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Bradford Students and Local Businesses Awarded for their Commitment to Work Experience

9 October 13

Martyn Johnson from HowDo?!, winner of the Outstanding Placement Provider received his award from Sandy Needham, CE of Bradford Chamber (left) and Shirley Congdon, Pro-Vice Chancellor, the University of Bradford (right).

Over 20 employers joined students and university representatives to celebrate the success of the 'Summer Experience' initiative, a project which the University of Bradford runs each year to offer students real-life work experience.

The celebration and networking event which took place in September included the presentation of the first ever Summer Experience Awards. Employers and students were nominated and ten award winners were selected based on their commitment to the project and to developing new skills.

The University of Bradford puts employability at the core of its ethos, believing that the skills and tools their students are equipped with give them the edge in a fiercely competitive graduate job market. Offering relevant work experience to its students is a key part in helping them to become ‘job-ready’ after graduation.

The ‘Summer Experience’ is a six-week programme which gives first and second year university students the opportunity to work on a live project in a local or regional organisation. The internship offers students a unique opportunity to gain experience related to their degree subject, to develop important skills for the workplace and to gain an insight into working life. The initiative also offers benefits to participating employers who often use the experience to launch new projects. Many of these employers are small organisations so find the extra resource and expertise of great value.

The Summer Experience celebration and networking evening offered an opportunity to celebrate the value of work experience in making students more ‘job-ready’ when they finish their degree. As well as the presentation of awards, there were also keynote presentations from Sandy Needham, Chief Executive of Bradford Chamber and Shirley Congdon, Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Learning at Teaching at the University of Bradford as well as from employer and student participants of the 2013 ‘Summer Experience’. All speakers spoke of the value of real work experience and about how much students has developed over the course of the projects and made a real impact to the organisations they worked for.

Alison Hedley, Employer Services Manager at the University of Bradford was delighted with the success of the event, “there was a real buzz and celebratory feel about the evening, employers and students took advantage of the networking opportunity and I believe that some useful business relationships will have been developed as a result. We would like to congratulate all those who were nominated for awards, the standard of nominations was extremely high and the judging panel had a difficult job in reaching the final list of winners”.

HowDo?! is a creative media organisation based in Bradford and was awarded an outstanding placement provider award. Alois Afilipoaie, the placement student who nominated the organisation for the award, was responsible for logistics management during the course of his placement and described HowDo?! as “an amazing place to work” and went on to say “HowDo?! is more than just a project, it is part of Bradford’s soul and because of the dedicated team that forms HowDo?! it will continue to grow and evolve.”

Other placement providers which received awards include AdviserPlus, Freedom Studios, Groundwork Leeds and Yorkshire Cancer Research.

Student winners included Elly Parkinson who was tasked with organising and project managing Positive Bradford Day, one of the biggest events in Bradford. The event celebrates the positive things going on in the district in business, education, community and the arts. Over 20,000 people are expected to attend.

Jane Vincent, Managing Director of Positive Bradford had nothing but praise for Elly, She has exceeded all my expectations. Elly has planned a full days stage events, filled marquees full of people, written marketing material, hosted meetings, project managed, been on the radio, organised a parade, planned the layout. Elly has made this happen.”

Other student award winners included Dwayne Stephens, Shaila Hamid, Hassan Saeed and Majid MukhtarFollowing the success of this year’s ‘Summer Experience’ and the celebration and networking evening, several employers have expressed an interest in becoming more involved with the University of Bradford. 

9 October 13

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Further information for Media Enquirers

For further information please contact the University of Bradford Press Office on 01274 23 3089/3084.

Out of office hours call 07879 437996. Alternatively, e-mail or fax on (01274) 236280.