Employer Guide Undergraduate Placement Year and Work Experience Services
Engaging an undergraduate student on a placement year or internship can be an excellent starting route when considering your talent pipeline and filling your graduate level positions. Warwick is in the top 10 universities targeted by employers, for good reason (The Graduate Market Report 2021). With the preparation that we offer in WBS, our students could quickly make a positive impact in your organisation.
What skills can our undergraduate students bring to your organisation? We have talented students from 74 countries studying Management, Accounting and Finance, International Business (with languages), International Management, and Law and Business (2020/21 cohort). Our undergraduate degrees include a range of elective modules such as HR, marketing, logistics, strategy, entrepreneurship, sustainability, information systems management, and customer service management. Our students are keen to gain experience in a wide variety of business functions and provide a useful resource for your organisation. Additionally, many WBS undergraduate modules involve significant group work within a multicultural cohort and therefore students are able to develop a range of soft skills within their degree programme, including teamwork, communication, leadership and organisation.
“The WBS CareersPlus team has been fantastic for helping Accenture engage with its students. We have had the opportunity to meet with the undergraduate cohort face to face at events including their annual Placements Fair and in bespoke sessions such as ‘The importance of Mental Health’. We have also advertised our opportunities digitally using their internal jobs board. The quality of their work and overall contributions to life at Accenture marks WBS as being one of the forefront
university faculties in the UK. We would recommend the WBS CareersPlus team to any potential employer who is looking to attract top talent.” Oliver Rawlinson Senior Recruiter, Accenture
The benefits of hosting a student
Consider your options
■ Summer internships These sit over the summer vacation period and usually start around the beginning of July and finish by mid-September. Summer internships generally last six to 12 weeks on average, however the duration that you offer is completely dependent on your business needs. You are able to promote these opportunities at any point in the academic year, as long as your recruitment process is completed in advance of the summer period. ■ Spring weeks and Insight programmes These are a great opportunity to talent spot or fast track early year students into your summer internship or placement year roles for the following year, and provide students with a taste of what it is like to work for your organisation or sector. These usually take place over the spring vacation period (end of March/beginning of April), and last anywhere from one day to a full week. ■ General work experience Additionally, you may wish to offer a student some general work experience throughout term time and/or during the vacation periods. Please note that our service does not encourage students to complete more than 20 hours of work experience per week during term time. Additionally, potential visa restrictions with international students may also need to be adhered to. The hours worked should also be flexibly based around a student’s academic commitments.
■ Raise the profile of your career opportunities and brand
■ Recruit early into your graduate talent pipelines - we can also promote your spring week, insight programme, or general work experience roles
■ Gain fresh ideas and an external perspective
■ Short-term resource for your company
■ Develop management skills for your existing staff ■ Recruit from a very diverse range of students from a wide range of backgrounds and cultures
■ Limited recruitment budget? WBS CareersPlus services are free.
■ Placement year Please read on for everything that you’ll need to know…
Any of these roles can be offered virtually or in your offices. Please note that any summer internships or general work experience roles that we promote should be paid at least national minimum wage, and be in line with any UK government guidelines (or in line with any similar international laws if they are based abroad).
Find outstanding candidates with support from our CareersPlus team Our dedicated CareersPlus team can help you to identify the best candidates for your placement and internship opportunities, and work with our students to fully prepare them for their applications and employment offers. We will promote your roles via our internal jobs board, my.wbs portal, exclusive social media channels to WBS students and in our careers eNewsletter upon request. Our team can arrange employer events, allowing you to engage with our students and support you in your recruitment activity either virtually or on campus. This could include delivering an employer presentation or webinar, attending one of our virtual or on campus placement or internship events, or arranging a networking or talent sourcing session on behalf of your company. Additionally, we can promote virtual or face-to-face ‘in house’ events that you may have organised yourselves through our CareersPlus channels. Any advertising, including event organisation, is free for employers. For further information and to advertise your work experience opportunities with us, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org If you are interested in promoting your graduate positions, or engaging with our Masters students or experienced professionals who are studying an MBA, we can also connect you with our wider Employer Relations team. E
“The WBS placement programme was a great opportunity for us when looking for candidates to join our Digital Marketing teams. Their students show a strong level of maturity and business approach, allowing them to be discovered within the Digital Marketing environment in an agency, and supporting our teams with managing top international clients. The WBS placements team supported students during their placement year and were really helpful during all the steps in the process. We would strongly recommend WBS to any employer looking for future teammembers.” Charlotte Silo Intern & Talent Acquisition, Artefact Paris
“The main benefit that I have received from undertaking my placement year has been the huge confidence boost in both my personal and professional self. My placement year has provided me with a head start in my career, as I have experienced the expectations of working for a particular business sector first hand and received the opportunity to gain a taste of what organisational culture means and how it impacts your daily working life.” Vlad Mazurencu-Marinescu BSc Accounting and Finance, Operate - Business Placement, PwC
Hear from employers and students on their placement experience withWBS W wbs.ac.uk/go/placementfilm
What makes a good placement year role?
