Work placements are extremely beneficial in helping you gain transferable skills and experience needed for your future career path, whatever that may be.
Whilst these placements are mostly unpaid, they offer an invaluable opportunity. A placement will:
- Give you a better chance of obtaining a job or further training
- Make your CV stand out and give you something to talk about in an interview
- Provide an insight into the industry and roles within it
- Allow you to make useful contacts in the world of work
- Help build your confidence and communication skills
- Give you hands-on experience
Watch the video below to hear from Dean and their employer about how work placements work for them and why they are so beneficial.
Your work placement requirement will vary depending on your course. The key types of work placement are:
Industry Placements are part of the new T Level qualifications which will help students to hone their technical skills whilst gaining vital on-the-job training. Industry Placements are 315 hours in length and are to be completed over the two years of the qualification. (315 hours works out at around 45 days, depending on day lengths).
Students will attend placement one or two days per week over a specific period to fit in with their course delivery model. Employability skills are built into the T Level, so students will have an idea of what employers are looking for and how to conduct themselves in the workplace.
These placements range from 35 - 365 hours and can be spread across a number of weeks, or completed in College holidays where a block may be possible. They may also be timetabled into your studies.
These are 35 hour placements and can be spread across five or more weeks or can be completed in College holidays where a block may be possible.
What do I need to do?
If your course contains a work placement you will meet members of the Work Placement Team during enrolment and initial tutorial sessions and you will be required to:
- Complete a Work Placement Request Form. This will provide the Work Placement Team with information on your interests and current skillset
- If you are unsure of the type of business you would like to work with, you can discuss this with a careers advisor by emailing email@example.com
- Begin contacting companies that you would like to work with. You can find guidance on how to do this here. We will be sourcing opportunities for students, however, students who self-source their own placements tend to secure one quicker. Employers appreciate the effort and the initiative students take in contacting them for possible placements
- Pass on any leads to the Work Placement Team so they can complete mandatory College and Government checks and processes
Health and safety during a work placement
Health and safety is paramount in any workplace. It is important that you are in a safe environment and understand the health and safety requirements of the workplace, as well as taking responsibility for keeping yourself safe during your placement. Your employer will go through the health and safety requirements of your place of work with you when you start.
If you feel anything is unsafe or doesn’t feel right in your workplace, then please ensure you discuss this with your Progress Coach/Work Placement Coordinator immediately. The resource below is an excellent link for students to understand health and safety in the workplace.
How long do placements last and when can I do one?
The duration of your placement will be dependent upon your course.
Students will attend placement one or two days per week for a set number of weeks, or placements can be completed in a block. These block placements can be either in College holidays’ or pre-planned during term time in line with a student's timetable. The majority of placements we arrange are a combination of one or two days per week and block week/s. The duration and time of placements will be arranged to support your studies whilst giving you a high-quality experience of the workplace.
What checks need to take place before I start?
Your Work Placement Coordinator will liaise with employers to complete mandatory College and Government checks and processes.
What do I do if there’s a problem during my placement?
Talk to someone. Either your placement line manager or mentor, your Progress Coach or Work Placement Coordinator. We will discuss the concerns raised.
Do I meet my employer before starting?
We encourage employers to complete an induction with students prior to starting placement. Some employers like to talk to or interview multiple students for a placement opportunity before they give the final go-ahead.
What can I do if I can’t attend my placement?
If you are ill, or can’t attend for any other reason, please make sure you phone your placement as soon as possible. Please also let us know in the Placement Team. It is a good idea to make sure you have important contact details with you in case of an emergency.
Who will help me organise my work placement?
You will begin by discussing placement ideas with the Work Placement Team at enrolment. They will take some basic information on your interests and current skillset. They will also discuss your travel options.
Once you have started at College, your Progress Coach will discuss what type of placement would be suitable for you. You can ask your family, friends, and other contacts for ideas of organisations to approach, or you might already know someone working who can offer you a placement. A Work Placement Coordinator can also support you in this process. If you’re really unsure of where you’d like your career to go, you can book a careers appointment by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
What happens once my work placement is arranged?
When your work placement is arranged and all checks have been completed by the Placement Team, you and your Progress Tutor will receive confirmation of the finalised placement. You will then be given all the required information to begin your placement, e.g. start and finish date, times of work, what to wear.