A skilled workforce

For business looking to relocate, York provides a significant recruitment pool, powered by its highly educated human resource, two world-class universities, two higher education colleges, top ranking schools and a wider regional network of universities to which the city is connected.

The ability to recruit and retain the right skills is crucial for the development of business, and with the highest qualification levels in the north of England, York is regularly recognised as one of the best cities in the UK for talent. Of York’s residents, a staggering 49% have a degree level-equivalent qualification or higher, significantly outstripping both the regional and national average. York also understands the importance of developing the talent of the future, with GCSE and A-level attainment well above UK average and a major programme of activity to support workplace based apprenticeships.

Our students are talented, resourceful and come from a huge variety of backgrounds. We encourage and develop their creativity, advanced problem-solving skills and critical, independent thinking. We challenge them to reach the highest level of attainment and to acquire skills that enhance both their employability and professional effectiveness
Professor Koen Lamberts, Vice-Chancellor, University of York

The collaborative business environment in York provides numerous channels to recruitment. Links into universities, further education colleges, schools and apprenticeship hubs, along with assistance to navigate training providers and employment organisations, means businesses have opportunities to resource at a number of levels.

Businesses in York are also well served by the opportunity to shape and inform training courses according to their needs through the strong links between providers and business. Owing to York’s strong offer in vocational learning, and the wider region’s skills service, businesses can influence the development of learning programmes available and thereby upskill current workforces and find the right solutions for their business needs.

Each with their own specialisms, York’s two universities, University of York and York St John University, cater for 24,000 students and offer critical partnerships to develop projects put forward by businesses.

A member of the prestigious Russell Group of research-intensive universities, with five acclaimed Times Higher Education Awards to its name in recent years, the University of York caters for over 16,000 students each year, producing over 5500 graduates. Over a third of departments were ranked in the top ten for their subject for quality of research, with York rated tenth out of 155 higher education institutions for the impact of its research.

Additionally, York St John University caters for students from 60 countries around the world and is renowned for its innovative, campus-based mentoring initiatives, which work with students and new businesses to encourage growth and success.

Twice previously nominated in the Times Higher Education (THE) Awards for engagement initiatives and research, the University has a commitment to building strong business partnerships and supporting local economic growth, with a growing reputation for working with businesses in the city and the wider region to help improve their performance. In 2014 the University achieved an excellent outcome in the Research Excellence Framework (REF) with 30% of its research assessed as ‘world leading’ or ‘internationally excellent’. It is currently achieving a graduate employability figure of 95.7%.

At York St John we are continually looking ahead to how we can support future workforce needs through a wide range of training, events, and leadership courses tailored to meet business requirements and programmes designed to produce highly skilled graduates. Continuing to establish successful business partnerships is one of our priorities; we welcome the opportunity to work collaboratively and connect businesses with a wealth of talent across the university to support their future business growth and enhance our students’ future career prospects
Professor Karen Stanton, Vice-Chancellor, York St John University

Askham Bryan College, the largest provider of specialist land-based further education in England, benefits from excellent specialist facilities. A capital project of £10 million over the next two years will result in new buildings and educational facilities. York College, graded ‘Outstanding’ by Ofsted in its most recent assessment, is sited in a £60 million building with first-class resources designed with post-16 students in mind.

Further afield, but within an hour of York, there is access to a population of 4.5m and a further 8 leading universities. A total of 55,000 students graduate each year – all adding to the workforce potential.