School scoops prestigious collaboration prize in national employability awards

28 February 2017

Hannah Marchant of the School of Law and Politics and Diane Brooks of Hugh James pictured centre with sponsors and award presenter, Rebecca Adlington OBE.
Hannah Marchant of the School of Law and Politics and Diane Brooks of Hugh James pictured centre with sponsors and award presenter, Rebecca Adlington OBE.

The School of Law and Politics was presented with the ‘Best Collaboration between a University and Employer’ accolade at this year’s National Undergraduate Employability Awards.

The awards took place on Friday 24 February with the ‘Best Collaboration’ category celebrating the most effective and influential collaborations developed between a university and employer to offer students additional employability skills and opportunities.

To this end, the School was recognised for its successful partnership with Hugh James Solicitors which has been cultivated and developed over more than ten years.

The relationship between the School and the firm is mutually valuable. By supporting the School in a variety of ways, including attendance at Law Fairs, pro bono consultancy, careers advice and office open days, Hugh James has, for many students, become the natural choice of employer upon graduation; to date over 300 students have gained employment and/or work experience with the firm.

In September 2016 the School and Hugh James began a major new initiative, designed to support student learning and employability skills, with the launch of a work placement programme for Cardiff Law students. The scheme has so far provided 18 students with full time salaried work placements during their third year.

The School’s partnership with Hugh James saw off stiff competition in the category from the following universities and employers:

  • University of Kent, Business School & Enterprise Rent-A-Car
  • University of Leeds & The Department for Work and Pensions
  • University of Lincoln, Careers and Employability Team & The Lincolnshire Police
  • University of Southampton & Grosvenor Britain and Ireland

Olympic Swimming Champion, Rebecca Adlington OBE presented the award to lecturer Hannah Marchant who represented the School and Diane Brooks who represented Hugh James Solicitors.

Hannah Marchant said of the award, “We are delighted that the significant opportunities offered to our Law Students to enhance their employability skills have been recognised in this way.  We are extremely grateful to Hugh James Solicitors for continuing to support the School and for providing our students with invaluable pro bono/work experience.  We look forward to continuing our collaboration with Hugh James and to further developing our already excellent, mutually beneficial relationship.”

She was joined by Diane Brooks, of Hugh James Solicitors who said, “This award is a fantastic accolade for both the School of Law and Politics and Hugh James. For more than a decade we have collaborated on numerous initiatives which include two pro bono schemes, summer placement schemes, law fairs and now a scheme offering a year’s employment to undergraduates. The relationship is always evolving and benefits the firm, the University and the students.

As a large employer in Wales and an ambitious, growing law firm we have a constant need to attract the brightest talent in the marketplace. These initiatives are vital in helping us to identify students who can go on to make a great contribution to Hugh James in the future. We look forward to continuing to develop our relationship and working closely with Cardiff University for the next 10 years.”

Oliver Sidwell, Co-founder of RMP Enterprise, the award organisers, said, “Desire amongst students for work experience has never been greater and our Awards highlight the exemplary work that goes on within organisations, universities and by students across the nation.

Competition for employment is fierce and it's essential that students are armed with the skills, tools and knowledge to increase their employability. Our Awards act as the benchmark for undergraduate successes.

It’s safe to say all of our winners across the three categories have gone above and beyond to exceed expectations.”