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Industry Placement Awards celebrate incredible achievements of NTU students and placement providers

On Tuesday 17 January 2023, colleagues were joined by students and employers in the iconic Courtroom, 50 Shakespeare Street, for the latest edition of the Year in Industry Placement Awards.

Awards Ceremony
Year in Industry Placement Awards hosted in the Courtroom, 50 Shakespeare Street

Colleagues, students and placement providers came together for the prestigious ceremony, which shone light on the outstanding contributions and achievements of our placement students and providers during the 2021/22 academic year. Ten awards were presented by Nottingham Trent University Vice-Chancellor and President, Professor Edward Peck, and Director of Employability Services, Debra Easter.

In recognition of the breadth of placement opportunities embedded across NTU courses, this year four students received awards for their work during a short-term placement.

During the 2021/22 period, 1,373 employers benefitted from the resource, skills and knowledge of 2,411 short, professional, or year-long placement students. 63% of these roles were undertaken as a 180-day (or more) sandwich placement, almost double the percentage of those completed the year before (34% in 2020/21).

Following nominations via our annual placement student and provider surveys, and review by independent panel, we are pleased to announce the following winners:

Placement Student of the Year 2021/22 - Enterprise (more than 1000 employees)

Winner: Alfie Price, BSc (Hons) Sport Exercise Science

Placement Role: Assistant Sport and Leisure Development Officer

Placement Provider:  Nottingham City Council, Sport and Leisure Service

Nominated by: Lawrence Uttley

Alfie Price and Nottingham City Council team with Placement Student of the Year Award
In the picture, left to right: Lawrence Uttley (Nottingham City Council), Alfie Price (winner of Placement Student of the Year), Claudia Russell (Nottingham City Council)
  • Supporting with a 20-page written report and 18-minute video around the ‘This Girl Can’ Nottingham project, leading to the project receiving an additional £150,000 worth of funding.
  • Alfie helped to analyse and create innovative reports linked to social value, which show the value of the service in reducing health inequalities and reducing pressure on health services, presented to Councillors and Public Health in order to secure future funding for the service.
  • Finalist in three national award nominations and winning the National Physical Activity Hero award.
  • Invited to attend the national award nominations for Councils across the UK.
The work he produced would normally be expected from someone that had at least 8 years of experience. He regularly received praise from internal and external partners; with many people thinking he was a full-time staff member. He consistently produced a high standard of work and proved to be an asset to our team and a fantastic representative for Nottingham Trent University students.

Lawrence Uttley

Placement Student of the Year 2021/22 - Large Corporation (more than 250 employees)

Winner: Joseph Saunders, BSc (Hons) Quantity Surveying and Commercial Management

Placement Role: Industrial Training Placement (ITP) Quantity Surveyor

Placement Provider: VolkerFitzpatrick

Nominated by: Chia Oh

Joseph Saunders receiving Placement Student of the Year Award
Joseph Saunders receiving Placement Student of the Year Award from Professor Edward Peck
  • Awarded the Mark Scarth ITP of the year award, presented by Richard Offord, CEO of VolkerWessels, John O'Grady, Commercial Director of VFL Building, Deon Scholtz and Jamie Botten at Hoddesdon. Out of 24 ITPs in 2021, Joseph stood out to win the award.
  • Extremely proactive in his approach to work and problem solving, Joseph would engage with appropriate members of the team to tackle issues head-on, presenting his recommendations to the PM/SQS before a final decision is made.
  • Joseph has secured a graduate role at VolkerFitzpatrick.
Joe works swiftly and diligently to a very high standard and has never missed a deadline. He has been an integral part of the success of the A259 project, its healthy financial position and its great relationship with the client and we hope that this is reverberated around the business. His hard work, dedication and proactive nature has held him in high regard amongst his team and peers. It has been a pleasure to host Joe in his ITP year and we look forward to his continued success at VFL and seeing his career develop.

