Date of release: Friday, September 9, 2016

AGCAS Award for EmployabilityA prestigious national prize has been awarded to the University of Greenwich for its work in putting disadvantaged students on the path to career success.

The award recognises the commitment of the university's Employability & Careers Service in tackling the issue of underachievement among students from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) groups, and by those from poorer households in general.

The Award for Excellence was made by AGCAS (The Association of Graduate Careers Advisory Services) at its annual ceremony, held on Wednesday 7 September. Greenwich saw off stiff competition from the universities of Newcastle and Southampton in carrying off the top prize in the Employability category.

Finding that students often cited "a lack of confidence" as a barrier to their career prospects, the university's team set out to ensure that Greenwich students were better prepared for the world of employment, through a series of initiatives.

The Employability & Careers Service aimed at securing high-quality internships for students by introducing an innovative careers fair that coached and prepared more than 400 students prior to the event. The fair also enabled employers to conduct 'first stage' interviews, which then led to a 'brokerage service' for students shortlisted for internship opportunities.

Other initiatives included a range of pop-up careers clinics, rolling out the brokerage approach to a wider range of career fairs, and placing a stronger emphasis on employability in the curriculum. The university team also showcased the talents of a BAME alumnus and the wider Greenwich student cohort to employers at one of the service's business breakfast events.

Results have included a sharp increase in those gaining graduate-level jobs and internships.

Richard Mendez, Head of the university's Employability & Careers Service, says: "It's tremendous news. This award is a testimony to all the hard work of the faculties and the Employability & Careers Service towards improving the career prospects of Greenwich students. It is a huge achievement considering the quality of the entries and of the competition faced, and a fitting tribute to a dedicated, talented team."

He adds: "Over the course of one term, the service directly brokered 155 recent graduates into a graduate job or internship, engaged 2,000 students in the curriculum, and engaged 541 students via its pop-up careers clinics. These contributions have definitely helped improve the prospects of all Greenwich students, including those classed as BAME."

The AGCAS Awards for Excellence reward outstanding practice and achievements in the higher education sector. In particular the awards highlight creative and innovative projects, as well as high professional standards.

AGCAS is the professional body for careers and employability professionals, working with university students, graduates and prospective entrants.

For more on the university's award-winning Employability & Careers Service, part of Greenwich Research & Enterprise: http://www2.gre.ac.uk/current-students/ecs

The university's next open days take place on Saturday 8 October. These include tours around all three of its magnificent campuses. To find out more:
http://www2.gre.ac.uk/study/opendays

#GreOpenDay

Story by Public Relations