British American Tobacco - R&D student scheme honoured again

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Student scheme honoured

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16 March 2021

R&D student scheme honoured again

We have received further recognition for our employee best practice by retaining a ‘National Undergraduate Employability’ award.

After being named as a Global Top Employer for the fourth successive year in January, BAT has received further recognition for our employee best practice. For the second year in a row we have retained the National Undergraduate Employability (NUE) award as the UK’s ‘Top medium-sized undergraduate scheme’.

Each year, BAT recruits up to 12 undergraduate university students, as part of their degree, for a one-year industrial placement into our R&D and Operations functions. We seek out the most talented individuals from the UK’s top universities in disciplines such as life sciences, chemistry, materials science, engineering, electronics and product design.

For the second year running, this placement programme, which has now been running for more than 20 years at BAT’s Southampton R&D headquarters, has won one of the top prizes, finishing ahead of companies such as Nestle, Samsung, and Porsche.

Ed Forsdike, Head of Global Vapour and Placement Sponsor, said: “Retaining the number one position for the second consecutive year is a fabulous achievement and is completely aligned with our purpose of building A Better Tomorrow™. The team has worked incredibly hard this year to evolve this important programme to keep it industry-leading despite the lockdown challenges. I am very proud of the team, the great students we have, and the placement experience we are providing.”

Celebrating outstanding achievement

The NUE Awards celebrate and reward the outstanding achievements of employers in undergraduate work experience across the UK and winning it again showcases BAT’s commitment to providing a high-quality internship programme.

This award is open to companies employing between three and 20 students on an undergraduate placement, internship or vacation scheme. It is based solely on the student-written reviews the business receives on, a website that gives students an opportunity to share peer-to-peer feedback about their workplace experiences.

Speaking about the award, Anish Mehta, HR business partner, R&D, and Undergraduate Internship Programme Lead, said: “What makes this award extra special is that it is directly voted for by undergraduates and we feel this response is a testament to the strength of our programme and the learning opportunities we provide. Words cannot express how proud I am of the line managers that support the undergraduates’ time with us and provide them with exciting projects to work on, the assigned mentors that help to inspire and release potential, to the placement team who make this programme go from strength to strength.”

Training opportunities

BAT’s placement programme provides undergraduate interns with a number of training opportunities and challenges throughout the year, including preparation of technical posters, oral presentation skills and networking events, culminating in a presentation to R&D’s Director of Science and Leadership Team at the end of their placement.

While some internships were cancelled during the COVID-19 pandemic, BAT was committed to keeping its programme running and continued to offer students a highly rewarding experience. The success of the programme is shown by the number of interns who return to work at BAT following their degrees. In one recent year, nearly half of those who completed their placements went on to secure employment with the company – helping to build A Better Tomorrow™.