New centre to boost student employability and enterprise
(14 June 2011)
Durham University has launched a new centre to further improve its world-class career and start-up business advice services for students and graduates.
Recent rankings placed Durham in the top 25 globally for employer reputation after 5,000 blue-chip organisations across the world ranked the quality of Durham's graduates ahead of leading global universities.
The new Careers, Employability and Enterprise Centre (CEEC), located in part of Dunelm House in Durham and the Ebsworth building on Queen's Campus, in Stockton, combines key advisory and guidance elements in an integrated service.
Working with employers, including KPMG, PricewaterhouseCoopers, and independent charities such as Teach First, the CEEC works with students to identify entrepreneurial and other work-orientated skills and to enable students to develop these skills, enhance their learning and to achieve their career goals.
Anthony Forster, Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Durham University, said: "Employability and developing a broad range of skills is at the very core of the student experience and is one of the four key themes within the University's Education Strategy aiming to provide our students with outstanding and distinctive opportunities for personal development.
"The new Careers, Employability and Enterprise Centre (CEEC) embodies the University's partnering approach to careers services, building on the excellent relationships we already have with many of the UK's biggest and best employers furthering the employability of Durham University graduates.
"We value highly our relationships with employers throughout the UK and within the North-East, a region that allows our students through part-time work, work placements and internships to undertake activity that helps invigorate the local economy."
Catherine Richardson head of the CEEC said: "The new CEEC provides a natural evolution in our professional and integrated approach to careers support for our graduate and postgraduate students by enabling them to tap in to the rich resources of our staff and partner employers.
"Our students will also be able to benefit from the excellent Durham Award programme which allows our team, academics and employers to work closely with students to the benefit of all. It does this by allowing employers to interact with the students creating opportunities for future recruitment as well as providing a mentoring culture for students to develop their interpersonal and entrepreneurial skills.
"We have also developed invaluable links with employers in the region with companies including car manufacturer Nissan and IT consultancy Waterstons regularly taking our graduates as we actively look for excellent career opportunities for our Durham graduates right here in the North East."
The CEEC launch features a performance by celebrated musician, postgraduate student Peter Oken Ong'are. Peter received world acclaim for a song built upon a 'rhythm of success' and composed to inspire sportspeople and fans in the 2010 World Cup Finals in South Africa. His song 'Vuma!' was played and sung at matches during the tournament.
Ernst and Young graduate recruitment officer, Myrto Kalle, said: "Durham University is regularly one of our top universities in the UK in terms of the student intake for both the summer internship and our graduate programme and therefore a very significant source of talent."
Durham University student John Cordrey, 21, has just completed a three year business management degree and has already secured a coveted graduate role at PwC one of several opportunities that were made available to him after securing several internships.
He said: "As a student you are looking to your university to provide a contact network within the working world and to develop your interpersonal and entrepreneurial skills through work placement, intern, mentoring and interview practice opportunities.
"Throughout my degree Durham University has provided me with numerous opportunities and it is great that all these services have now been brought together in the new Careers, Employability and Enterprise Centre.
"I was also able to use an alumni database that gave me access to advice from people within companies including Ernst and Young, Goldman Sachs, Deloitte and Morgan Stanley."
Durham University also works closely with Teach First, an independent charity working to break the link between low family income and poor educational attainment.
Teach First places outstanding graduates to teach and lead in schools in challenging circumstances, and is creating a movement of leaders who are committed to raising the achievement, aspiration and access to opportunity of children from low socio-economic backgrounds.
James Darley, Director of Graduate Recruitment at Teach First, said: "We have been recruiting exceptional graduates from Durham University since our launch nearly ten years ago, placing them in schools in challenging circumstances to raise the achievement, aspiration, and access to opportunity of children from low socio-economic backgrounds.
"This successful partnership will only be enhanced by the new CEEC and, as we look to recruit over 1000 graduates for 2012, we hope it will encourage even more Durham students to apply to Teach First's Leadership Development Programme".