Business achievements celebrated at university awards ceremony
The University of Wolverhampton hosted its fourth Business Achievement Awards at the Molineux Stadium to celebrate its graduates and high-flying businesses.
The bi-annual awards recognise individuals and companies that have made an excellent contribution to enterprise and the regional economy.
Wolves was awarded strategic partner of the year following collaboration between the two organisations including the revamp of the Molineux subway, a high profile Honorary Doctorate award given to Wolves manager Nuno Espirito Santo and an ongoing shared vision and commitment to the City of Wolverhampton.
University graduates were also celebrated with business leader of the year awarded to Dr Adrian Hallmark, chief executive of Bentley Motors and a graduate from the School of Engineering and Graduate start-up of the year was awarded to sports and exercise science graduate, Nathaniel Keay, who has set up a successful recruitment company that exclusively supports the sports industry.
Nursing associate degree apprentice, Katy Blakemore from Cygnet Healthcare, won employee of the year for making a significant impact within the organisation. Employer of the year was awarded to Enterprise Rent-a-Car who have shown a consistent commitment to providing employment opportunities to over 30 graduates over the past two years.
Dr Paul Hampton, head of built environment in the University’s Faculty of Science and Engineering and project director for ERDF-funded projects, BECCI and EnTress, was awarded academic expert of the year for his work with businesses.
Business collaboration of the year was awarded to Walsall and Black Country Partnership for the size and scale of the work they do to ensure the region has skilled nurses.
The awards were designed by Wolverhampton School of Art Master’s Degree student, Suzanne Vicenzotti, who is studying Applied Arts and entertainment was provided by University Pro-Chancellor and soul singer Jaki Graham and Jolie from St. Peter’s Collegiate School in Wolverhampton. Host was actor and author David Keeling.
A judging panel, made up of high-profile representatives from within the regional business community as well as representation from within the University’s senior leadership, selected the winners.
Vice-Chancellor Professor Geoff Layer said: “The Business Achievement Awards enable us to celebrate graduates, employers and organisations who deserve recognition for their excellent contribution to business, enterprise and the economy.
“As a university, we are committed to ensuring our graduates have the best opportunities to gain work experience, internships and access to business start-up support. Our impressive 96 per cent graduate employment rate is testament to the strong partnerships we have built with industry, business and the professions and the commitment of our graduates to reach their potential.
“All of the shortlisted individuals and organisations have made enterprising and innovative contributions to the region’s business landscape and they deserve to be incredibly proud of their achievements.”
A judging panel made up of representatives from the region’s business community as well as representatives from the university selected the winners.
Stewart Towe, the Pro-Vice-Chancellor, welcomed guests and told them: "The university is extremely proud to be hosting this event to profile the success and excellence of businesses and graduates and apprentices."
He said the quality of entries this year had been extremely high.
The university is investing £250 million over the next five years as part of the Our Vision, Your Opportunity programme. The ambitious plans to invest in education, training and economic growth include the £25m Rosalind Franklin Science Building, the new £18m Lord Swraj Paul business school building and the £100m Springfield Campus, creating an international hub for construction excellence. Work is currently also under way on a new £10m Science, Technology and Prototyping Centre at the University of Wolverhampton Science Park.