Fifteen students, who have worked hard to boost their employability prospects, had their efforts recognised in a ceremony today (Thursday 27th July 2017) organised by GSM London, the Greenwich and Greenford-based higher education provider.
The Horizon Employability Award is GSM London’s flagship programme that aims to give students a competitive edge in the jobs market. The programme works to provide professional and personal skills that demonstrate the breadth of students’ learning experiences.
With the government’s June Social Mobility Commission report calling for radical reform to narrow the gap between better off communities and the poor, the need for schemes that attempt to address these challenges are ever more important.
GSM London is one of the few higher education providers that differentiate its offering from other providers by embracing the opportunities of diversity and inclusion. About 80%of its students live within 10 miles of their campus, 90% are Black and Minority Ethnic (BAME), 80% are mature and 16.6% are drawn from POLAR 1 and 2 postcodes (the largest percentage of any higher education institution in London).
GSM London is aware that for many of its student cohort, trying to improve their social mobility through learning or making a career change can be daunting without the right support.
The Horizon Award is designed to enhance their employability, and have an empowering experience of adding value to their career choices.
Students earn these skills by completing a series of activities during their academic journey linked to the following areas:
- Employability and Enterprise – activities range from work experience/ running a business/ attending a careers event or workshop.
- Personal Skills Development – extra-curricular activities such as learning a language or a musical instrument, as well as understanding and enhancing their strengths.
- Cultural and Social Awareness – charity fundraising/ organising events that celebrate cultural diversity
- Supporting the GSM London Community – taking positions of responsibility within the GSM London Community such as Student Ambassador or Student Representative
GSM London students are shining examples that despite personal struggles, some have been able to achieve success. GSM London has a wealth of stories to share and these include those from one student who has successfully completed the Award despite struggling with dyslexia when delivering classroom presentations. This student used to avoid seeking help for her learning disability until she enrolled at GSM London and accessed support provided during induction. This student has managed to turn this around by taking on more public speaking roles in her academic learning and will be making an address during the Horizon Award ceremony*.
Another student is working on her ambition to create and manage her own festival and has been able to build networks and experience through work experience she has garnered while at GSM London. This student has learnt to develop business plans and even pitched an idea for the Dragons’ Den entrepreneurs’ competition*.
A special Recognition Award will also be given to two students from this pool by CIMA - the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants.
GSM London’s Bob Athwal – Pro Provost Student Experience and External Engagement, said: “The Horizon Award gives students a structure to access personal and professional skills by participating in extracurricular activities. This Award helps to build confidence and expand their experience and prospects for employability while they are still studying.”