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Work experience and placements

Placements lead to graduate jobs

Without a placement, 52% of graduate employers rate your chances of receiving a graduate job offer as ‘not very likely’. Up to 71% of graduate jobs at an organisation may be filled by students who have completed a placement there (RateMyPlacement 2014).

The 2015 High Fliers Report highlighted that although the graduate labour market is improving, employers are selecting those with skills gained from placements and work experience as well as their degree. Now, more than ever, it is critical to undertake a placement, internship or work experience within your chosen industry.

Not convinced? What about the opportunity to:

  • Forge links with potential employers.
  • Gain relevant professional experience and knowledge of a particular industry.
  • Boost your confidence and experience of work environments.
  • Improve your academic grades.
  • Develop your transferable skills.

What is a placement?

As far as the University is concerned a placement is a period of assessed learning in a work-place included in a unit, and you have to work in a field relevant to your course. This is because a placement aims to bridge the gap between academic study and vocational experience through practical and professional work experience.

If you are doing a placement, we highly recommend that you use the placement app on the Portal to upload important documents and communicate with your employer and lecturer. Find out more by watching the video below.

When looking for opportunities to gain a placement, companies may use different terminology and advertise a work experience opportunity, placement or internship! All offer a period of work experience at a company that may last several weeks, months or even up to one year and can be counted as a placement.  

The main similarity between a placement and internship is that it’s all about making you employable in the future.

Do you already work part time?

Your part-time work is a valuable experience and sometimes may be approved by your unit leader to be counted as a placement.  If your course includes a placement or a work-based learning unit, have a look at the placement handbook explaining much of the useful information you will need to know.

Email to find out more or drop in to the Solent Futures Centre (RM001) every weekday from 10am - 4pm.

Starting to look for placements

It is your responsibility to secure a placement. However, help and great resources are available from Solent Futures and course teams. You can download our useful placement handout, which includes top tips to get your started with your placement. 

We have researched additional material for certain courses. This information is on the pages for schools. For example, information on accounting placements would be found under the page on business and law placements.

If you feel that you may face additional challenges or potential discrimination when seeking a placement, the equality and employment portal pages contain a range of resources you may find useful. 

Handbook for employers

If your prospective employer wants to find out more about what is involved in providing a placement, they can download Solent's Guide to Placements for Employers.

For a list of fantastic placement websites, the jobs and work experience section of CareerBox is a great place to start.

Some general websites to get you started are:

Support Grant

The Support Grant is a non-repayable grant for students who are in financial hardship. Students can use this funding to help fund their placement.

Page last updated on Monday 31 July 2017 at 4.21pm.


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