Jamie Botten, Senior Surveyor

Placement Student of the Year 2021/22 - Small to Medium Enterprise (less than 250 employees)

Winner: Matthew Hull, BA (Hons) Business Management and Marketing

Placement Role: Marketing Executive

Placement Provider: Stormsaver

Nominated by: Lisa Farnsworth

Matthew Hull receiving Placement Student of the Year Award
Matthew Hull receiving Placement Student of the Year Award from Professor Edward Peck
  • From day one Matthew made the role his own, always seeking more and always wanting to contribute to areas of the business which he felt he could have a positive impact on.
  • Matthew proved instrumental in the creation of Stormsaver’s first proper marketing plan & strategy, from creating occasional content for social media to daily content, with followers increasing by 40% which in turn has contributed to increased sales by over 34% in just a year.
  • Matthew put together the company’s entry for the UK's Best Green Business for the UK Business Awards, which they won!
  • Following the completion of his degree, Matthew will be returning to Stormsaver in a permanent graduate role.
We’ve had students at Stormsaver for over 10 years and I have never known a student to hit the ground running to the same level as Matthew did. His attitude to the placement was 110% at all times and he listened to all the advice given and learned from that. There was nothing Matthew was afraid to take on and his work was delivered to such a high level that it was already as if we had a professional marketeer with years of experience.

Lisa Farnsworth

Vice Chancellor speaking
Professor Edward Peck delivering opening speech

Short-Term Placement Awards

The awards for short placements in industry, highlight NTU's commitment that all students should have the opportunity for work-like experiences, such as internships, projects and employer challenges. These awards recognise the incredible impact students can make on a business in even a short time on placement.

Winners from across four academic schools were celebrated at the ceremony, with plans next year to expand this across all disciplines.

Short-Term Placement Award - School of Arts and Humanities

Winner: Samantha Grayson, BA (Hons) History

Placement Role: Payroll and Operational Administrator

Placement Provider: Davy's Wine Vaults

Nominated by: Helen Grayson

Short-Term Placement Award winner Samantha Grayson
Samantha Grayson receiving Short-Term Placement Award from Professor Edward Peck
  • Samantha proved herself to be trusted and valued – both with repetitive tasks and identifying errors which saved the team from potential issues and extra work.
  • Once a task was completed, she was always pro-active in asking for another to do, showing diligence, a willingness to learn new things and a need to be beneficial to the team.
The office as a whole found her a pleasure to work with, they advised she was personable, intelligent and easy to work alongside. Overall, this placement was a great success, and we are certain that Samantha will excel in her future career.

Helen Grayson

Short-Term Placement Award - School of Art and Design

Winner: Mercedes Ridge, MA Commercial Photography

Placement Role: Photographer and Producer

Placement Provider: Vitec Imaging Solutions

Nominated by: Luke Atkinson

Short-Term Placement Award winner Mercedes Ridge
Mercedes Ridge, Short-Term Placement Award winner
  • Mercedes quickly and exceptionally fitted into the organisation’s content creation studio learning and applying new skills.
  • During this time, she was involved in casting and health and safety briefings, things that were new to Mercedes, but without hesitation she rose to the challenge.
Mercedes also undertook multiple additional tasks in parallel for other departments in the business and completed these with great success and outstanding feedback from those departments.

Luke Atkinson

Short-Term Placement Award - Nottingham Business School

Winner: Lewis Manners, BA (Hons) Business Management and Accounting and Finance

Placement Role: Recruitment Intern

Placement Provider: Cherry Professional

Nominated by: Sarah Gibson

Short-Term Placement Award winner Lewis Manners
Lewis Manners, Short-Term Placement Award winner
  • Lewis spent time in each department whilst he was there and integrated into each team easily.
  • He worked hard to soak up all the information he could and delivered on all tasks given to him.
  • Lewis also worked closely with the marketing team at Cherry Professional and his contribution can be seen on their brand-new website.
His work ethic is fantastic - Lewis is keen to please and overall wants to do a good job whatever the task. Having this drive will enable him to go wherever he wants to go with his career. He is trustworthy, has great communication skills, and is a great person to have around the team. He has a very mature level of emotional intelligence - not something you see that often - his ability to slot into any situation with anyone, seamlessly, is brilliant - something that is key in our industry.

