The government’s new Industrial Strategy (BEIS, 2017) and the business plan from the Office for Students (2018) include specific focus on universities’ engagement with local economies and workplaces in the context of the graduate labour market. As placements provision in most higher education institutions (HEIs) has always featured roles in local companies, we suggest that switching the focus from graduates to placement students could offer a useful collaborative opportunity for local businesses to articulate what they want from future employees. Brighton Business School (BBS), University of Brighton has seen growing student demand for local placements and an increase in the number of placements offered by local companies, prompting academic and professional staff to consider a more systematic approach to expanding the school’s portfolio of local placements and its engagement with local employers. This paper will present a case study centred on the steps taken at BBS to improve provision, respond to student demand, and engage more productively with local businesses. It will highlight the lack of literature on local placements and demonstrate findings which echo existing research. It will also explore original outcomes such as how for some students local placements offer a convenience value but for others they are part of committing to living and working locally after graduation. The paper concludes with a set of recommendations for replicable practice at other HEIs, including mapping the extent of relationships with local employers and building on successful placements to increase opportunities.
|Title of host publication||ASET Annual Conference 2018|
|Subtitle of host publication||Proceedings of the 2018 Placement and Employability Professionals' Conference|
|Place of Publication||Sheffield|
|Number of pages||13|
|Publication status||Published - 1 Nov 2018|