Keiran Cheetham and Re-Think Development

Through Unite with Business Kieran Cheetham worked with Re-Think Development, based near Kendal, a company which provides educational training events and needed a website to promote a new activity, Re-Think Outdoor Training. He spent 20 days working on the project, fitting the work around his studies.

Kieran applied for the role after seeing it on the Business Placements Service vacancy page. All Unite with Business projects are paid.

He says "Although primarily working as a website developer, I have also gained valuable experience in real-world business environments and a behind-the-scenes look at how companies are run. I have been able to liaise with management in order to gain feedback on my work, allowing me to further enhance it."

Stuart Norton and Good Wood Boat Company

The Good Wood Boat Company in Cockermouth designs and manufactures high quality boat related products using traditional and contemporary methods. Skills and expertise in engineering and CAD were needed in order to develop innovative prototype products. Stuart Norton, who studied for his Masters in Electronic Engineering at the University of Southampton, joined the company for a period of 20 days and was tasked with realising concepts and designs to develop 3D products. The aim is to enable the business to present product ideas to clients and take the company forward and grow.

Phillip Mason and Galpin Landscape Architecture

Windermere based Galpin Landscape Architecture identified a need for improved business development through the use of the latest technologies in AutoCAD. Philip Mason has been working with business owner Stuart Galpin to develop new ways to present and visualise designs and concepts to clients. Philip attended school in the South Lakes, achieved a Masters in Civil Engineering at Durham University and is now undertaking a Masters in Landscape Architecture at Leeds Metropolitan University. His skills and approach are assisting the company and staff to develop new ways of working.

Philip said "The project has helped me to consider employment in the Cumbrian area. I wouldn’t have applied if it wasn’t local and it’s been a great opportunity to both learn on the job and to apply my skills and expertise, this has given me a more rounded experience than study without application of skills. It will now help me with my future with the company as a landscape architect."

Stuart found that: "Having University of Cumbria support through the Cumbria Growth Hub Project has helped the company to find the right person with skills that the company needs. A small business doesn’t have the time and expertise in personnel and the support from UoC for this aspect of recruiting the right person has been invaluable. We are very pleased with Phil’s work and recognise that he’s brought the skills we need in order to grow the company. After the project completed recently, we have been delighted to be in the position to offer Phil employment.” 

Stuart Dawson and The Flower Bank

Stuart Dawson, a Graduate from Carlisle, had a degree in Business Management with Marketing under his belt and had been looking for suitable employment before registering with the Business Placement Service.

He successfully applied for a placement with local business The Flower Bank, based in Wreay, a wholesale florist which supplies fresh and silk flowers, plants and sundries to trade customers and businesses throughout the North West and Scotland. They lacked the necessary expertise to venture into the online world of e-commerce. 

Stuart explains:

"The project has given me the opportunity to add value to a local business, whilst the scheme minimises any risk for the employer. I suppose it's a ‘try-before-you-buy’ scenario. The Flower Bank proved to be a tough challenge for me - starting an e-commerce venture from the ground up is pretty daunting at first, but everything is progressing nicely and I'm really looking forward to the next few months as we reach the test phase for the project and then the official launch some six weeks later. I have enjoyed every minute of my time at the Flower Bank so far, and I'm looking forward to the first online orders being achieved from the new website. The Unite with Business project has certainly opened doors for me and I would advise both graduates and local employers to get involved as it is a great scheme which benefits everyone involved."

Helen Wilson, the owner of The Flower Bank has been pleased with the success of the placement.

"Stuart’s input has had a really positive impact on my company and has led to impressive developments for us within the field of online selling. He has become an asset to The Flower Bank and I think it is important for local businesses to be aware that there is a lot of talent in Cumbria."

Following his initial work with the company through Unite with Business, they were so impressed Stuart is now employed as their Marketing Manager.

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