SMEs win national awards for internships

The NCWE Awards received a record number of entries this year, with around 200 organisations from across the UK competing for a total of 28 awards.  The NCWE Awards recognise businesses from all sectors and sizes that provide exceptional student and graduate internships.

Mike Hill, chief executive of the Higher Education Careers Services Unit, which operates the NCWE says: “We’re now in the ninth year of the NCWE Awards, so it’s good to see so many new companies entering as well as organisations that take part year after year.

“Over the years we have seen a greater number of SMEs entering the awards and so have developed them to ensure they are well represented. Smaller companies tend to offer quite unique opportunities with lots of potential to work across many different areas of business, ensuring interns develop a wide range of skills.”

Employee owned marine engineering company, Houlder took the crown of Work Placement of the Year – Best SME in recognition of its engineering, naval architecture, project control, finance and business development work placements. Software developer and solutions provider, ProspectSoft Ltd won the Highly Commended award in this category.

The winner in the Work Placement of the Year – Best Micro Enterprise category was Champions Life Academy, a 12-week student development programme that equips interns with sales, communication and leadership skills. Recruitment software specialist, 2LS Limited took the Highly Commended award in the same category.

Taking the Graduate Internship of the Year title for companies with under 250 staff was advertising think tank, Credos. Student social action charity, Student Hubs won the Highly Commended Award in this category.

The judging panel represented the full internship process through a number of senior professionals, including specialists from Which? and Regent’s College. They were impressed by the multicultural and multilingual aspects of Houlder’s scheme, while they commended Champions Life Academy for providing interns with lots of responsibility which influenced the company’s performance. The judges praised Credos for equipping interns with a wide set of skills.

Margot Freeman, Houlder’s HR Manager commented: “We’re delighted to have been recognised by the NCWE. At a time when many companies are cutting back, we remain committed to continuing to take advantage of the graduate talent pool from both the UK and overseas – consistently gaining tangible business benefits by doing so.”

Emma Taylor, senior research executive at Credos, who started as an intern, commented: “We’re delighted to have won. There are some great opportunities out there for graduates, and it’s fantastic that the NCWE helps celebrate these.”