Skills awards provide students with a framework to recognise, develop and articulate valuable employability skills gained through their extra-curricular and co-curricular activities such as volunteering, leadership positions on student groups and part-time work.
At the University of Leicester, it was our vision to work with employers to deliver a unique skills development experience relevant to industry for a select cohort of motivated students.
The Leicester Award Gold is an advanced skills development programme for our most engaged and promising students, those who have already successfully completed a standard level Leicester Award and so demonstrating that they have a strong set of transferable skills, self-awareness and commitment as well as a firm foundation of work experience.
Through this advanced Award students are offered the opportunity to develop more focused work experience by working closely with companies such as Teach First, Deutsche Bank and Enterprise Rent-A-Car, to gain valuable insights into working within specific sectors whilst also advancing their employability skills and gaining recognition for their experience.
For the companies involved this is an ideal opportunity to seek out talented students from among those who are motivated to learn more about their company prior to finishing their studies, whilst promoting their brand on the University of Leicester’s campus and delivering experiences which showcase their company’s work and the values which underpin their business.
An excellent example of the positive impact that the Leicester Award Gold has created is the Leicester Award Gold: Business Insight programme. Business Insight takes groups of students into the East Midland’s business community and asks them to support businesses in solving real life business challenges which they are facing, pitching their ideas through a group consultancy project.
Through the experience students have the opportunity to explore different career options and grow their network by meeting with influential business leaders, whilst gaining real world work experience and commercial awareness by working closely with them on key issues which are affecting their business. The businesses which have been involved have benefited from free advice, a fresh perspective and potentially innovative ideas for solving their business challenges, in addition to the opportunity to meet with new talent.
In 2014/15 Business Insight collaborated with a variety of East Midlands based businesses including:
• Natures Purest – New Business of the Year 2009 at the Leicestershire Business Awards.
Founded in 2006 Natures Purest now delivers to 33 countries worldwide.
• Spearing Waite LLP
• Bobby Dhanjal, Wealth Management
• Beaumanor Fluid Power Products
• Bosworth Battlefield Heritage Centre
Connecting with employers through the Leicester Award Gold programme has enabled the University to offer other forms of support to them in the form of, for example, internship opportunities.
Here are some comments from the organisations which have taken part:
“This programme has certainly opened our eyes to the possibility of providing internship opportunities in the future.”
– Natures Purest Ltd
“Great opportunity for both students and us. I would hope to take part in the programme next year”
– Spearing Waite LLP
Collaboration with the East Midland’s business community through the Business Insight project has also enabled the University to develop stronger links with these companies through more comprehensive offers of support, for example, leading to the creation of both Undergraduate Internships via our Undergraduate Internship Programme and Graduate Internships through our Graduate Gateways programme.
One of the participants, Fikriye Ahmet, was also successful in securing two weeks work experience with Bobby Dhanjal Wealth Management Services during Easter 2015.
Find out more
To learn more about Leicester Award Gold and other ways to connect with our talented students please contact us using the details on our website: http://www2.le.ac.uk/offices/careers-new/information/employers