Birmingham universities partnership to boost career opportunities leads to award nomination

A project between three Birmingham universities to help boost higher level employment for local students and graduates in their home region has been shortlisted for a national award.

The AGCAS Building Effective Partnerships Award for Excellence 2021 recognises the Transformation West Midlands (TWM) which consists of the University of Birmingham, Newman University and University College Birmingham teams who work with employers, alumni and other local employability providers, to help boost skills and job opportunities within the region.

The TWM project, funded by the Office for Students has been running for two years underpinned by the belief that students from the region should be able to access meaningful opportunities close to home - not having to move away for graduate level work.

The regional eco-system of support being created is helping to build a stronger diverse graduate talent pipeline that fits local industry needs. A reverse mentoring scheme is also enabling committed employers (who want to become more inclusive and more representative of the City) attract local talent. Students have acted as mentors to the local mentee organisations, working collaboratively.

Sara Chan, Assistant Director of Student Employability at hired@UCB, the University’s careers, placements and employability team said: "It’s been a pleasure to be part of Transformation West Midlands and the project as we have a great set of individuals across all three institutions sharing good practice, ideas and working in partnership to influence the future of our career provision."

Melissa Clarke, Careers Manager at Newman University, said: "It is so wonderful to be recognised for the collaborative work we are doing as a project team. Working together with a diverse range of knowledge, strengths and talents and learning from one another is culminating in some really positive results and outcomes that will hold legacy beyond the project."

Alison Sharp, Project Lead at University of Birmingham, said: "This nomination is fantastic news! Our achievements are testament to how we work collaboratively as a university partnership, and how our results are underpinned by great support and commitment from our local employers and providers. It truly is one big partnership. "We’re learning all the time, striving to make a difference for all, which, undoubtedly will positively impact on our region."

TWM is a three-year project which runs until September 2022, was one of 15 collaborations from across England to win a grant from a funding pot of 5.6 million, being awarded 500k to get the project off the ground.

The winners of this year’s AGCAS Awards will be announced on June 25th.

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