A senior diplomat has praised the way Teesside University is working with industry to provide skilled graduates to help grow the region’s economy.

Scott Wightman, the British High Commissioner for Singapore, visited the University’s Middlesbrough campus as part of a trip to the Tees Valley to learn more about plans by Sembcorp Utilities UK to develop the Wilton site at Redcar.

As part of his trip, he met with Teesside University’s Pro Vice-Chancellor (Enterprise and Business Engagement) Professor Jane Turner OBE to discover how the University collaborates with industrial partners to ensure that students graduate with relevant expertise and also to understand the role the University plays in the economic development of the region.

Wilton International is one of the country’s most important manufacturing locations and Sembcorp operates several power generating facilities at the site. The company is also proposing building a gas-fired power plant there, capable of providing power to 1.5 million homes.

Mr Wightman visited the site with Emma Wegoda, Head of Investor Relations for Australia, Singapore and Malaysia at the Department for International Trade.

He said: “I wanted to learn more about Sembcorp’s plans and how it is contributing towards the regeneration of Teesside.

“I also wanted to hear about how Teesside University is working with businesses in the region and providing them with students and graduates with skills that they need.

“It’s been a great visit and very exciting to hear about the plans for further investment and development and the potential that has for driving the economy here.”

The visit comes after Teesside University was named as the region’s leading University for graduate employment with 57 percent of graduates securing professional or managerial jobs within six months of graduating.

Mr Wightman’s visit will be followed up by a meeting with the University’s Vice-Chancellor Professor Paul Croney in Singapore later this month where they will discuss ways in which the University can further establish its presence in the city-state.

Professor Turner said: “It was a very positive meeting and provided an opportunity to establish a crucial link with the High Commissioner for Singapore.

“We discussed the role of the University in the developments at Sembcorp and the wider South Tees site and also how we can influence the developments in the business community in Singapore.”

For more information on how Teesside University can help your business visit www.tees.ac.uk/theforge