DMU will be aiming to retain its crown as the UK’s best university for careers support after nominations for the 2022 National Undergraduate Employability (NUE) awards were announced this week.
De Montfort University Leicester (DMU) is again shortlisted for Best Careers and Employability Service, the category it won this year in recognition for the outstanding support given to students taking the first steps on their career path.
And James Billingham, a graduate success officer in the careers team, has secured a nomination in the Outstanding Contribution to Work Experience award – one of just five finalists from across the UK’s universities.
The NUE Awards, which take place in March next year, celebrate the achievements of students, universities, employers and agencies working in undergraduate work experience.
Graduate Development programme manager Richard Bowden said: “To be shortlisted again after winning the award in 2021 is an unbelievable achievement and reflects the hard work and dedication of our team as well as the support we receive to deliver our service from colleagues across the university.
“The success of the past year has depended on our ability to be flexible and agile in an ever-changing situation to deliver the greatest impact for our students, graduates and employer partners.”
During 2021, DMU’s careers and employability team have been behind a host of employability programmes, including:
• Launching Leicester 1000, to connect 1,000 graduates with 1,000 roles in Leicester and Leicestershire over the next three years
• Working with Eileen Richards Recruitment to support BrightER Futures, placing students with city employers
• Running a mentoring programme matching BAME students and graduates with business figures who can support their career ambitions
• Working with the university’s procurement team to secure opportunities with contractors and suppliers for our students
• Opening DMU Made at the LCB Depot, renting a workspace that enables students to benefit from workshops and start-up support
Today’s nomination comes just two weeks after DMU won a Times Higher Education award for an event held as part of its Leicester’s Future Leaders programme. DMU brought students and employers together to discuss barriers to employment for ethnic minority candidates.
It was the first step in creating a toolkit to help employers attract diverse graduate talent and has led to spin-off employability projects.
James Billingham’s work to support students has also been recognised with a nomination for Outstanding Contribution to Work Experience. He has been closely involved in DMU’s Graduate Champions scheme, placing graduates with companies and giving them careers advice and support.
He also helped set up a Graduate Champions Accelerator programme which has matched students of colour with business mentors to boost their confidence and careers.
James, who has been at DMU for seven years, has helped more than 3,000 students to get work experience opportunities at the university. He has brought in new training to help students gain the skills they need to apply for jobs, and consulted employers to ensure both sides got the best from internships.
He said: “Supporting the students and graduates of DMU in gaining work experience through our internships is something I am extremely passionate about and it has been great to lead on the delivery of exciting initiatives such as the Accelerator Programme as well as the Graduate Development Programme and a LinkedIn project.
“These initiatives have been able to further enhance the already successful Frontrunners and Graduate Champions internship schemes and it is exciting to receive recognition for the support provided throughout the delivery of these programmes.
“We have a fantastic team of people within careers at DMU and I am greatly appreciative of the support provided by management, in particular Adele Browne and Richard Bowden both of whom provide an environment to thrive in. It will be an exciting few months ahead in the lead up to the award night and no matter what the result I am extremely proud to have been shortlisted and be able to represent DMU at such an event.”
The awards are run by Rate My Placement, which works with employers, universities and students to advertise and promote placements.
Posted on Friday 10th December 2021