The University of Huddersfield's Business School is home to one of the best placement services in the UK after their Placement Unit won a major award.
Huddersfield’s Business School Placement Unit has been named the Best University Placement Service in the 2017 National Undergraduate Employability Awards. Now in their eighth year, they are the only awards to celebrate excellence among providers of undergraduate work experience.
The award-winning team are Student Placement Manager Andrew Stainton, Jennie Hirst, Placement Advisor and Emma Clarkson, Placement Officer and Work Experience Co-ordinator. They help first and second year Business School undergraduates gain work experience and placements.
They are no strangers to the National Undergraduate Employability Awards and have been finalists in the category for Best University Placement Service three years running. Nevertheless, the win was still unexpected.
Over the last three years we have improved the service we offer to students and employers and you can clearly see the progress we have made in each of our entries. This year we were up against some stiff competition, so to finally win is such an achievement and a credit to my team and our students.
With employers wanting undergraduates to demonstrate they have the skills, knowledge and relevant experience when applying for jobs, the team have introduced a number of initiatives to engage with students earlier in their studies. One of these is Working Week and gives first-year students the opportunity to work in a professional role before they make the choice of where they want to go on their placement year.
They have also introduced regular training sessions for Excel and the team have actively grown the amount of partnerships with employers meaning more choice and availability for students. A system has also been put in place for students to recoup the cost of travelling to interviews.
It was in recognition of these measures that the Placement Unit impressed the judges at the event held in London.
Year on year Andrew has seen a rise in the amount of students completing placements because of the difficult job market but said that the Unit’s success is also down to the commitment of the students as their services are extra-curricular.
The Best University Placement Service Award was sponsored by Marks & Spencer. As part of winning the award, M&S are giving a group of Huddersfield students the unique opportunity to spend an ‘insight day’ at their head offices in London.
The awards were attended by over 500 graduate recruiters, university representatives and students, with presentations by AGR Chief Executive Stephen Isherwood, Director of Student Life at the University of Manchester Dr Paul Redmond and double Olympic gold medallist Rebecca Adlington OBE.