Which industry placement models could work for you?
These are 3 typical models for placements: day release, block and mixed.
You can design a mix of all models to suit your business needs, as long as the placement is a minimum of 315 hours, with an average of 350 hours (the examples below use 350 hours).
The placement models in the diagrams below are not prescriptive: for example, placements don’t have to take place over 2 years. T Level students choose an occupational specialism during Year 1, so their industry placement could start later in Year 1, or even be delivered entirely in the second year.
The college or school will work with you to develop models that works for the student and for you.
Which model is best for you?
The models below are examples only and you will want to divide up the hours to suit your needs and the student’s needs. Here are some questions to think about:
- are there peaks and troughs in the work cycle?
- is there a time of year that’s best? When are you most confident that you can provide work and supervision?
- are there any projects planned that would influence the timing? When could your student contribute the most?
- how does the placement fit into the student’s course? Which model lets the student apply their coursework in their placement with you?
- can you offer the full number of hours, or would it be better to share the placement with another employer?
- if you are not able to offer the full hours, you can share the student’s learning objectives with another employer. See sharing industry placements with other organisations for more information.
- would fixed or flexible days work best (that is, on the same day or days each week, or using a more flexible approach based on when work is available)?
- how much is location and travel to work a factor? Is travel straightforward, or could this influence the pattern (for example, adjusting for winter timetables on public transport)?
(using c.350 average hours as examples)
Year 1: 1 day per week using, for example, 100 of the 350 hours
Year 2: 1 day per week using, for example, the 250 hours not used in year one
When this model works:
- Where a regularly, steady pattern suits the business
- When there are repeated tasks that need doing e.g. weekly
- To spread the supervision time from line managers and mentors
- When organisations take on volunteers
A landscaping company uses a day release model. They want to give the student experience of different tasks that take place through the four seasons. This means the student sees a full cycle and can lend a hand when there’s a lot to do.
Year 1: A single block using, for example, 175 of the 350 hours
Year 2: A single block using, for example, the 175 hours not used in year one
When this model works:
- In seasonal occupations e.g. agriculture and catering
- Where there are high levels of demand at particular times e.g. the NHS in winter, peak trading at Christmas and Easter for retailers
- In organisations with project-based assignments or client commissioned projects
- Where seeing the full cycle of business is important e.g. term at an education or child-care setting
- For rural-based employers
A pharmaceutical company runs experiments over several months. They need the student to work from the start of the experiment to the end, so use a multiple block release model. This works well for the student, who can study the relevant scientific subjects in between their practical work on the placement.
Year 1: 1 day per week, using 100 of the 350 hours, for example
Year 2: 1 day per week, using 150 hours, for example - A single block, using the remaining 100 hours
When this works:
- In industries with unpredictable workflow: e.g. digital/creative companies
- Where work is part-seasonal: e.g. weddings and Christmas season for hair and beauty firms
- When it makes sense to cover induction and settling-in during a block, then moving to day release afterwards
A creative agency takes a student every other week to carry out regular activities. When they are especially busy, they arrange to bring the student in for block release to work on a specific client project until it’s finished.
Mixed (year 2 only)
Year 2: 1 day per week using for 25 weeks using for example 200 hours or a single 20 day block using the remaining 150 hours
When this works:
- Where a T Level student chooses their specialism later in year 1
- In industries that have annual business cycles
A accountancy firm offers an industry placement to a student to allow them to spread the role across a whole financial year, culminating in a year-end project done as a block.