Board for more innovation and partner working – SE & the Chamber asked UWS to work with them on Voyager. The Chamber asked members and local businesses to get involved including:
With support from the University, the business mentors and full access to SE research team – students met with their clients and understood the “brief ”. From that they developed a proposal, then conducted research and produced a final report. The last part was the team presenting their findings and discussing their experience at a “finals presentation” at the SE Board room at the end of May. All the students who participated were awarded a Certificate of Achievement, and the offer of a professional reference from their mentor.
The Winning Team (for Andrew Muirhead & Son.), and Winning Individual (for Worldteachers) who scored most highly overall between their written report and Presentation, were awarded prize cheques donated by the Chamber.
Winning team with David Gibson from A Muirhead & Son
Winning individual – Katie White with Roddy Hammond from Worldteachers
Alison Loveday, Senior Executive, Customer Operations at SE commented “The Voyager pilot has been an outstanding success. Scottish Enterprise and SDI have been delighted to lead this project along with Renfrewshire Chamber of Commerce and University of the West of Scotland. The enthusiasm, commitment and vision of all the partners and of course the students in undertaking such a challenging project has shown just how effective real partnership working can be.”
Katie White, UWS Student, Individual Winner “I am delighted! It was such a great experience taking part in the Voyager programme and this just makes it even better!”
Meg Dunn Senior Lecturer, UWS “It was quickly evident with the students that chose to particpate in the Voyager project that as a result they became more confident through dealing with their real world business clients and in applying the business theory they had learned. Particularly when presenting their findings, they were positive and assured – quite a transformation in the space of one trimester! UWS were delighted to support this very valuable initiative.”
Chamber chief exec Bob Davidson commented “The evaluation report is being finalised but we expect to continue and indeed expand this type of partnership activity. Like all initiatives of this nature, based on feedback there are learnings and therefore changes we would apply to make the experience even better for all concerned. I would like to thank all the partners, mentors, clients and students for all their efforts and making Voyager a success.”