Employers Interested in Industrial Placements

Information for Employers

The industrial experience year is an option offered to students studying for a BEng or MEng degree in the School of Engineering and Materials Science.

This offers the student a chance to spend a year working with an employer in a role related to their degree subject, and offers you, as an employer, the chance to gain a talented, motivated employee for a year to help deliver, for example, a new project. 

The aim for students is to:

  • Make an effective contribution to the workplace and apply their technical skills to real life business problems
  • Demonstrate the ability to reflect on their experience and to evaluate their performance
  • Identify, reflect on and plan for their own personal and professional development needs
  • Develop and improve their technical, transferable and interpersonal skills.

What are the potential benefits for employers? 

As well as providing students with valuable opportunities to enhance their employability skills, there are also clear benefits to the organisation in employing a placement student, including:

  • Gaining access to talented and motivated people who can bring new ideas and enthusiasm
  • Providing a cost effective skilled staff resource to work on new projects/business initiatives
  • Allowing you to ‘test-drive’ a student’s potential for permanent, future employment with your organisation
  • We have an incredibly diverse student body so, as well as their technical skills, your business could also benefit from the international experiences, culture and language skills that many of our students bring.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • How do the placements work for undergraduate students?

    Students apply for placements during the second year or third year of their course and take up the post in the Summer following their second year or third year exams (June-September).

    Their placement finishes by September of the following year, when they return to University to complete the final year of their degree.

    From start to finish, a placement for an undergraduate must last for a minimum of 9 months.

  • What are the particular benefits of employing an undergraduate student?

    • Our undergraduate students study a broad range of subjects during the first two years of their degree so will come to you with a range of technical skills
    • They’ll also bring a wealth of enthusiasm to learn and gain the from the experience
    • You may find that, as few will have much experience in a business like yours, they will quickly adapt to ‘your way’ of doing things rather than having ingrained ways of working.
  • What support does the University provide?

    The University will provide support throughout the entire placement process.

    We will:

    • Advertise your vacancy and assist with the recruitment process as required (at no cost)
    • Ensure that the student is fully aware of the requirements of the placement year
    • Ensure that you are aware of any requirements and responsibilities you have to the student before beginning the placement
    • Be in regular contact with the student and visit them in their place of work during the placement year to ensure everything is going well
    • Be available for you to contact (through our dedicated industrial placement manager) at any time during the placement with any queries or concerns you may have.
  • How much does it cost to employ a student?

    We do expect our students to receive a fair salary for the year’s work and the rate of pay varies widely according to the sector and role. Over the past few years salaries have ranged from £12K to £25K per annum.

  • Do I have any long term employment obligations?

    No. You decide the precise length of the contract (within the limitations set out above) and following this, have no further employment obligations.

    This makes the scheme an ideal option if you want to fill a skills gap or complete a fixed project without the long term commitment of a permanent employee.

    In practice, however, we often see employers so impressed with our students that they decide to offer them a permanent position after they’ve completed their degree.

  • How about visas for international students?

    As the work placement is an integral part of their degree programme, overseas students doing a placement do not need additional work visas or paperwork from you as the employer.

If you would like to advertise a vacancy or ask any questions about employing one of our students please contact:

Helen Green
Industrial Placements Officer