TV presenter Gabby Logan celebrated the 50th Anniversary of Leeds Trinity University at a Civic Reception in Leeds this week.
Named Chancellor of Leeds Trinity in 2013, Gabby addressed more than 150 people at Leeds Civic Hall to congratulate the institution on its 50th anniversary, and highlight its work with more than 2,500 businesses across the region.
Gabby said: "At Leeds Trinity, we don't just prepare our students for study, we prepare them for life – and our work with businesses is amongst the most important objectives of the institution. Leeds Trinity really is focused on professionalising its students, nurturing the whole person and developing skills through our courses, which is something I whole-heartedly support."
Speaking about her time at Durham University, Gabby reflected on volunteering at a local radio station to support her career in broadcasting. She compared her informal voluntary role to Leeds Trinity's compulsory work placements undertaken by 1,500 first and second year students each year, and commended the University on their approach to embedding employability across the University.
This was echoed by alumnus Phil Daly, Head of Media and PR at Leeds Rugby, and Stephanie Burras, Chief Executive of Ahead Partnership and Chair of the Employability and Skills Board for Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership (LEP), who congratulated Leeds Trinity on their impact in the city.
Stephanie said: "Amongst other things, the LEP economic strategy aims to increase high level skills, boost business growth and widen employment in the region, and the work Leeds Trinity is doing is complementing this substantially. Not only are the six week work placements relevant and appropriate for students, they're of huge benefit to our regional businesses, and many of Leeds Trinity's students continue working for their placement provider long after their voluntary placement."
As well as offering work placements with every undergraduate degree, businesses work with academics from the University to inform course modules, assessments and lectures, businesses deliver Entrepreneurship modules supported by the University's on campus Enterprise Centre, and students undertake various projects within the workplace. The University has also developed a thriving Leeds Trinity Business Network with bi-monthly meetings, online support groups and chance to build relationships between local businesses.
As a result, graduate level employability at Leeds Trinity has risen by 10% in the last five years, with 71% of students gaining a graduate-level job, and retention in the region is much higher than the national average with 78.7% of students gaining employment in Yorkshire and Humber after graduation.
Professor Margaret House, Vice-Chancellor at Leeds Trinity University, said:
"I am so proud our team at Leeds Trinity and the hard work that goes into developing relationships with thousands of businesses across the country – and the opportunities this then offers our students. We are absolutely committed to ensuring students develop the skills and knowledge they need to gain employability after graduation, and I'd like to thank every single organisation that continues to offer their support for our institution."
Leeds Trinity University was established in 1966 as two Catholic teacher training colleges with an intake of just 300 students. Now, the University has 3,500 students, offers 88 degree courses and is renowned for producing highly employable graduates.
Throughout the 2016-17 academic year, Leeds Trinity is celebrating its 50th anniversary with a year-long calendar of events including high-profile lectures, alumni celebrations and this week's Civic Reception, hosted by Councillor Gerry Harper, the Lord Mayor of Leeds.
For more information about Leeds Trinity's anniversary, visit www.leedstrinity50.co.uk.