Employers, universities and students acknowledged for their outstanding contributions in the field of undergraduate work experience

 The Awards saw over 400 nominations from employers, universities and students across 17 different Award categories. This year was the most competitive yet, and all the finalists demonstrated their attitude and innovation to work experience. The finalists were the top 5 nominations submitted in each category, and the eventual and winners of each Award were selected by an independent judging panel, made up of key thought leaders in the industry.

Gareth Cadwallader, Governor of University of West London, and head of the Judging Panel, said of this year’s nominations, “The standard of nominations was once again outstanding across the sector. The commitment of some of the world’s highest profile employers to engage with undergraduates, as well as the dedication from universities and students to the employability agenda, is extremely impressive.

“In the student categories, there are some fantastic role models for young people looking to take their first steps on the career ladder. It is a truly inspiring event!”

The Awards, organised by the team behind the RateMyPlacement.co.uk website, welcomed thought-provoking guest speakers from the industry including Aimee Bateman from CareerCake.com, Sarah Flynn, Chair of ASET and Stephen Isherwood, Chief Executive of AGR to share their insights.

The most recent High Fliers report showed that over four-fifths of the leading graduate employers in the UK are now offering paid work experience schemes for students and recent graduates. These schemes are making students more employable than ever, and Stephen suggested we are returning to a “seller’s market” whereby employers are increasingly having to compete to recruit the most employable students.

Student winners on the night included Ben Kosky, winner of the prestigious Best Placement Student Award for his work at tech-giant Microsoft. His achievements are exemplary of the success students can achieve for employers on a work experience scheme; during his time at Microsoft he was able to triple his sales quota and supported and drove a staggering $2,541,000 of 2016 sales pipeline.

Ben said of his win, “Winning the Award for Best Placement Student is an incredible feeling and I feel honoured to be recognised for my achievements. My placement has been a fantastic experience and winning this Award has been the icing on the cake. I cannot thank Microsoft and Exeter University enough for the opportunities and support they have given me. I would highly recommend anyone does a placement – you won’t regret it!

Big university winners included Coventry University’s Engineering and Computing Careers Service, EC Futures, retaining the title of Best Placement Service for the second year running. Brand new for 2016, Best Collaboration between a University and Employer, was won by newcomers Ravensbourne for the partnership they have developed with advertising leaders Ogilvy. Partnerships like these continue to grow crucial work experience opportunities in wider and more varied industries, promoting more structured and better quality programmes for young people.

You can see the full list of winners and finalists at www.nueawards.co.uk.