Undergraduate Partnership Programme (UPP) If your company is offering a placement year role within the area of accounting, finance or professional services, then you may be interested in the Undergraduate Partnership Programme (UPP). This is a unique scheme, developed in collaboration with the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW), WBS, and two other leading UK business schools. If you are an ICAEW authorised training employer, ranging from a large international accountancy firm to a locally based SME, our Management or Accounting and Finance students’ placement year with you can be recognised as the first year of their ACA qualification. They can then return to you as a graduate with this year’s worth of training already completed. For further information on the UPP, please contact Jenny Maynard, UPP Course Director Jenny.Maynard@wbs.ac.uk E
Essential criteria ■ Placement year roles should be relevant to the student’s degree discipline and therefore be related to a particular area of business. ■ Students taking this option are expected to complete a minimum of nine months employment, in a maximum of two roles over the year. Any placements that are offered should be three months minimum in duration. ■ Placements should meet national minimum wage requirements if they are based in the UK (or the equivalent to any other legal international minimum wage requirements if based abroad). ■ All placement year opportunities would need to commence and finish outside of a student’s official term time period. University of Warwick term dates can be viewed here: warwick.ac.uk/study/termdates W ■ Students from across all of our disciplines are interested in completing placements within all types of companies, across a variety of different sectors, in both large organisations and local SMEs. These range from finance, healthcare, FMCG, law, government and public bodies to energy, banking, consulting, technology, and many more. ■ Our students can undertake a placement year in the UK or overseas. Due to potential Covid-19 restrictions, where a student cannot be offered a face-to-face experience, virtual opportunities would also be considered on a case-by-case basis.
Is a placement year compulsory or optional at WBS? Students on our Accounting and Finance, Management, and Law and Business courses currently have the option to undertake a placement year in between their penultimate and final year of study (and can decide whether to undertake this option during their second year). Any undergraduate students entering our Management or Accounting and Finance courses from 2022 onwards can opt to select a ‘with placement year’ route before they commence their studies. Placements undertaken by students on these courses can be based in the UK or internationally. Students on our International Business and International Management courses undertake a compulsory year abroad in between their penultimate and final year of study. As part of this year abroad, students have the option to conduct a placement within a country that they have not been used to living or working in previously. International placements can be anywhere in the world, providing that the location is safe and the work environment does not pose any health or safety hazards. Traditionally, we find that the majority of students on these courses participate in two experiences across their year abroad, although some do prefer a single one. We are an international employer – do students have specific language skills if we offer placements abroad? If you are hoping to recruit students with specific language skills, please clearly specify this in your job advert/description. Our undergraduate cohort is hugely diverse and students choose to study at WBS from all over the world; some may have any specific language skills or criteria that match your requirements.
All students who study in WBS will be able to speak the English language competently. Students studying our International Business course will be studying a language as part of their degree, either French, German, Spanish or Italian. These students will need to conduct a placement
within a country where their chosen language is spoken. Do employers need to pay placement year students?
WBS would expect your organisation to offer some kind of financial remuneration package in order for students to fund the cost of everyday living during their placement year. Placements must meet national minimumwage requirements if they are based in the UK (or the equivalent to any other legal international national minimumwage requirements if based abroad). In order to attract the best talent, we would advise offering a competitive salary or whatever is similarly offered in your industry across the job market. WBS would not seek to encourage or support any ongoing unpaid work experience or placements. What hiring procedures would we need to adhere to? Placement students would be expected to go through any official application processes that are required with your organisation, similar to all other candidates. Upon offer stage, an official contract with your organisation’s employment terms and conditions would need to be supplied and students would need to provide WBS with a copy of this in order for their placement to be formally approved. Contracts should also clearly outline the student’s job title, duties and responsibilities, location of placement, and salary information.
