If you're interested in hosting a placements student, have a read through the FAQs below to find out all about the process and what to expect.
What are the benefits of taking a student on placement?
For employers, taking a student on placement provides an opportunity to bring new, cost effective and flexible talent into the organisation.
Royal Holloway Placement Year students are highly motivated to gain the benefit of workplace learning as part of their 4-year degree. They will have achieved a 2:1 (60%+) in their 1st year and are looking to apply their broad knowledge and understanding of theory to practical workplace situations during their placement year.
We see that the programme generally involves a three-way partnership involving student, employer and Higher Education provider. We see it as very important that all three work together to ensure a successful learning opportunity.
The 2015 High Fliers report suggested that 31% of graduate vacancies were expected to be filled by students who already had experience within an organisation through work experience, internships and work placements. If there is a good fit between the student and company during the placement there is the opportunity to offer the student a graduate position when they finish University.
When can students start their placement?
Royal Holloway students can start their placement position anytime between the June and September following their 2nd year at University. They then spend a year out on placement before returning for their 4th year at University.
What is the length of time of a placement?
For placements to be approved as part of the Royal Holloway Placement Year programme they must be full time positions which allow the students to engage in between 9 and 12 month’s work.
Do placement students have to be paid?
For placements to be approved as part of the Royal Holloway Placement Year programme they must be paid: at the very least students should receive the national minimum wage.
Do placement students need a minimum grade to apply?
Employers may choose to stipulate minimum grades for students applying for placement positions. Royal Holloway students have to achieve a 2:1 (60%+) in their 1st year to be able to continue on the programme.
How can employers advertise their placement positions?
Companies can advertise their own vacancies on our careersportal.royalholloway.ac.uk, which is our online Jobs Board. Here, you can create and amend your own vacancies and reach students at Royal Holloway and throughout the University of London if you wish. It is free to post an advert and once submitted, your vacancy will usually be authorised and posted the next working day. Please note that opportunities must offer at least minimum wage unless they fall under a relevant exemption (see our policy here), should not charge candidates (see our policy here) and should generally comply with our terms and conditions (found here).
Once your vacancy has been posted it will be possible for the vacancy to be tweeted to the Year in Business followers.
There is also a Placement Year Blog and we are happy to feature guest articles if they are of potential interest to our students.
Please contact Katharine Radford for more information about using these tools.
Can placement providers select their own candidates?
It is completely up to the employer! Placement providers may request that students complete a specific application form or provide a CV with covering letter and of course can choose how to assess those applicants who apply for their placement positions.
At Royal Holloway the Faculty Placemenst Place Team in conjunction with the Royal Holloway Careers service provide advice and support to the students at every stage but ultimately it is the student’s responsibility for choosing and securing their own placement positon.
Do students require visas to take up a paid placement?
Students registered on the Royal Holloway Placement Year programme, regardless of their country of origin/nationality, automatically have the right to work full time in the UK as an integral part of their course – i.e. during their placement year. This includes International students who can take paid UK placements under the Tier 4 visa scheme. Any placements in other countries may still require students to get a visa to work.
What paperwork is required once a placement offer is made?
Once a student has received your written offer it is important for them to get the placement offer approved by the Faculty Placement Place team at Royal Holloway. The Programme Officer will draw up a Workplace Agreement which is a tripartite agreement which needs to be signed by yourself (the placement provider), the student and the Placement Year Academic Director. This document clearly sets out the expectations for each party and should include details of the placement provider’s Employer and Public Liability Insurance. The student will send you, their placement provider, a copy of the Agreement for completion and signature.
What support should employers offer placement students?
Placement employers should:
- Provide a paid placement for a full-time role with contract of employment for a minimum of 9 months and up to 12 months.
- Provide a programme of meaningful work with genuine responsibility and the chance to meet the learning objectives of the pleacement year programme.
- Provide an induction to the student with clear details of terms and conditions, including health and safety, regulations (e.g. holiday/sickness/grievance policy) and information on the company.
- Ensure that while the student is on company premises or business that they will be covered by government health and safety regulations in line with other employees.
- Provide a mentor or supervisor who can provide adequate supervision in the workplace and give guidance and feedback to the student. This individual should be available to meet the college representative when they visit and provide a twelve-week update and then a report at the end of the placement confirming whether the student has performed satisfactorily.
Be aware of the nature of the academic course that the student is following and facilitate the student’s completion of the Placement Year work and attendance at call back afternoons (x2) and workplace visits (x1).
What can employers expect from the placement student?
You should expect placement students to:
- Comply with the policies and procedures of the placement organisation and report any concerns about health and safety to their placement provider.
- Accept instruction from the placement supervisor/mentor and perform to standards set by the placement provider.
- To take responsibility for their work, maintain confidentiality and not do anything which would bring the university or placement provider into disrepute.
- Inform the placement provider with any access or support needs which may require adjustment.
- To complete all reports, records and assessment for Royal Holloway, attend call back afternoons and visit by College representative
What support should the University offer placement students?
You should expect the University to:
- Conduct a pre-placement briefing with the student to help in their preparation for the placement.
- Deal with all concerns, problems and complaints raised by the placement provider and/or student.
- Arrange call back afternoons/ work place visit and/ or other appropriate means of communication with the student in order to provide support during the placement year.
- Conduct a follow-up session after the placement to consolidate learning from the year in business