Kingston University's careers service KU Talent cements place at the top of its field with Association of Graduate Recruiters award win

Posted Friday 17 March 2017

Kingston University's careers service - KU Talent - has scooped an accolade at the Association of Graduate Recruiters (AGR) Development Awards, in the best preparation for work strategy by a HE careers service category.

KU Talent has been shortlisted for three other awards this year, putting it in the top ten university careers services in the United Kingdom for its commitment to helping boost students' job prospects. Through training and events, KU Talent provides support to students and recent graduates to raise confidence and aspirations and equip them with the best chance of success in industry.

Kingston University's Talent Development and Employability Manager Tonia Galati said the AGR award recognised the way the careers service had been helping to increase students' social mobility. "The staff on my team are passionate and they're committed to continually finding new ways to help our students," she explained. "We identify where students most need support in the job application process and develop targeted action plans to address these specific needs."

This approach has led, during the past four years, to increasing numbers of Kingston University students achieving positive career outcomes - from 83.4 per cent of the University's students being employed six months after graduating in 2012, to 93.5 per cent in 2015, figures from the Destination of Leavers from Higher Education (DLHE) survey reveal.

KU Talent has also been shortlisted for the 2017 Target Jobs National Graduate Recruitment AwardsTonia said she was proud that the team's commitment and efforts had been commended by the Association of Graduate Recruiters. "These awards are judged by employers so they carry a lot of weight in industry and within the recruitment market," she explained. "It was particularly good to hear that the judges were impressed with our strong vision, impact and, above all, our comprehensive approach to employability."

The award had come on a day when the AGR was in the national news, with discussions around latest labour market trends, Tonia said. "Operating a traditional careers service model is no longer effective," she added. "We are commercially focused and operate in a similar way to an employment agency by working in partnership with recruiters, employers and alumni to break down the barriers to finding employment."

Hot on the heels of the Association of Graduate Recruiters award win, KU Talent has also been shortlisted for the 2017 Target Jobs National Graduate Recruitment Awards in the Best Employability Strategy category. The winner will be announced at the 2017 Target Jobs Awards ceremony on 30 March.

Initiatives which have contributed to this nomination include the Broadening Horizons project, which helps build students' commercial awareness and the Talent Academy work experience programme, which provides employment opportunities within the University alongside support from professional services and academic staff.

The AGR award win and the Target Job Award shortlisting are just the latest in a string of award recognitions for KU Talent. The team was recently shortlisted in the 2017 National Undergraduate Employability Awards for the category of most improved commitment to employability and was shortlisted in this year's AGR awards in the best preparation for work initiative category. It has previously been shortlisted for the Association of Graduate Careers Advisory Services' excellence for student engagement award.

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