Why awards matter

gradireland graduate recruitment awards 2012

Last Wednesday night in Dublin, 480 graduate recruiters, careers services, senior representatives from higher education institutions, business organisations, policy makers, advisers and the Minister of State for Training & Skills, gathered for the gradireland Graduate Recruitment Awards 2012.

Why does this matter? It’s just a bean-feast, right? A prize for everyone in the audience and a stonking hangover on Thursday morning?

Thankfully, no. The gradireland awards are now acknowledged as one of the most important events in the graduate careers calendar. It is the only time in the year when such a vast gathering of key stakeholders and influencers in this sector can come together – people who are shaping the future career opportunities of a generation of Irish students at a historic time in our social and economic development.

A key message that was reiterated several times during the evening was the need for business, academia, government and higher education to work closely together to ensure that our students are equipped with the employability skills necessary for an increasingly competitive global job market. The evening was an opportunity for employers from all sectors to engage with careers practitioners and explain what competencies they are looking for in their graduate recruits; for course providers to hear what skills and knowledge need to be developed in order to meet the fast-changing needs of industry; for policy makers and recruiters to hear from course providers and careers services about the incredibly gifted, motivated and dynamic graduates being produced by our universities and ITs, and the skills that they are ready to put to use (and to meet a few of them, too).

Facilitating this network of the key stakeholders and influencers within graduate recruitment is a crucial element of evenings like this one. Having the opportunity to showcase some of the great courses, students and graduate employers that are at the heart of graduate career development, and that therefore play a huge part in the economic development of the country, is so important. In an era of so much media noise, of such a lot of negative coverage of careers in Ireland, it is vital that the graduate recruitment industry has a night such as this to showcase their work to decision-makers: to show that there is an incredibly dynamic community of passionate and engaged professionals working to provide careers advice, training and development and graduate jobs; and to pull together to ensure that business, government and education work even more closely in the future to provide our students and graduates with the skills they will need to get good jobs and develop great careers in Ireland.

That’s why awards matter. To see the full list of winners on the night visit www.gradireland.com/awards

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