We are a UK based company. Can we hire non-UK/Irish students for a placement year? You can, provided the University deems the placement an integral and assessed part of their course and the placement is no more than 50% of the duration of the course. Our international students (including those from within and outside of Europe) are eligible to undertake a placement year as part of their course and work full-time during this period, as WBS considers this to be an assessed and integral part of the course. Students studying a full-time course may have their own immigration permission which allows them to remain in the UK such as the ‘Pre- Settled’ or ‘Settled’ status under the EU Settlement Scheme, or a student visa (including Tier 4) which is valid for the duration of their course plus four months. If a student holding a student visa is on a three- year course and they secure a work placement in their second year, they will need to extend their visa (before or after their work placement year, and before their current visa expiry date) for a further 12 months to take into account the additional time required to complete their course. The Student Immigration and Compliance team at the University will be able to assist them with this process.
In terms of contract length and duration, any placements which are offered should be at least three months minimum in duration. Dates and durations of roles that are offered, including start and finish dates, should be included on the student’s contract. Start and finish dates must be outside of the University of Warwick’s term period. Term dates can be viewed here: warwick.ac.uk/study/termdates It is common for any probation periods and disciplinary procedures to be included within official contracts. In the extremely rare case of any problems occurring, students on placement would need to be treated similarly to any other employees within your business and managed by your HR department, in line with any appropriate policies and procedures that are in place and relevant employment legislation. Please inform our Undergraduate Programme office of any serious problems or emergencies that you may encounter with a student on placement at email@example.com. If students are experiencing any mitigating circumstances during their placement, they should also be encouraged to reach out directly to their personal or senior tutor throughout the year. W
“My relationship with WBS has been one of the most valuable connections that I have ever made. In addition to studying my MBA in 2011, I have found a source of inspiring talent in the placement service over recent years. We started two years ago by recruiting our first student, and we continue in a process that has been very fruitful for Crowe Spain. The ability of WBS students who have undertaken placements and internships at Crowe is outstanding; they provide us with diversity and excellent training in various areas of our practice, overcoming any cultural or linguistic barriers. In WBS students and graduates, we find the profile that we believe completes the professional needs in our environment: solid training, a great capacity for adaptation and an entrepreneurial spirit that has generated very positive results in the rest of our team.” Luis Piacenza Chief Operating Officer, Crowe Spain
insurances in place, as well as any appropriate policies in line with the above. Additional support may also need to be considered if a student declares any form of disability within their application and upon being offered a role within your company. Further information on recent risk assessments can be viewed here:
placement with an international employer or study at a partner university to WBS. If they decide to work, they must have secured an opportunity with an employer for the beginning of their year abroad/placement year by March in their second year of study. If they decide to split the year and undertake two experiences, these students must secure an opportunity for the second half of their year abroad by October, later that year. Please note that these deadlines are in place as WBS can currently offer students a study abroad placement at a partner university by these dates, throughout their year abroad, and if they don’t secure a work placement opportunity. What do I need to consider in terms of a student’s health and safety? Upon receiving a placement offer, students will be expected to complete a health and safety risk assessment formwith you. This will request information around health and safety policies that exist within your workplace as well as accident and incident procedures. Your organisation must ensure that you have the appropriate employer and public liability
Should you wish to offer an international student a graduate role, for the following year upon successful completion of their placement role, you can do so while they hold a two-year (three years for PhD graduates) Graduate Route visa (this visa route opens on 1 July 2021). If you wish to sponsor them to work in the UK long term, you will need to ensure that your company has the appropriate license to sponsor Skilled Workers. Does our organisation need to make any offers to students by a specific deadline date? Students on our Accounting and Finance, Law and Business, and Management courses should have ideally secured a placement year role towards the end of May (for a start date of whenever the summer term finishes that same academic year, onwards). Ideally, students will need to have received their contracts and have their secured opportunity formally approved by WBS by this date as well. International Business and International Management students have the option on their year abroad to either undertake a work
Do I need to complete any paperwork during the placement? In addition to providing an appropriate contract, job advert/description, and completing any relevant health and safety forms, students undertaking a placement year are required to complete a reflective report on their placement experience. Students may request for you to complete a written reference to include within this. Students who work for you will most likely ask for somebody appropriate within your organisation to act as a future reference on their behalf going forward as well.
What next? We are always happy to help you with any queries you might have. T +44 (0)24 765 73370 E firstname.lastname@example.org W wbs.ac.uk/business/recruitment
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