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Employers > Industry Placements

Industry Placements

What are industry placements?

Thank you for your interest in offering an industry placement to a student in your workplace.

Placements give young people studying towards a technical qualification initial experience of the workplace, helping prepare them for the world of work. They provide a valuable opportunity for students to gain an insight into working, its disciplines and challenges, to be involved with avariety of tasks and activities and to gain an understanding of:

  • the structure of the organisation
  • the qualifications and training required for key job roles
  • the rewards and constraints of work

Employers like you are playing a key role in creating opportunities for young people in the local community at the start of their careers to make career choices, develop their employability skills and build confidence. We are passionate about industry placements because they offer excellent opportunities for both employers and young people. We appreciate your interest in hosting a student on an industry placement.

Why should my business get involved?

Two thirds of employers rate work experience as being of significant or critical value for young entrants to the labour market and half of employers believe a top priority for education providers should be developing awareness of working life with support from businesses (UKCES’ Employer Perspectives Survey 2014).

Many employers say they struggle to find candidates with the right attitudes and characteristics to work in their organisations. We ensure our students develop five attributes that have been identified as being relevant for all sectors of employment:

  • professional
  • enterprising
  • confident
  • aware
  • resilient

Immediate benefits

  • Extra resources for your projects and day-to-day operations
  • Give your employees the opportunity to develop management and mentorship skills
  • Bring a fresh perspective into your business
  • Corporate Social Responsibility(CSR) impact: share with stakeholders how your business has supported local young people into industry placements, improving their employability and progression opportunities

Long term benefits

  • Inspire the next generation to work in your industry

  • Address current and future skills shortages in your industry

  • Strengthen your recruiting pipeline and increase diversity

  • Shared value: benefits for business and society are correlated – increased social inclusion leads to new business opportunities

What are the responsibilities?

For the employer

During the placement the student should gain an understanding of the industry, qualifications and training required and the rewards and constraints of the work.

We ask that you:

  • treat them as part of your team and try to provide a variety of tasks and activities (in general, students are not qualified and their involvement should reflect this); students should be supervised;
  • on the first day we ask that you provide a Health and Safety induction and introduce them to their supervisor and the range of activities they will be involved with;
  • discuss progress and performance with the student and approve their attendance and provide feedback in the diary

What documentation is involved?

Under health and safety legislation (The Health and Safety (Training for Employment) Regulations 1990), anyone undertaking work experience is treated as an employee of the work experience provider.

Before the start of the placement, we ask that you:

  • hold current Employer Liability insurance
  • complete and return a brief health and safety checklist (we are happy to visit you to complete this if you wish).

For the student

  • to arrive on time and attend as planned; to call to let you know if they are unable to attend for any reason or will be late;
  • to follow instructions, ask questions and to be an active team worker;
  • to complete their Industry Placement Diary and ask for your input.

For the College

  • to prepare students for placements – technical and employability skills
  • to ensure employers are students are aware of learning aims for the placement
  • to monitor and review progress of placement

Frequently Asked Questions

Do I need to pay the student?

Industry placements are about providing students with high quality, meaningful training, not work. Therefore, students are not entitled to a salary as the placement is forming part of a course of further education. There is no legal requirement or expectation that students will be paid. However, you can pay the student should you wish to, or support the student with their travel and subsistence costs. For example, you might offer a free meal to placement students or cover their travel expenses.

How long does a placement last?

Depending on the programme of study this could range from 1 week to 3 months.

How can I balance this with core business activities?

Students will undergo preparation by Guildford / Merrist Wood College before coming to you, and clear responsibilities, working hours and other workplace expectations will be identified. The college team will be on hand to support if challenges arise, to ensure both parties get the most from the placement.

What support will I receive?

The college team will support you to set up the placement and once it begins, they will continue to provide support to both the student and line manager.

How can I make sure I get suitable students?

You can work with the college to find the best student for your organisation. Be transparent about your requirements. This can involve you holding a CV screening and/or interview process.


Find out more about offering an industrial placement:


01483 44 85 00

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