Enterprising Women's sister organisation, The Norfolk Network business community, are celebrating winning the 2012 Association of Graduate Careers Services (AGAS) Award for Excellence in Careers Service Engagement for its partnership work with the University of East Anglia.
The award was presented to Lucy Marks, Norfolk Network Development Director in front of 1000 industry guests at the glittering 2012 TARGETjobs National Graduate Recruitment Awards ceremony on 4 April at Grosvenor House, London. Adrienne Jolly, Graduate Employability Developer and GENE Coordinator at UEA, who nominated the network, accompanied Lucy on stage.
The network beat off mighty competition from Enterprise Rent-A-Car, Ernst & Young, Foot Anstey, GE and Teach First. Nominations for the award were made by higher education careers services across the UK. The University of East Anglia nominated the Norfolk Network members to highlight that the importance of small and medium enterprises in the graduate employment market is too often overlooked.
The Norfolk Network has worked collaboratively with Careers and Employability at UEA since 2007 to mentor students and graduates, co-deliver events and training, provide networking opportunities to students and graduates and has been a champion for the importance and value of higher level skills to the SME business community.
Paul Redmond, President-elect of AGCAS commented:
"We had lots of great nominations which were clear evidence of the many excellent partnerships between employers and higher education careers services. However, it can be particularly challenging for universities to convince students of the range and quality of opportunities to be found in the small and medium sized enterprises with which the majority will enter work, and to provide both practical examples of these and contacts with them. So AGCAS is delighted to present this award to The Norfolk Network for the depth, variety and quality of its engagement with Careers and Employability at University of East Anglia and with other institutions across the region."
Norfolk Network development director Lucy Marks was thrilled saying:
"We are so proud that our partnership work has been recognised nationally. We have a dynamic community of knowledge based, market leading SMEs from all sectors operating globally from Norfolk. They value the higher level skills and fresh perspectives that graduates from our local universities can bring to their businesses. They can and have offered, real opportunities for graduates to enter careers where their development is rapid and level of responsibility high within months, rather than years. Time and resource is tight for any SME, so our partnership has enabled us to develop accessible ways of engagement and really make the graduate population part of our growing business community."
Adrienne Jolly added:
"We are delighted that AGCAS have given due recognition to what is an innovative and engaged community of SME's whose membership are committed to supporting higher-level skills. Working this closely with a business network means that employers can offer their time and expertise in a way which accommodates the small matter of running and growing their businesses! Lucy's contribution has been pivotal to the success of this relationship, and it was great to see her receive the award."
For more information on The Norfolk Network, click here.