We have a new broom at the University of Gloucestershire and business in the county should welcome the appointment of Clare Marchant as the Vice Chancellor.

Why should business welcome her appointment?

She is intent on providing an open door for business and accepts that the university will not be able to do everything for companies.

“We will have an offer for most firms,” she tells me. ”But it will be an offer that covers their skills for their future workforce. My message to business is just engage with us”.

Clare seems to be true to her word as I am attending her first university business breakfast this week.

It’s an early step in the right direction.

Clare says she wants to transform the university into “one truly in sync with the future skills needs of the region’s employers-the skills required by UK PLC and globally”.

That’s going to be difficult to achieve when the last Daily Mail university guide put Gloucestershire at 114 out of 128 universities.

She admits that’s nowhere near good enough.

But I feel she has the right commercial head—based on her experience as former head of UCAS and CEO of Worcestershire County Council- to convince business that her focus will pay off.

It will probably, as she admits, be a five year journey.

One of the university’s differentiators is what she broadly calls digital.

That may be data science skills, cyber security skills, computer engineering skills, or how you build it into those studying education, the creative arts or sport performance.

I think this is the right course—digital is all embracing in every aspect of our business life.

Business is generally totally invested in the development of skills for our young people.

So, the university must ensure that their apprenticeships are closely aligned to what employers need.

At a time when universities are facing big challenges -particularly in financial sustainability- I think Clare Marchant has the passion and grit to ensure that business in Gloucestershire will benefit from great students.