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Exclusive partnership helps low-income students get work ready

Students from low-income households at Nottingham Trent University will be the first cohort to benefit from a new programme with Santander, designed to prepare them for the workplace.

Students receiving employability advice

The exclusive partnership called PLAN, Placement Learning Academy NTU, launches this month and has 50 second-year students enrolled.

It is hoped ultimately 100 widening participation students – those from low-income households – will benefit in the first year of this three-year partnership with Santander.

The programme is designed to help students, regardless of their individual circumstances, have fair access to opportunities and enjoy the same success levels as students from wealthier backgrounds.

It is focused on enhancing their knowledge of skills not routinely covered in their courses but required by employers. This includes their self-awareness, and their ability to successfully articulate these skills in recruitment processes to achieve success in their placement search. PLAN will create a peer-to-peer learning and community support network for widening participation students going out on their sandwich year.

Sandwich placements are known to help students progress to further study or give them a greater chance of landing graduate-level employment

Emmie Studencki, Employer Engagement Projects Manager at NTU

The programme explores six work-based skills which employers’ value in their recruits. These include building a growth mindset, demonstrating resilience, gaining commercial awareness, active listening, business communication and personal branding. Students will learn how to articulate their skill development and understand how these will be tested within recruitment processes, helping them to begin thinking like a recruiter, and in turn increasing the likelihood of becoming employed.

As part of the partnership with Santander Universities, NTU are developing employability activities to ensure students leave university prepared for the world of work and add value to businesses across the UK.

PLAN will deliver an innovative and impactful skills programme to support students from widening participation to develop their confidence and aspirations to engage in the placement process.

Emmie Studencki, Employer Engagement Projects Manager at NTU said: “We strongly value our strategic partnership with Santander Universities, their investment into the PLAN programme will further enhance and develop our student experience. Sandwich placements are known to help students progress to further study or give them a greater chance of landing graduate-level employment.”

Alongside developing their skills, students who go on to secure a placement will also receive NTU’s Rise Sandwich Placement Bursary, a non-refundable payment of up to £1000, to support them over their placement year. Santander have invested £45,000 in the three-year partnership.

Matt Hutnell, Director Santander Universities UK said: “Santander is committed to supporting higher education as well as local communities across the UK. Our support for the higher education sector is designed to enable universities across the UK to develop ambitious projects that deliver real economic, social and employment benefits. We are delighted to support this innovative, skills programme enabling students and graduates to become more employer ready.”

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    About Nottingham Trent University

    Nottingham Trent University (NTU) was named University of the Year 2017 at the Times Higher Education Awards, and Modern University of the Year in the Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2018. These awards recognise NTU for its high levels of student satisfaction, its quality of teaching, its engagement with employers, and its overall student experience.

    NTU has been rated Gold in the Government’s Teaching Excellence Framework – the highest ranking available.

    NTU is one of the largest UK universities. With 30,000 students and more than 4,000 staff located across four campuses, the University contributes £900m to the UK economy every year. It is one of the UK’s most environmentally friendly universities, containing some of the sector’s most inspiring and efficient award-winning buildings. 96% of its graduates go on to employment or further education within six months of leaving.

    Our student satisfaction is high: NTU achieved an 88% satisfaction score in the 2018 National Student Satisfaction Survey.
    The University is passionate about creating opportunities and its extensive outreach programme is designed to enable Nottingham Trent to be a vehicle for social mobility. NTU is among the UK’s top five recruiters of students from disadvantaged backgrounds.

    NTU is home to world-class research, and won The Queen’s Anniversary Prize in 2015 – the highest national honour for a UK university. It recognised the University’s pioneering projects to improve weapons and explosives detection in luggage; enable safer production of powdered infant formula; and combat food fraud.

    With an international student population of over 3,000 from around 100 countries, the University prides itself on its global outlook

    About Santander

    Santander, through its Santander Universities division, maintains partnerships with over 1,200 academic institutions in 20 countries. Santander Universities was introduced in the UK in 2007 and the bank is already collaborating with over 80 British Universities and Higher Education Institutions, with agreements focused on promoting international exchange, entrepreneurial activities and the mobility of students and researchers within the network.

Published on 4 March 2019
  • Category: Press office; Nottingham Business School