Guidance for students on work placements
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 benefit you because:
- It will give you a better chance of obtaining a job or further training
- It will make your CV stand out and give you something to talk about in an interview
- You can gain an insight into the industry and roles within it
- You can make useful contacts in the world of work
- It will help build your confidence and communication skills
- Give you hand on experience
Types of Work Placements
Your work placement requirement will vary depending on your course. The key types of work placement are:
Industry Placement Pilot (CDF): York College is delighted to announce that it has been selected to participate in the T Level Industry Placement Pilot (Capacity Delivery Fund). Some Level 3 and/or Level 2 courses starting in September 2021, have been selected to take part in the pilot for this academic year. If this affects your course, this will be communicated to you in due course, prior to enrolment.
Industry Placements: 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 2 years of the qualification. (315 hours works out at around 45 days, depending on day lengths). Student will attend placement 1 or 2 day 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.
Mandatory Placements: 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.
Standard Placements: These 35-hour placements and can be spread across 5 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 information on your interested and current skill set)
- If you are unsure on the type of business you would like to work with, then you can book a careers appointment
- Begin contacting companies that you would like to work with. You can find guidance on how to do this here - Self sourcing industry placements We will be sourcing opportunities for students, however student who self-source their placement tends 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 Placemen Team so they can complete mandatory College and Government checks and processes.
Who will help me organise my work placement?
You will begin by discussing placement ideas with the Work Placement Team at enrolment, who will take some basic information on your interests and current skill set. We will also discuss you travel options.
Once you have started at college, your Progress Coach will discuss further about 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 on where you’d like you career to go, you can book a careers appointment (here).
How long do placements last and when can I do it?
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 placements can be either in college holidays’ or pre-planned during term time in line with students timetables. A 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.
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 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 happens once my Work Placement is arranged?
When your work placement is arranged and all checks have been completed by the Placement Team, we will give you and your Progress Tutor 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.
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. Britsafe have created an excellent link for students to understand Health and Safety in the workplace.
What do I do if there’s 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.
What do 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 emergency.
If you would have any further questions, please contact the Work Placement Team:
Telephone: 01904 770830
You can also view our Student Placement guide (when available)