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Unpaid work experience

Organisations offering unpaid opportunities for students 

Employability is at the heart of Solent University and many courses include integrated work experience to increase their students’ professional experience and graduate skills.

The 2015 High Fliers Report highlighted that employers prefer to employ those with skills gained from placements and work experience in addition to a degree, even in times of an improving labour market for graduates. Therefore it’s critical that students engage in placements or work experience related to their chosen field.

The majority of placement students receive an industry appropriate salary, although this is not a legal requirement. The University does not encourage students to accept unpaid opportunities, but it acknowledges that in some circumstances unpaid experience will be key to improving skills and can lead to graduate employment.

Solent University has a funding scheme to support student on unpaid work experience or placement opportunities.

Solent Futures Online

Solent Futures Online is the University’s tailored graduate recruitment site for placements, graduate opportunities, work experience, internships and volunteering. It adheres to the Association of Graduate Careers Advisory Services’ Equal Opportunities Policy and Best Practice in Graduate Recruitment ( 

In accordance with its vacancy policy Solent Futures Online will not handle or advertise vacancies that to their knowledge:

  • do not comply with the National Minimum Wage (for paid work) or any other aspect of employment or equal opportunities law
  • are unpaid, unless they are for charities or not-for-profits and are therefore viewed as volunteering.

The Government’s website, GOV.UK defines the National Minimum Wage (NMW) as the minimum pay per hour to which almost all workers are legally entitled.

The Solent Futures team are able to provide advice or support to organisations and employers on this topic. Please email for more information.


Page last updated on Wednesday 2 January 2019 at 1.33pm.


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