The Worcester Award is a student employability award that recognises extracurricular commitment, such as work experience and volunteering hours. Employers think highly of people who have the Award, making them stand out from other job candidates.
Although the award is useful for the future and accessible to all students, not many people seem to know about it, or know how easy it is to achieve. This article aims to give you the basic knowledge on the Worcester Award and how you can achieve it.
There are three levels of the Worcester Award: bronze, silver and gold. You can aim to achieve just the bronze or you could shoot for the stars and aim for gold. It’s entirely up to you and how much time you’re willing to put into it.
Section 1: Work Experience
The first section you need to complete is a work experience placement. Most university courses require you to do a work experience placement, which you can use for this section. For the bronze award you need 40 hours of work experience, and for silver and gold you need 80 hours. I completed two work experience placements during my second year at university: one for my History degree and one for the education module I did. Because of this, I accumulated enough hours to get the maximum amount of hours required to get the award.
If you don’t do a placement at university, any part-time work counts towards this section (including any other form of work experience you have done). It’s likely you have already achieved this section, or have completed a set amount of hours towards it without realising. If not, there is plenty of time to begin work experience placements on your days off from university, over the holidays and during Worcester Weeks.
Section 2: Personal Development
The second section of the Worcester Award is Personal Development. This includes any activities that have helped you build skills for your future career. For example: volunteering, sports clubs and uni societies are all activities you can use for this section of the award. For my award, I used volunteering at university through the breast cancer awareness team, and any volunteering I did outside of university.
20 hours of personal development are required for the bronze award and 40 for the silver and gold. Again, it is likely you have already achieved these hours without realising. It is important to note that the 40 hours needed for silver and gold (and the 80 needed in the work experience section), include the 20 hours from your bronze. This means you only need to achieve an extra 20 hours to get silver and gold.
Section 3: Employability Activity
Finally, to be eligible for the Worcester Award you need to have attended an employability activity. This is the section that may require the most effort, as you may not have gone to one of these at university yet. Nevertheless, the section is pretty straightforward to complete.
In order to achieve a bronze award, you need to attend only one employability activity. This could be a careers workshop or a careers advisor appointment. For silver, you need to attend the Worcester Award Silver Workshop. This is a 90 minute workshop designed to teach you valuable skills you will use in your graduate job.
Going for Gold
To achieve the gold award you must complete all of the above, plus a bit more. You must hand in a CV or personal statement to show you are preparing yourself for the world of work. If you are in third year, you’ll be preparing to write these soon anyway, ready for when you leave university in the summer.
You also need to complete a presentation and interview to achieve gold. This is the trickiest part of the award, requiring a lot of dedication and time. However, after already getting this far, it’s well worth your time and effort to go for gold.
To complete the award, you simply need to fill in a booklet as you go along, adding in your hours that contribute to each section. You can register for this booklet on the University website. The deadline for this years applications is 13th April, 2018.
The Worcester Award can be a valuable asset when looking for jobs and it’s surprisingly easy to achieve. A lot of people won’t realise they have already done a lot of the work required for it, making it a nice bonus for when you leave university with your degree.