University of Hertfordshire scoops national award for initiative to prepare students for work

5 April 2018

The University of Hertfordshire, in collaboration with Smart Resourcing Solutions, has won the ‘Best Preparation for Work: Single Initiative Award’ in the Institute of Student Employers Development Awards 2018 for its Assessment Centre Experience (ACE).

One third of employers use assessment centres as the first phase of their recruitment process so by giving students assessment practice the University is helping to ensure their good employment prospects after graduation.

The ACE is a large-scale assessment simulation designed to help prepare students from the University of Hertfordshire for the experiences of an assessment centre. The assessment simulation took place at Watford Football Club in November 2017, where more than 1,000 business and humanities students took part in the UK’s largest assessment simulation.

'This is a very bold initiative'

The award judges were impressed by the clear impact that this initiative has already had on such a large number of students, commenting: 'the level of stakeholder engagement, particularly at a senior level, is excellent.  This is a very bold initiative that clearly has the desired impact with well-presented metrics on engagement and outcomes.'

During the mock assessment centre exercise, students participated in a group exercise, were interviewed (based on a job description provided in advance) and were asked to deliver a presentation from a choice of briefs (also provided in advance). The training aimed to help students secure a placement in a competitive landscape by giving them as real-life an experience of the current recruitment process as possible, thereby ensuring they have the employability skills to obtain a graduate role once they have completed their degrees.

'developing students with the knowledge, skills and attributes to succeed in business'

Judith Baines, Head of Careers and Employment service at the University of Hertfordshire, said: 'developing students with the knowledge, skills and attributes to succeed in business, and their chosen professions, is a key part of the University’s strategic aims and we’re thrilled that our efforts to help our students succeed has been recognised with this award.

'The programme has been so successful it will be rolled out even further in November 2018, to around half of all second year students at the University.'

For more information about our training initiatives please visit the Careers and Employment section on our website.


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