University of Newcastle: Students, staff and businesses to be recognised in University of Newcastle Employability Excellence Awards

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Now in their third year, the awards recognise students who have gone above and beyond to gain the skills and experience to prepare themselves for the workplace. They also celebrate university staff and local businesses who have created outstanding work and learning experiences for students.

Vice-Chancellor, Professor Alex Zelinsky AO said the University provided its students with a unique set of skills through a combination of work placements, classroom collaboration and independent learning.

“As a University, we develop graduates who are highly employable and successful when they enter the workforce.

“We know that employers seek workplace experience when hiring graduates. Businesses value qualities like teamwork, tenacity and resilience and by giving students workplace experience, they are being equipped with these skills.”

Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Academic, Professor Mark Hoffman said “With many students nearing the end of high school we know that they may be wondering what the future holds for them. The success of our graduates shows that there is a place for them at the University of Newcastle and when they graduate, they will also have the experience to succeed in the workforce.”

“In 2021, over 30,000 practical learning experiences were undertaken by University of Newcastle students that saw them working in businesses to enable employers to contribute to their learning.

“We are entering a period where the employment market is tight, so this program allows employers to attract high quality graduates, find staff who are a strong cultural fit and ensure longevity of their business, while giving back to the community.”

Award nominations close on the 16 September, with winners announced on 10 November. Read more and nominate someone here.

Previous Award Winners

Hunter Prelude

Hunter Prelude, an Early Childhood Intervention service was last year recognised with the New Partner in Employability Award for their efforts in supporting students by offering paid positions to 4th year speech pathology, occupational therapy and physiotherapy students, helping to kickstart their careers and assist in the transition into professional roles.

General Manager Kimberly Lewis said “We introduced a program where students received regular mentoring and professional development training, in addition to the on-the-job practical experience as part of our transdisciplinary team while they were working with us.

“The program allowed us to work with students to introduce what was essentially a long on boarding and training process, with all of the students who have gone through the program moving onto our New Graduate program and continuing on to work with us after they graduate.

“It has helped us to attract and maintain local talent when they are in their final year of university, which has been great for us.

“The award gave us an opportunity to communicate with students and the community about the type of work that is available, and the unique employee benefits we offer around employee development and workplace flexibility.

“It has been a wonderful opportunity to genuinely partner with the University of Newcastle and work together with students to support our Not For Profit / For Purpose charity, provide services to children with disability and serve our community.”

Emily Spurway

Emily Spurway was awarded the Student Intern/Cadet of the Year in the 2020 for her work through a Cadetship with North Construction. During her internship program she worked on major local projects like the light rail construction.

Emily now works as an Engineer for Lendlease and said “Winning the award from the University of Newcastle instilled in me that I had made the right decision by choosing to undertake a full-time work opportunity whilst completing my studies.

“It also gave me the confidence and reassurance that my career was on the right trajectory.”

Emily now works in Sydney and said “Having this award on my resume has created a talking point for potential employers and has undoubtedly given me a competitive edge in the construction industry.

“I love the opportunity to meet and collaborate with people. Every day I am on site talking to new people, understanding new and innovative ways to build as well representing women in such a male dominated industry.

“It really is so rewarding to be able work with other young women taking the plunge into the construction industry.”

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