National recognition for work placement schemesBy David Millward
April 25, 2012
Two businesses have gained national recognition for the work placement schemes they run in Reading.
Small recruitment software specialist 2LS was highly recommended in the Best Micro Enterprise category of the National Council for Work Experience (NCWE) awards.
And IT industry giant Microsoft, which runs an intern scheme at Thames Valley Park, took the same title in the Best Employment Experience as Nominated by a Student category.
2LS, based in Queen’s Road, Central Reading, has worked with Reading University for the last three years through its Summer Enterprise Experience and Discovery (SEED) scheme.
Student Akshay Koregaonkar, who is in his final year in the School of System Engineering, not only gained great experience himself but developed a mobile version of the company’s software which has now been launched and purchased by a number of recruitment firms.
Neil Thompson, managing director at 2LS, said: “SEED is good in so many ways. You get fresh blood into the business which brings with it new ideas and ways of thinking and we can run pilot projects without interrupting the main business.
“In this particular case we wanted to design and build a mobile application for our existing software.
“We didn’t have the capacity to investigate what was required but taking on Akshay allowed us to do so in a low risk way and was a tremendous success.
“In the time he was with us he was actually able to complete a working system which we are able to sell and gives the business a new revenue stream.”
Mr Koregaonkar said: “The work was challenging and I felt I learnt a lot from the project. The work I did was greatly appreciated by the company and I developed really strong relations with them.
“I worked with them again in the winter holidays where I created another mobile app for them.”
Microsoft scooped its highly commended title after being nominated by a student who had completed its intern scheme.
Emma Knights, talent acquisition director at Microsoft, said: “It’s great to be recognised for our commitment to incubating talent and we are particularly thrilled that this was nominated by a student who had experienced working for Microsoft directly.”
The winners were announced at a ceremony at Merchant Taylors’ Hall, in the City of London last month.
Mike Hill, chief executive of the Higher Education Careers Services Unit which operates the NCWE, said: “Reading was well represented in the awards, which is great news for students and graduates looking for internships in the area.”