Tuesday 23 April 2024
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Nottingham

NTU and White Rose launch Professional Student Wardrobe giving access to clothing for interviews

Nottingham Trent University (NTU) has partnered with White Rose to launch a Student Wardrobe – offering students access to professional clothing for interviews, assessment days and recruitment activities.

Students can select two articles of clothing, for free, to help them get recruitment ready.  There is also a specialist team of Employability Fashion Advisers to help them, and once students have visited the wardrobe, they are directed to NTU’s Employability Hub to talk to a Careers Coach or have a practice interview.

Students will also be able to access the wardrobe for three years after they graduate.

The Professional Student Wardrobe launched last month with an exclusive fashion show curated and managed by students and colleagues. In the first four weeks since launch, 637 students accessed over 1,158 items to support their career-related activities.

Donation boxes are present on all NTU campuses for anyone to donate pre-loved items in good condition. Local employers are also lending their support with Gleeds and Hays Recruitment both hosting boxes to collect donations for the Wardrobe.

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Nottingham-based charity White Rose collects the donations and prepares them to be displayed in the Wardrobe Shop which is currently based on NTU’s City campus, with plans to roll out to other campuses throughout the year.

The project also aims to collaborate with sustainable fashion retailers and manufacturers.

Debra Easter, Director of Employability Services at Nottingham Trent University developed the idea following a trip to the US where the initiative is more commonplace. She says: “Cost of living pressures have led to more students than ever facing financial barriers. Research among our students has shown that three quarters have had second thoughts about applying for a role or attending an interview due to the associated costs.

“This collaboration demonstrates our commitment to empowering all our students, a number of who are from disadvantaged communities, giving them an equal opportunity to find the right role or work experience for them without the worry of financial costs associated with the process. In addition, we’re also helping to recycle and reuse clothing to divert them from the waste stream.”

 

Bhaavikaa Keshwara, a 2nd year student studying Fashion Marketing and Branding said: “The Professional Student Wardrobe is an incredible initiative that allows graduates and students, like myself, to be able to acquire free professional clothing for our career-related activities. As a student with a limited budget, I was able to access an item of clothing for my placement, which not only meant I looked more professional, but also gave me a confidence boost.”

Gokul Arumugam Chitra, MSc Management and International Business graduate said: “I feel this kind of innovative partnership positively impacts students’ lives and is highly impactful for the student’s professional career following university. I was able to access a suit from the Wardrobe which I am able to use for my new job to help give me the best start in my professional career.”

 Grace Walker, Director of White Rose, and herself an NTU Alumnus said: “White Rose is delighted to be invited to work with the Employability Hub of Nottingham Trent University as pioneers of the Professional Student Wardrobe. This unique initiative provides students with a wide range of free, handpicked, preloved interview apparel and White Rose is thrilled to be able to contribute through this innovative scheme to directly support students facing significant challenges with the rising cost-of-living.”

The project also supports the Aegis Trust through White Rose – impacting genocide affected communities with peace education.

More information can be found at https://www.ntu.ac.uk/c/ntu-professional-wardrobe

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