Hosting Industry Placements for the First Time


Hosting a student on an industry placement is usually fairly straightforward once you know what to do. 

Thousands of employers like you have gone through the process for the first time so there’s loads of good practice to draw on. This resource uses their experience as first-time hosts to make yours even easier.

There are just four stages in preparing a placement and hosting a student. You only have to do a few things at each stage, though they are all important. As you go through the resource, you’ll see how employers decide practical details such as where to host students, when, how long for, who’ll support them, and so on.

You’ll also hear employers talking about the benefits that hosting a student brings to everyone involved – you, your staff, your local community and of course the student.


Who this resource is for

  • Employers that are thinking of offering a placement but haven’t decided yet.
  • Managers who want to know more about what hosting a student involves.
  • Line managers and staff who will help to support students. 


About the resource

This resource explains what’s involved in hosting students. It shows how different employers plan, prepare and manage placements successfully. 

It contains:

  • A video featuring employers talking about how they plan placements and get ready to host students.
  • Short summaries of the four stages of preparing and hosting a student on a placement. 
  • Examples of three employers with different approaches to delivering placements.
  • Checklist of ‘top tips’ at each placement stage. 
  • A downloadable action planning template.   

You can use it to:

  • Become more confident about hosting a student;
  • Encourage other people in your organisation to get involved; 
  • Plan the stages of setting up and managing an industry placement. 


Videos – Why you can feel confident about being a placement host

These short videos share the real experience of hosting T Level students on industry placements, so that more employers can develop the know-how and confidence to host students themselves. 

They are aimed at employers who are thinking about offering an industry placement for the first time.

Watch the videos to find out how employers prepare placements and host students. 

There are five videos. Click on the first to watch them all straight through without a break, or click on each one to watch it separately:

  1. How to feel confident about hosting an industry placement for the first time
  2. Planning the placement 
  3. Selecting a student 
  4. Onboarding the student 
  5. Supporting the student


Placement stages

These are the four main stages in preparing for and hosting an industry placement. Some employers choose not to go through a full selection stage, but they still need to give some information to the provider to help them select an appropriate student.


  • Be clear about why you’re offering a placement
  • Work out when (start and end), where (department, location) and who (supervision, support)
  • Decide how to deliver it – on your own, with another employer, in blocks of time or a day a week
  • Find a provider and talk through your plan with them
  • Think about the attitudes, skills and knowledge you want from a student
  • Write a job description and role profile
  • Invite students to apply (your provider will help with this)
  • Interview, assess and select your student
  • Use your normal process for new recruits and apprentices 
  • Agree the process with the department or team hosting the student 
  • Assign the student a line manager and mentor or buddy 
  • Allow enough time for the student to settle in and gain confidence
  • Give the student interesting, relevant and varied work
  • Show them what to do, observe their performance, and give feedback to help them to improve their skills
  • Actively support the student by mentoring or buddying them
  • Review their progress and check that the experience is useful to them


Examples – different approaches to placement delivery

Watch these short video clips to see three employers with different approaches to delivering industry placements. All three approaches are valid and work well. Use the experience of these employers to help define an approach that works for you.

  1. Describes how an employer plans the placement in advance, matching the work students do on site to the topics they study in their T Level. [V5 00.00-00.16]
  2. Shows a different approach, assuming that if students are given real experience of work, they will apply the knowledge and learned in the classroom. [V5 00.16-00.31]
  3. Combines these two approaches, doing some advance planning but also taking advantage of the opportunities to apply skills and knowledge that occur naturally in the workplace. [V6 00.00-00.22]


Checklist – top tips

These 12 tips come from employers hosting a student for the first time. Use their experiences to remind yourselves about what’s important at each placement stage.


  • Decide what your student will do – their job role (or roles), which department(s) they will work in
  • Work out your approach – when the student will come to you, how long for, whether you share the placement with another employer etc.
  • Prepare the ground – the people around the student, the process of hosting them, the role of your provider and so on
  • Think about what you’re looking for – which attitudes and skills matter most to you? 
  • Say what you’re looking for – create a short job description or role profile so applicants (and their provider) can decide if they’re likely to fit 
  • Interview the student(s) – it’s your chance to get to know them and it’s their first experience of you
  • Do it as usual – use the same approach as you would for any new recruit or apprentice
  • Allow enough time – for the student to settle in and start to feel confident in their new environment
  • Pick the right people – to welcome your student, show them the ropes and introduce them to  their team
  • Keep your student busy – give them meaningful work that contributes to the team
  • Give them someone to talk to – a mentor or buddy who they can go to and who looks out for them
  • Learn about them – what they can do, what motivates them, the ideas they have, where they’re heading, who they are


Action plan

Use this downloadable template to get ready for hosting a student.

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