LJMU Graduate Futures

Connecting SMEs to Graduate Talent

About us

At Liverpool John Moores University we recognise the considerable value our students and graduates bring to the Liverpool City Region economy. By retaining this talent, we can support businesses, at all scales and in all sectors, whilst fostering a network of collaboration and shared-opportunity.

LJMU Graduate Futures is a £2.4m project funded through the European Social Fund, providing opportunities to increase graduate retention through collaboration, joint-working and knowledge transfer partnerships across the Liverpool City Region eco-system.

Our project works hand-in-hand with SMEs (under 250 employees with an annual turnover under 50m euros) to deliver funding solutions by talent matching them to our students and graduates. We fund this via two routes:

  1. Student internships – helping you to solve a particular problem in a short term 140-hour project, covering 100% of your recruitment and salary costs
  2. Graduate placements – employing a recent graduate of our university to work in your business to apply their knowledge as they start their career journey, covering 50% of your recruitment and salary costs.

Download our flyer for employers

Download our flyer for students

How it works

If you are an SME operating in the Liverpool City Region you can find out more and book an appointment to speak with us.

For student and graduate opportunities, you can find out more and book to join one of our events.

To find out more contact GraduateFutures@ljmu.ac.uk

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Latest news

Firestarters presents... The Purpose Accelerator - Next Generation Talent

“How can we bridge gaps between industry, education, and next-generation talent to help fuel purpose-driven business growth in the Liverpool City Region?” This was the question posed to a panel of experts from education and industry by Matchstick Creative and GATHER on 21st April.  ‘The Purpose Accelerator - ‘Next Generation Talent’was the second in the Firestarter purpose-accelerator event series, aimed at helping purpose-driven start-ups and scale-ups to grow, develop, and provide more value to the Liverpool City Region. On the panel was Shulah Jones, LJMU Graduate Futures Project Manager who, along with other LCR educational institutions, training providers, and purpose-driven industry leaders explored the challenges and opportunities associated with sourcing, recruiting, and developing the next generation of talent. One of the main aims of the series is to nurture a purpose-driven community that can shape entrepreneurial culture in the region. Other speakers included Chelsea Slater, founder of InnovateHer who champions and supports women and girls, in an industry where they have been marginalised. Ben Dalton of Agent Academy also joined the conversation to explain how Agent Academy identifies and engages young talent. Finally Fiona Armstrong Gibbs, Chair of Baltic Creative presented her thoughts on some of biggest barriers to addressing the brain drain in the Liverpool City Region.

Small is Beautiful - Introducing students to the wonderful world of SMEs

International Women’s Day 2022 To help those students considering internship or placement work in the immediate future, the LJMU Graduate Futures team recently hosted the Small is Beautiful event in the Redmonds Building. The event centred around a panel with Rosemary Capper , Placement Support Manager for the Faculty of Business & Law and the team from A&B marketing; Rian, Leah, Laura and Sam who are all former or current LJMU alumni.

Panel members answered questions regarding working in industry, running an SME, working with an SME and the importance of internships as a student. The event aided our students in understanding why SMEs offer fantastic opportunities and why gaining experience in their industry can be so beneficial long term.

Offering students the chance to learn from alumni at different career stages provided great confidence and interest in the vast amount of opportunities available in the LCR. We had a great afternoon, and can’t wait to welcome more students and SMEs to our exciting scheme!

International Woman's Day 2022 - Break the Bias

International Women’s Day 2022 To celebrate International Women's Day 2022, LJMU Graduate Futures joined colleagues from LJMU’s Low Carbon Eco-Innovatory and Faculty of Engineering and Technology to bring together students, academics and industry professionals to talk about their career journeys, the importance of a diverse workforce, and how women can contribute to a sustainable future. Shulah Jones, LJMU Graduate Futures Project Manager was amongst guest speakers, each at different stages of their career, who shared their perspectives and experiences to consider what the future workforce and working environment may look like. Other speakers included Dr Ariel Edesess, ESG Senior Analyst - Hill Dickinson, Diane Fitch, Project Manager, Faculty of Engineering and Technology, Dr Denise Lee, Programme Leader, School of Civil Engineering and Built Environment, Ingrid Lovatt MEng FCA, Finance Director – Hemsec, Dr Abbie Romano, Advanced Research Engineer – MTC and Sara Singh, Computer Security Student at LJMU. The event was hosted at MerseyMade which is a female-led vibrant and diverse community of creatives that aim to connect artists and makers to a much wider audience.

NW Universities Fair at Sci Tech Daresbury

ScitTech DaresburySci-Tech Daresbury is highly regarded as a hotbed of innovation and cutting edge digital and scientific development. It was therefore the ideal host venue for the NW Universities fair which took place at the Innovation Centre on 29th March. Liverpool John Moores University was amongst the universities drawn from across the Northwest that were invited to present to businesses and showcase the vital role of universities in supporting innovation and growth through graduate employment. The LJMU Graduate Futures project was one of the participants in attendance and Shulah Jones, Project Manager spent a very productive morning presenting to businesses and discussing all things employability. The project generated considerable interest and a number of SMEs requested details on how to get involved to support their business growth.

LJMU Graduate Futures team at the Volunteering and Summer Opportunities Fair

LJMU Student Futures at the Volunteering and Summer Opportunities Fair

What a fantastic day we had recently at the Student Volunteering and Summer Opportunities Fair where we met some amazing student candidates for our next round of internships and sandwich placements. With around 250 degree programmes the quality of our future workforce at LJMU is outstanding and we are so proud to support their journey into employment.


