Usually, an industrial placement will be part of your son or daughter’s degree. On some courses industrial placements are compulsory. On others, students can organise their own placement year or to choose to do a placement as one of their modules.
Placements vary in length. Many take the form of a “sandwich year”, which is a 9-12 month placement between the second and final years of a degree. Some placements can be undertaken during university holidays and last between one and three months, others involve working one day a week over a period of time.
If a work placement is a part of a degree course, it is likely that it will be formally assessed or accredited. The type of assessments will vary depending on the course and the structure of the placement. If a placement is a degree module, it is unlikely that it will be paid. If, however, it is a “sandwich year” or a few months long, it may very well be paid anything up to a couple of grand a month.
Industrial experience offers students the opportunity to understand working life. They will work as part of a team with their own tasks, responsibilities, deadlines and goals. This will give them an invaluable set of transferable skills.
More particularly, they will learn about the industry, organisation and role in which they are working. This will better equip them to choose which jobs to apply for following graduation. They will also gain many of the skills that they need for these roles, especially if they wish to remain within the industry. Furthermore, the placement might help them obtain that all-elusive first professional reference. On top of all of this, they may very well be getting paid a decent salary.
How to Find a Placement:
University careers services help students to find a placement. If they are on a course where it is compulsory they will have a placement tutor to help them arrange everything. Placements can be as competitive as applying for a permanent job with many companies holding formal interviews and assessment centre days.