University shortlisted for best work experience programme

The University of Leicester’s Accelerate Your Career programme has been shortlisted for Best Work Experience Programme at the Institute of Student Employers 2020 Awards. The award recognises programmes that best prepare students for work whilst delivering measurable benefits to the employer.

The Accelerate Your Career (AYC) programme was developed to equip Black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME), low-socioeconomic status and disabled students with the transferable skills and experience to transition into employment after graduation. To enhance BAME students’ employment prospects, AYC provided the opportunity to complete a three-week, paid, full-time intensive internship at the end of their final year.

A total of 64 final year students took part in the AYC programme in 2019, each taking up a high-quality internship within a University department. Reinforcing the work experience, students identified the transferable skills they gained to be able to articulate these to future employers.

Speaking about the nomination, Rob Fryer, Director of Career Development Service at the University of Leicester said:

“We are delighted that our Accelerate Your Career programme has been recognised nationally. We are committed to helping our students achieve their full potential, whilst helping employers find talented students from the University of Leicester.

“Our students not only have more opportunities to meet top employers, but have the right preparation and support to secure employment with them. We look forward to the results in December.”

Students that took part in the initiative were interviewed about their experience with the service six months later, and shared the following insights:

  • 84% believed that their employability skills had increased as a direct result of their participation
  • 58% identified themselves as being in employment
  • a further 27% had enrolled in further study
  • 28% of students said that the programme had helped them to develop new skills
  • 34% stated that the programme had directly supported a future application.

The University benefited from the skills, energy and ideas of the participants, who supported the delivery of core business operations and of bespoke projects that with a student perspective will help to continuously improving them year on year.

Other finalists in the awards are Clyde & Co, HSBC, IBM and Travelport.

The awards will be presented at a virtual ceremony in December.