Steve Rotheram, Metro Mayor of the Liverpool City Region, at LJMU Graduates Futures event

COP26: What Next for the Liverpool City Region? 

LJMU Graduate Futures recently played host to the Liverpool Chamber of Commerce and Steve Rotheram, Metro Mayor of the Liverpool City Region. On 9th December we welcomed over 50 Chamber members to our flagship Student Life Building to reflect on the subject of ‘COP26: What Next for the Liverpool City Region?’. LJMU’s student sustainability champions Paul Gilhooley and Emma Wood were also given the opportunity to ask questions that reflected some of the asks of fellow students around climate action. Read more here.

Meet the team

Shulah Jones

Shulah JonesShulah has been working in industry supporting SMEs and other partnership organisations for nearly 25 years, enjoying careers with National Museums Liverpool, The Mersey Partnership, Oldham Council and others.

Shulah became a Chartered Marketer in 2002 whilst working in the arts and cultural sector. She led many high-profile campaigns supporting the visitor economy in the years leading up to Liverpool becoming European Capital of Culture in 2008. Whilst Campaign Manager at the Mersey Partnership (the Destination Management Organisation for the Liverpool City Region) she travelled the world extensively, generating new partnerships and leading campaigns to position the region as one of the UKs most profitable and popular visitor destinations.

Before moving into successive Head of Marketing roles across the Northwest, she gained an active interest in education and whilst a freelance Marketer and Business Development Director, spent two years as a sessional lecture at the Liverpool Business School, part of Liverpool John Moores University. Successive Fellowships with the Chartered Institute of Marketing, Chartered Management Institute and Institute for Leadership and Management, allowed her to combine her professional interests with education. She also sat on the NW Board of the Chartered Management Institute, NW Federation Board, Merseyside Board of the Chartered Institute of Marketing and remains a member of the NW Port Welfare Committee (part of the Merchant Navy Welfare Board).

Before joining LJMU in 2021 on a full-time basis, Shulah spent 8 years working in the Further Education sector, supporting economic growth around the maritime sector where she founded Port Academy Liverpool, located at Hugh Baird College in Bootle. She also conceived and wrote a degree in Event and Festival Management which was validated by the University of Central Lancashire in 2015.

Shulah leads the LJMU Graduate Futures project and works across the university to ensure LJMU students and graduates have the best possible chance of employment with SMEs located in the Liverpool City Region.

Email: s.f.jones@ljmu.ac.uk

Mobile: 07815 012275

Charlotte Fowles

Charlotte FowlesCharlotte is the Project Officer for Students and Graduates. Within her role Charlotte provides tailored training, coaching and support to students and graduates throughout the placements and internships.

Prior to joining LJMU, Charlotte worked in Recruitment, as well as on a number of Student Success projects at Edge Hill University, focussing primarily on projects to enhance students' employability skills.

She was involved with creating and managing Advantage, a student opportunities platform to help students easily access opportunities which will enable them to enhance their skills and boost their employability. Alongside this, Charlotte was involved with setting up and running the Student Job Bank, where she recruited students, matched their skill sets to suitable roles and supported them with their work assignments to enable them to gain skills and work experience.

Prior to working at Edge Hill, she worked for a number of charities as a youth worker, providing group and 1:1 mentoring sessions and running workshops to help young people gain confidence, develop resilience and raise aspirations.

Keith Brady

Keith BradyKeith is the Project Officer for SMEs responsible for developing long lasting and sustainable relationship with SME’s within the Liverpool City Region. Having graduated from LJMU, Keith completed a Master’s degree at Heriot Watt University, Edinburgh before returning to Liverpool in a part time lecturing capacity.

Keith has also enjoyed a 20-year Sales and Marketing career within the pharmaceutical industry working for companies such as GlaxoSmithKline, Astra Zeneca, and Pfizer. During this time, Keith has worked on global brands within the dental and health sectors and liaised with National and International key opinion leaders to achieve successful outcome for both customers and company.

Keith has also delivered Sales and Marketing courses to students within a local Chamber of Commerce Business school, achieving 100% success rates across both courses. Prior to joining LJMU in 2021, Keith had his own online educational business, developing a range of entrepreneurial skills and knowledge around digital technology and online marketing.

Shinear Dickson

Shinear is the Project Administrator and provides administrative support to the LJMU Graduate Future team which links students and graduates to the local SME community. Shinear plays a pivotal role in the Project, supporting the administration of key activities including marketing and communications; process development; document processing; and verifying beneficiary and participant evidence for the Project, including time sheets, procurement, finance payments and evaluation. Along with providing support to the Project Officers, Shinear supports engagement activities including events, and briefings with both SMEs and students. Amongst her skill set her attention to detail ensures a comprehensive ESF auditable suite of paperwork is maintained and coordinates the timely preparation of ESF monitoring reports, and evaluation processes to support the claims process.

Shinear graduated from LJMU in 2010 receiving a BA Hons in English & Electronic Creative Technology. During her gap year she volunteered for Platform2 spent 6 months in Nepal teaching English, Shinear then went on to secure roles within the education, training and recruitment sector within the civil service, private and public sectors. This leading on projects that were part funded by Liverpool City Council, the European Social Fund, Liverpool Vision and HAF. Such roles have given Shinear a thorough understanding of the complexity of compliance processes across different revenue streams and have contributed to service quality improvement polices in line with HMRC, OFSTED, Liverpool Adult Learning Services as well as the Employment Agencies Act.

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