Placer - a work experience app

Placer - a work experience app
Placer work placement platform
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Work placements: what you need to know

High quality work placements can bring a range of benefits and positive impacts. There is compelling evidence to suggest that placements and work experience are extremely valuable to students, both in terms of their academic performance and their employability skills. With many employers preferring candidates to have a combination of experience and good grades, placements are becoming an increasingly significant element of a graduate’s CV.

“The research is clear: undergraduates with work experience are more likely to be employed,
have increased confidence, attain better classifications of degree, and get a better job faster.”

What is a quality placement?

Not all placements are the same - they can range from a few days to a year and cover all sorts of subjects. Unfortunately, they also vary in quality. NCUB has researched what makes a 'quality' placement and found there are four things to keep in mind when you're searching and applying for placements.

  • A good placement is challenging and relevant: The opportunity must be a step up from whatever a student might do in a part-time job, and there must be learning opportunities involved. Quality placements must be linked to either study goals or long-term career plans.

  • It should also be engaging and motivating: Students should have a good understanding of what they can gain from a placement, and be motivated by the challenge.

  • It should be a real opportunity: Students should be treated an employee. They should be considered part of the wider workforce and given all the opportunities and support available to a member of staff.

  • The placement should be monitored and reflected upon: To ensure the welfare of the student, and that the expectations of all parties are being met, placements should be properly monitored on. Opportunities for reflection after completion are also important for building a quality experience.

Whether you’re new to university or a couple of years into your course, a good placement could enhance your knowledge and skills and enable you to provide evidence of your experiences on your CV.

Are there various kinds of placements?

Yes. Placements come in all shapes and sizes. The work experience app, Placer, includes everything from taster days and shadowing to structured, long-term placements.

Do I have to do the placement during term-time?

No. You can apply for a placement all year round – this could be during summer holidays. With apps like Placer, you can look for placements both at your university and your home address at the same time.

How do I search for a work placement?

There are many websites and agencies that can help you find a placement in your chosen sector. Our work experience app, Placer, lets students load profiles to match with work experience opportunities and gain skills badges of credits for key skills earned through work experience.

Placer nl

"94% of students said they would use the Placer app describing it as “smart and appealing … straightforward and easy to sign up … clean and clear – very accessible”

You can also check your university website for placement adverts. Your university may be able to help you in setting up a work placement not advertised online. Whether you’re looking for a placement in television or aeronautical engineering, your educational institution may already have agreements with local industries which you could benefit from.

Other useful websites for finding a work placement:

*NB: NCUB does not formally endorse all of the organisations below or control their content.

Absolute Internship

Explore the world and develop your global skills, with an international internship in Beijing, Hong Kong or Tokyo. Absolute Internship provides internship programs including  housing and transportation. They offer travel to and from the internship, group dinners, career speaker seminars, cultural excursions and weekend activities as well as 24-hour on-site support.

British Council

The British Council creates international opportunities for the people of the UK and other countries, and builds trust between them worldwide. They work in over 100 countries, connecting millions of people with the United Kingdom through programmes and services in the English language, the Arts, Education and Society. British Council believes these are the most effective means of engaging with others, and has been doing this work since 1934.

Cardiff University Careers
This site offers a range of careers advice and information, workshops, employer events, careers fairs and many other activities as detailed throughout the website.

These services and events have been designed with our customers in mind and offer a variety of platforms to promote the great range of career options available to students whilst studying and once they have graduated. You will also find a number of opportunities for employers, other careers related organisations and Cardiff University’s students, postgraduates and graduates to engage with one another. You can follow their career post on @CardiffCareers Twitter, too.

e-Placements Scotland

E-Placement Scotland is an IT industry-backed programme that helps match talented students with employers offering IT-related work placements. They have placements on everything from software development and mobile apps, to telecoms and digital technologies in a variety of industries. E-placements Scotland has created over 750 paid placements for students.

Engineering Development Trust: Year in Industry Scheme

EDT delivers over 30,000 STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) experiences each year, for young people age 11-21 across the UK.

Their range of work related learning schemes provides opportunities for young people to enhance their technical, personal and employability skills through industry-led projects, industrial placements and specialised taster courses. The YINI has placements for students interested in all areas of engineering, science, IT, e-commerce, business, marketing, finance and logistics.