Sarah Gibson

Short-Term Placement Award - School of Social Sciences

Winner: Abigail Sallis, MSc Psychology in Clinical Practice

Placement Role: Psychology Placement Student

Placement Provider: NHS Trust Nottingham University Hospitals

Nominated by: Lena Palmer

Abigail Sallis receiving Short-Term Placement Award
Abigail Sallis receiving Short-Term Placement Award from Professor Edward Peck
  • Abigail worked autonomously in the Major Trauma Ward - often a very challenging environment.
  • She made a huge contribution to patient experience on the ward by creating an information board for patients in relation to recovery after major trauma.
  • Abigail also set up a mental health support board for patients, and took on the role of Arts Champion to push forward resources of significant benefit to patients.
  • The results of her MSc study will also directly benefit patients who are transitioning to Major Trauma from Critical Care wards.
Abi has proved to be dedicated and compassionate towards all of our patients and also fellow members of staff. Abi always strives to do her best for the patients and ward staff. She will make a fantastic Clinical Psychologist and I would have no hesitation in recommending her for training in this area.

Lena Palmer

Placement Provider of the Year Awards
Placement Provider of the Year Awards

Placement Provider Awards

The Placement Provider of the Year Awards celebrate the outstanding achievement of placement providers as well as the contribution of the managers, mentors and work colleagues who provide a wealth of knowledge, experience, and support to our students.

These awards are an opportunity for NTU to acknowledge and reward the invaluable support and contribution of its partner organisations and give them the recognition they deserve; these awards are nominated by the students themselves.

Placement Provider of the Year 2021/22 - Enterprise (more than 1000 employees)

Winner: FDM Group

Nominated byRory Bennett, BSc (Hons) Psychology

FDM Group team receiving Placement Provider of the Year Award
Rory Bennett and Oliver Hester (FDM Group) with Placement Provider of the Year Award
  • Rory commented that “In many ways FDM exceeded my expectations in the sense that I have been able to build relationships, get a taste for the working world and apply my knowledge of psychology and statistics in the role.”
  • FDM supported Rory’s learning and development and gave him a variety of opportunities to develop in the role.
  • Rory summarised his experience by saying “It has been really fulfilling to grow in a nurturing professional environment and I’m very grateful for the skills I have learnt as well as the development aims which I have addressed during my time here.”

Placement Provider of the Year 2021/22 - Medium to Large Corporation (more than 250 employees)

Winner: Trent PTS

Nominated by: Charlotte Ward, BSc (Hons) Psychology with Criminology

Trent PTS team receiving Placement Provider of the Year Award
Trent PTS team with Placement Provider of the Year Award. In the picture, left to right, Kathryn Swan, Charlotte Ward, Laura Condie
  • Throughout the nomination Charlotte talks about the amount of support she received whilst on placement with Trent PTS.
  • Charlotte commented that she had never heard of the Psychological Wellbeing Practitioner role prior to starting at her placement and it is now her main consideration for work after university.
  • In addition to what Charlotte has gained on a professional level she adds “I never would have expected to make such good friends that I did, as I still see two of the other placement students every week outside of university and are some of my closest friends."

Placement Provider of the Year 2021/22 - Small to Medium Enterprise (less than 250 employees)

The final employer winner was nominated by Matthew Hull who received the award for Placement Student of the Year in the Small to Medium Enterprise category.

Having both the student and placement provider from the same organisation win the awards in this category is a testament to the great collaboration between NTU students and the employers we work with. (The student and placement provider winners are selected by independent teams, without consultation).

Winner: Stormsaver

Nominated by: Matthew Hull, BA (Hons) Business Management and Marketing

Stormsaver team and Matthew Hull with Placement Student of the Year and Placement Provider of the Year awards
Stormsaver team with Placement Provider and Student of the Year Awards. In the picture, left to right, Julian Diprose (Stormsaver), Matthew Hull (Placement Student of the Year winner), Michael Farnsworth (Stormsaver), Lisa Farnsworth (Stormsaver)
  • Matthew talked about the level of support he received throughout his placement, he commented “I felt part of the ‘Stormsaver family’, I wasn’t treated as an intern, but as a fully-fledged employee who could contribute new ideas, concepts and bring my understanding of marketing. The support I was given was unrivalled. From continual check-ins to a clear, structured approach to learning.
  • Stormsaver went above and beyond in supporting Matthew both personally and professionally and have offered him a permanent role that he will be returning to after his studies.

Until next year...

Nottingham Trent University would like to congratulate all placement students and providers on their achievements during the 2021/22 academic year. We look forward to celebrating the latest cohort of exceptional talent next year.

To find out more about working with NTU, accessing students and support with your placement roles, explore the website or contact the team directly via