The College was one of just 21 colleges across England approved to test out the new industry placement scheme, which have been designed to develop a student’s skillset necessary for the modern work environment.
So far, Highbury students have enjoyed more than 60 high-quality industry placements, across numerous sectors including engineering, IT, catering, hospitality and media.
The placements not only benefit the student, they are also great for the employers as they can bring a fresh perspective into their business, gain from the extra resources that a student can provide and give existing staff the opportunity to develop their management and mentoring skills.
Connie Sheeran, Kirsty Ferrand and Harvey Sheehan are three engineering students who are already benefitting from the hands-on work experience.
They have been completing their placements with Mitie, a British strategic outsourcing and energy services company. Mitie provides infrastructure consultancy, facilities management, property management, energy and healthcare services.
Connie, who is looking to start an apprenticeship or find full-time employment after completing her course, said: “I think the placements are needed because it gives you more practical experience. I would recommend it to other students.
“If you’re looking for a Level 4 apprenticeship, companies might not employ a Level 3 student as they don’t have as much practical work experience. However, I have gained so much practical experience on this placement I have a much better chance of securing a Level 4 Apprenticeship. That’s the most important thing for me.”
The Level 3 students started their industry placements located within Oil Spill Response Limited, Southampton, in October.
Kirsty, who has accepted a place at Kingston University, London, said: “The placement has given me the experience I need in the workplace whereas in college we concentrate more on the theory. The company has been welcoming and they treat us like employees, which is nice.”
As part of the scheme, the students have worked at the Mitie site one to two days a week.
Harvey said: “I think the 45-day placements are good because it gives students the opportunity to see what working in a certain company might be like for them. There are various different types of engineering, so you might not like electrical engineering but you find mechanical engineering more interesting. It’s good to get a grasp of all of them and have a go, and I’ve had that here.”
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