All their placements give students the skills and knowledge employers are looking for, the experience needed to make the most of university – and students get to earn while they learn.


Enternships works with the best universities in the country from Oxford and Cambridge, LSE and Imperial to Durham and Edinburgh, managing applications for all manner of internships.

The company showcases exciting, interesting and potentially game-changing opportunities to the brilliant youth of today. On average job adverts receive between 30 and 80 applications over 30 days, so get cracking ASAP to get your profile noticed.

Go Wales

GO Wales project finished at the end of 2014. They hope to make applications for European Structural Funding for a new phase of GO Wales in 2015, so it’s worth watching this space for more information.


GradIntel works in partnership with universities to provide students and graduates with online access to the official record of their higher education achievements. Student and graduates can use Gradintel to share these verified documents in support of further study and job applications to evidence their credentials.

Graduate Advantage

Graduate Advantage offers a range of internships across the West Midlands that could give you that edge.

Their internships are sourced locally from West Midlands' small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) looking to recruit graduate talent. Internships can last up to 12 months and can be part-time or full-time. They are available in all sectors including: Finance, Marketing, Management, Graphic Design, IT, Engineering, and many, many more. All are paid and could lead to permanent positions.

Graduate Monster

Many of you will have heard of the recruitment website Monster, but did you know Monster has a placements section, too? You can search geographically and by subject, seek career advice and upload your CV for potential recruitment.

Graduate talent pool

Graduate Talent Pool is a new service that matches graduates with internship opportunities. On this site you can search and apply for internship vacancies posted by employers.

Intern Avenue

This is a very useful directory for interns, with all manner of different companies advertising their internships here. You can create a profile and recruiters will instantly be able to see your qualifications. The site also have lots of integrated content, such as the Intern Avenue Blog.

Inspiring Interns

Inspiring Interns helps students and graduates find great internships that offer fantastic experience and lead to permanent jobs. They’re dedicated to creating brilliant internship opportunities – 65% of which lead to full-time jobs.  They cover all sorts of sectors, from marketing and advertising to finance and IT, and have hundreds of roles at any given time. Upload your CV and take a look at the opportunities.

A simple jobs site, specifically tailored for engineering students. You can upload your CV, subscribe to job/intern email lists and browse by a handy variety of categories.

Rate my Placement

A unique site similar to; Rate my Placement lists opportunities and rates them according to users’ experiences. The reviews act as an additional safety net for anyone concerned about how worthwhile the experience may be. Users can comment and browse placements by category.

SEPnet Placements for Students of SEPnet Partner Universities

SEPnet (South East Physics Network) offers 8 week summer placements to physics undergraduates from its 9 partner physics departments (Hertfordshire, Kent, Portsmouth, Queen Mary London, Royal Holloway London, Southampton, Surrey, Sussex and Open University).


Step is the UK’s leading organiser of paid student work placements and graduate internships. It’s a good source of resources on employability, universities and prospective employers, as well as useful content within the company blog.

Student Ladder
This is a substantial source of internship/placement scheme information, categorised by age group. Uniquely, the internship age range spans from GCSE/Year 12, all the way up to university graduate placement level. The site has information on over 2500 Work Placements and 100 School Leaver Programmes for those not going to university.

It also offers application Advice on CVs, interviews, online tests and assessment centres, providing information, guidance and advice from GCSE through to graduation.

Students on placement is an online tool which helps to enhance employability through university work placements. There’s plenty of useful content and a blog offering guidance and support to people at the beginning of their careers.

Placement opportunities - University of South Wales

A page with useful opportunities for internships, for students from South Wales.

Third Sector Internships Scotland

Third Sector Internships Scotland helps students to find paid work experience in the Third Sector. Through the TSIS programme, students are offered outstanding opportunities to develop their skills and experience whilst contributing to the vital work of Scotland's third sector.  They also offer support and guidance to voluntary organisations, charities and social enterprises to help them develop and host quality internships that really do make a difference.

Yorkshire Graduates

Yorkshire Graduates covers the whole of the Yorkshire region, as well as every sector of the jobs market from Advertising and Administration through to Engineering and the Voluntary Sector. Our jobs include graduate internships and graduate schemes in addition to graduate jobs – all the opportunities that you need to start your career after university.

Other things you may be interested in

journey from student to placement student
seven untrue myths about student placements

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