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Bradford Students and Local Businesses Win Awards for Commitment to Work Experience

Published: Wed 1 Oct 2014
Bradford Students and Local Businesses Win Awards for Commitment to Work Experience

Local employers joined University of Bradford students and University representatives to celebrate a summer of work experience success.

The Summer Experience, a project run by the University, offers students real-life work experience. The celebration event at the city centre campus included the presentation of nine Summer Experience Awards. Employers and students were nominated and award winners were selected based on their commitment both 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. The University is ranked number one in Yorkshire for professional and graduate-level employment (The Sunday Times University Guide 2013). Offering relevant work experience to its students is a key part in helping them to become ‘job-ready’ after graduation.

Summer Experience is a six-week programme which gives first and second year university students the chance to work on a live project in a local or regional organisation. The internship offers students an 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 and scope out potential future employees. Many of the employers are small organisations so find the extra resource and expertise of great value.

As well as the presentation of awards at the event, there were also keynote speeches by Paul Mackie, Chief Executive of Bradford Chamber of Commerce, Shirley Congdon, Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Learning and Teaching at the University of Bradford and employer and student participants of the 2014 Summer Experience. All speakers spoke of the value of real work experience and about how much students had developed over the course of the projects and made a real impact to the organisations they worked for.

Joanne Beaumont, Head of Careers and Employability at the University of Bradford said: “There was a real buzz and celebratory feel about the evening. Employers and students took advantage of the networking opportunity and useful business connections have been made as a result.”

Placement providers that received Outstanding Placement Provider awards included Groundwork Leeds, ARK Consulting and Norgren Ltd.

HowDo?!, a creative media organisation based in Bradford, won a Career Development Services special award for the way they have embraced the programme over the past two years and used the opportunity to become more involved with the University, developing resources for new students to welcome them to Bradford and the University.

Picture shows (l to r) back row: Qamar Hashmi (Norgren), Thomas Whitford-Bartle (student), Paula Hinsley and Jac Callaghan (Groundwork), Kate Rutkuna, Ross Hasswell and George Millington (students), Martyn Johnston (HowDo?! Bradford).

Seated: Clare Kennedy (Norgren), Louise Ross (Groundwork), Aksaa Mahmood (student).

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