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Learning experts from banking sector help students maximise studies & employment opportunities

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Published on 15 October 2020

Dr Derek Watson, Sarah Ford in the Faculty of Business, Law and Tourism, students Sophia Pandi and Claire Proctor
Dr Derek Watson, Sarah Ford in the Faculty of Business, Law and Tourism, students Sophia Pandi and Claire Proctor

Sixteen specialist trainers from Performance & Development within Lloyds BankinGroup (LBG) provided an interactive online seminar to business students based at the University’s campuses in Sunderland, London, Hong Kong and 23 international partner centres, focusing on the company’s approach to changing environments, leadership, skills of the future and wellbeing. 

The seminars helped both organisations learn more about the work each other does as the world embraces new ways of working and adjusts to the impact of the covid 19 pandemic on all aspects of our lives. 

“The feedback was excellent and will further strengthen our relationship with Lloyds Banking Group,” explained Dr Derek Watson, Associate Professor in Cultural Management in the University’s Faculty of Business, Law and Tourism. 

Derek was introduced to Chris Pippet, a Learning Manager in Performance and Development within LBG, last year, to explore how the University and Lloyds could develop a transactional educational and training relationship. Later that year, Derek delivered a session for LBG’s Learning Delivery Team and this launched a close working relationship with Chris and his colleagues across the UK. 

Chris Pippet says: “This collaboration between the University of Sunderland and Lloyds Banking Group has been a great opportunity to work together on an exciting initiative that will make a real difference for business students and provide valuable insight for LBG colleagues into the changing developments around innovation and further education.  

“The innovative way that the event was organised, with a presentation from the university, followed by four simultaneous interactive Teams sessions that covered such topical issues, means that both the Lloyds team and Sunderland students can really maximise their opportunity to gain an insight and development. It has been a pleasure to work so closely with the university on this mutual enterprise and look forward to seeking similar opportunities for us to collaborate again in the future.” 


Derek says: “Despite the challenges of the pandemic, we as University are utilising our hybrid learning and teaching model which embraces the importance of commercial insights and employability. All helping to bridge the gap between theories and practice via enriched learning.   

“Our reciprocal collaboration with Lloyds Banking Group was evidenced today on a global scale, in which I delivered an opening virtual forum to Lloyds UK trainers on the Changing Landscape in University Education.”  

Student feedback on the day-long event was also positive. Claire Leanne Proctor, a first year PhD student based in Sunderland, said: “This was an incredible thought-provoking opportunity to learn about current practices for businesses within the banking sector.”  

Chloe Cooke, a third-year law student, also based in Sunderland, added: “It is great to see such a business concerned with the mental health of their employees.” 

LBG colleagues also enjoyed hosting the sessions with studentsComments from the team included: 

“It was great to work on something different with our team and really interesting to see how the University is working with organisations which will help both parties.” 

 “Excellent to get a viewpoint of how the things we teach around resilience and wellbeing are cohesive with another external learning organisation and hear that the university are focusing on areas we feel are important to our graduates of the future.” 

  “The response from students was awesome they were really engaged throughout the session.”  

 “Great to engage with the University students who were so participative and asked such meaningful questions, demonstrating real interest and intention to use the content.” 

 Both organisations are planning further collaboration in the near future.