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Roles and responsibilities – supporting learners on their placement

This article helps you allocate responsibilities to different departments/people in your organisation. In some organisations, some of these functions may be carried out by the same person or team.

Senior managers/sponsors

Planning and preparation

  • Decide who leads on T Levels and industry placements for your organisation
  • Link the initiative to wider business goals
  • Identify any relevant high-level internal processes that might be affected

Final preparations

  • Demonstrate your commitment to industry placements, inspiring and motivating your team to contribute
  • Communicate the purpose of, and business reasons for, industry placements

During placements

  • Contribute to students’ induction

Review and evaluation

  • Review the benefits and value to your organisation
  • Decide whether to offer more placements in the same or other areas of the business
  • Share successes and celebrate achievement

Learning and development function

Planning and preparation

  • Identify the key people who will be involved with placements
  • Nominate a suitable person to supervise the student, and someone to mentor them (who could be the same person)
  • Build their knowledge and confidence, and provide support where needed

Final preparations

  • Work with the college or school, and the line manager, to develop a suitable schedule of projects
    and activities for the student
  • Liaise with a second employer, if it’s a shared placement
  • Identify any extra training that students could benefit from
  • Organise students’ induction

During placements

  • Arrange regular check-ins or reviews with supervisors or mentors, to pick up successes and
    challenges
  • Check the relationship between students and their supervisors, to see that all is well

Review and evaluation

  • Review the benefits and value to your organisation
  • Feed into senior leaders’ discussions about whether to offer more placements in the same or other areas of the business
  • Share successes and celebrate achievement

Human Resources function

Planning and preparation

  • Work with senior leaders and sponsors to build industry placements into their workforce development strategy
  • Brief the college or school on the types of students you want for placements, so they know the
    characteristics and skills you’re looking for
  • Write a role description for the student
  • Decide if any payments will be made to students
  • Review and agree legal and policy requirements
  • Discuss with your college or school how you might support students with special educational needs or disabilities
  • Decide if you are going to hold a CV screening and/or an interview process and organise these with the college or school

Final preparations

  • Demonstrate your commitment to industry placements, inspiring and motivating your staff to contribute
  • Communicate the purpose of, and business reasons for, industry placements
  • Agree and sign the industry placement agreement with the college or school and student
  • Check that induction covers everything needed from an HR perspective

During placements

  • Produce joining instructions and expectations for the student before they start their placement

Review and evaluation

  • Review the benefits and value to your organisation
  • Feed into senior leaders’ discussions about whether to offer more placements in the same or other areas of the business
  • Share successes and celebrate achievement

Line manager/mentor

Planning and preparation

  • Check with the college or school about what the placement aims to achieve and how it links to the students’ courses
  • Consider your own expertise and confidence in supervising and mentoring and ask for a refresher if it would help

Final preparations

  • Agree and sign the industry placement agreement with the college, school or other training provider and the student, including the student’s working hours, development objectives and learning goals, and other arrangements
  • Help design placement projects so that students’ tasks are in a logical order for their course and for your organisation
  • Prepare induction activities to welcome students

During placements

  • Contribute to students’ induction
  • Check that each student understands their induction and is happy with it
  • Monitor students closely at first and check they are settling in
  • Support and guide students about how to communicate effectively with work colleagues
  • Use planned and unplanned opportunities for students to practise their skills and step out of their comfort zone
  • Support students to develop the practical skills needed to do the job well – this could include training on specific processes, systems or software
  • Let them experience a variety of projects and activities, avoiding repetition
  • Monitor students’ progress
  • Give regular feedback so that students know when they are and aren’t meeting expectations, what they’re doing well and how they can improve
  • Contribute to progress reviews at the mid-point of the placement
  • Tell the college or school about any successes or concerns, so they can give students extra support

Review and evaluation

  • Contribute to end-of-placement review, giving feedback on each student’s commitment, achievements and behaviours, and summarising the practical skills the student has gained
  • Write an appraisal for the student at the end of their placement

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