NWBLT Member MMU supports Placer to encourage work experience for students

Employers need work-ready graduates, and students need work experience to gain the skills employers demand. Currently, there is a lack in volume and quality of work experience placements on offer, as well as barriers for students from low income backgrounds or those without word-of-mouth connections.

The success of any business is determined by their ability to find the best recruits. Many employers want to employ graduates but are also looking for people who have experience of the workplace. That’s why it’s vital to increase the number of work experience opportunities available to students so that they can develop the job-specific skills they need before they graduate.

Increasingly, businesses will be embracing work experience as an opportunity to tap into a pool of student talent when they need extra manpower – anything from hour or day-long tasters, week-long placements, discrete projects to long-term placements. And it’s the perfect way of introducing new ideas and perspectives into a workplace.

Connecting employers with millennial talent

Placer, is an innovative platform and app developed in partnership with universities to overcome the shortage of quality work experience opportunities available to students. It is the first work experience app and platform to partner with universities – it connects students with employers via a co-branded app for universities to promote as their own.

The app aims to increase the number of university students gaining work experience and enables students to swipe left or right to find work experience opportunities.

Placer promotes diversity and seeks to reduce unconscious bias by encouraging more employers to offer work experience opportunities based on students’ skills and abilities, not just on their existing connections.

David Barker, Project Director of Placer

Partnering with universities

Manchester Metropolitan University is just one of the universities that have signed up Placer, connecting their talented student talent pool with employers offering work experience.

Mark Diggle, ‎Director of Careers & Employability Services at ‎Manchester Metropolitan University (MMU) says:

“Work experience helps challenge students’ perceptions of the workplace and build a sense of what is possible for their future careers. It is therefore crucial that work experience is offered in a way that captures the interest of students via a medium that will inspire and encourage their engagement.

Manchester Metropolitan University has one of the largest undergraduate student populations and the North West of England is a buoyant labour market with a large number of students remaining in the region after graduation and seeking employment with local businesses. What our students need therefore, is access to a greater volume and variety of local opportunities.

As a university we are dedicated to the ongoing employability of our students. We are excited to partner with Placer to enable our students to access diverse and high-quality work experience, locally.”

By offering high-quality work experience programmes, employers can cultivate their relationship with – and get the best out of – the next generation of talent.

The Placer concept has been developed in partnership between the National Centre for Universities and Business (NCUB), Unite Students and Jisc.

If you’re an employer looking to offer work experience, or you already do, find out more and register with Placer  placer.co.uk/employers