The Importance of Education

In the rush of the modern world we all argue about the importance of education but often do not actually value it enough. It is not the qualification which matters so much as the understanding that goes with it. Time and again we hear that companies do not have time and resources to support students through degree courses when in reality they continue to produce good margins for owners and shareholders.

Certainly the ground rules are changing. A three year full time degree away from home is expensive, especially if a salary is paid as well.  Young people are also less interested in careers for life so companies have to be wary about investing in someone who may leave for a “better offer”.

Consequently while family businesses are likely to continue to sponsor students we will need to supplement these with more school leavers who are completely new to the industry. With the increasing number of technical jobs in the leather industry as a result of the requirements of the brands, environmental matters and compliance work there are many exciting opportunities. On top of this the demographics of the next 15 years means many additional good jobs will become vacant as boomers retire. So everyone we can attract into the industry who is a reasonable person will find a good job.

As a consequence it is important that the industry helps to find and encourage students to join us in Northampton. With the new campus only a few years away we need a full complement of students who will find themselves rubbing shoulders much more effectively with experts in waste management, fashion and design and management.  A thriving school will be a better basis for the long term independent research the industry needs and for the development of distance learning courses and short courses for conversion and updating industry executives.

In this regard our one week courses continue to gather strength and the new executive MSc where the theory is taught in four months is outstanding at getting those with a good science degree or solid industry experience into the perfect position to hold a senior position in the business.

Mike Redwood

24th November 2014