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Working with the right college, school or other provider

Planning and preparation

Industry placements can be offered through further education colleges, independent training providers, sixth-form colleges, University Technical Colleges and schools, as part of T Levels and as part of other courses.

In this article, we are using the term ‘provider’ to refer to all the different types of organisation that can support industry placements.

Finding providers

You may already know providers, for example if you have apprenticeships or already offer work experience. Ask them what plans they have for industry placements and T Levels. Links with local providers are useful if you recruit locally, because they are likely to have students who live within easy travelling distance.

You can also:

  • call the Department for Education (DfE) on 08000 150600
  • contact organisations like the Chartered Institute for Professional Development (CIPD), Confederation of British Industry (CBI), Institute of Directors (IoD), trades unions, Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs) and Chambers of Commerce. Professional bodies and trade organisations in your industry may also be able to help.
  • ask other organisations if they can recommend a provider

How to choose a provider

You need to choose the provider you think will:

  • work with you to design a suitable placement model
  • deliver good quality training which matches the placement role
  • prepare students properly for the placement
  • support them while they are on it
  • help make sure the placement works well

Questions to discuss with the provider

Use these questions as the basis for conversations with colleges or schools you might work with on industry placements.

  • We’re interested in offering industry placements. Will you be delivering T Levels and/or other courses in the routes or occupations that we’re interested in?
  • How can we work together to decide on the best placement model (for example, day release, block release, mixed approach)?
  • If we want placements to happen at a specific time in the year, can you work with us to accommodate this (for example, in the summer holidays)?
  • We want students who are a good match with the placements we’re offering – how will you work with us to select the right students (for example, meet them informally, look at their CVs, formal interview)?
  • We have some ideas ourselves about how the placement could work – how will you help us design it?
  • How will you work with us to support students when they are in their placements with us?
  • We understand there’s some paperwork to do for industry placements – will you provide templates and checklists for us to use (for example, induction, health and safety, progress reviews)?
  • What checks will you do to make sure the placement is going well, and how would you involve us in them?
  • How will you help us understand what each student is doing with you? For example, the content of their course, how the industry placement fits into their course, how you review their progress, and, any progress they’ve made so far that will be relevant to their industry placement with us?
  • How will you prepare students for the placement in advance (for example, behaviours expected of them, importance of turning up on time etc.)?
  • If we take on students with special educational needs, disabilities or mental health requirements, how will you help us design the placement so that it takes account of their needs?

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