The University announced this year’s winners of the Westminster Employability Award in an online celebration.

2021 Employability Awards celebration poster

On 2 June the University welcomed students, colleagues and guests to this year’s Employability Awards online celebration. The event recognised students’ achievements in completing a variety of employability initiatives throughout the year to help them prepare with the skills, knowledge and networks to support the start of their own careers.

Jay Nugent, Student Engagement and Projects Officer at the University, and Caroline Lloyd, Director of Student and Academic Services, hosted the event along with colleagues from the Careers and Employability Services and Alumni teams. Presentations of prizes featured students who completed the Westminster Employability Award, which had a record-breaking year with 762 completions – a 292 per cent increase compared to last year.

The event kicked off with a congratulatory video from Vice-Chancellor and President at the University of Westminster Dr Peter Bonfield. Another highlight of the celebration included a video of nine students who talked about their achievements and experience gained through participating in the Westminster Employability Award, such as the transferable skills they developed through attending virtual events and completing virtual work experience.

Other awards were given to those students who completed the mentoring scheme, participation in placements and volunteering. Along with student awards, the University awarded employers in the categories of ‘Best Mentor of the Year’ and ‘Best Employer of the Year (Work Experience and Placements)’. 

From the Westminster Business School, top scorers of the Westminster Employability Award included Hygerta Gjoni, Esther Artica, Ilham Belkacemi, Samiya Rahman and Ivana Ivanova. Students who achieved the highest number of points from the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences included Noemi Zambotti, Eleonora Caiazza, Saman Haque, Saudamini Sigdel, Olawale Awoyinka and Aminul Schuster. Berlinda Adu, Ernesta Jovarauskaite, Abby Amoakuh, Maya Bascombe, Maria Wozniak and Aiste Kurkulyte from the College of Design, Creative and Digital Industries also achieved top scores. There were seven financial prizes for top scorers across each of the three colleges with total prize money of £15,000.

The ‘Outstanding Contribution’ prize, which was new this year and presented to students who worked on the Westminster Employability Award throughout their studies and who managed to get involved in many of the varied activities went to Jane Smith, Yasmin Allaf, Nadia Abatorab-Manikowska and Fatma Ali. Another new prize this year, the ‘Personal Development’ prize, for students who demonstrated considerable effort in their reflective writing and skills audit went to Evelyn Namutebi, Aida Stepanovaite, Bibi Rohomun, Amala Antony, Giulia D’Innocenti and Amy Smith-Keary.

Talking about the awards, Jay Nugent said: “The Employability Awards Celebration itself has been running since June 2013 to celebrate the achievements of our students and to recognise and thank our external partners for their contribution to our employability schemes. Despite all the challenges students, partners and colleagues have faced over the last year, it has been truly inspiring to see over 4,000 students participate with schemes such as the Westminster Employability Award and the Mentoring scheme offered by the University.

“For me the event is more than a celebration, it is an uplifting experience because you gain a real sense of community and diversity with students coming together from all corners of the University. You gain a real understanding of all the success stories and enjoyment students have gained on their journey and the event demonstrates the commitment of the staff here at the University in supporting students day in day out with their employability, something I am very proud to be a part of.”

Watch the celebration on YouTube

Learn more about the Westminster Employability Awards.

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