The Department of Science has long established links with industries across the South East and beyond. These links are continuously growing through engagement of “industry experienced staff” and with the recently established “School of Science and Computing Industry Board”. Employment-Academic partnerships allows for collaboration in the areas of; programme review and development, student recruitment and promotion, student placement, graduate recruitment, employee upskilling and lifelong learning and for innovative approaches in teaching, learning and research.
The Work Placement Programme for Science students at WIT is an integral, accredited module for many of our third year undergraduate students. Work Placement gives students the opportunity to apply the theory they have acquired on their degree programme to real-world problems and tasks, in an industry setting. It also enables third level institutions to interface more effectively with industry partners and to build relationships with companies in the region and nationally.
Work placement has many benefits for students, employers and WIT.
The overall benefit to students is the opportunity to integrate theory and practise in their chosen field by bringing their classroom learning into the real world. Their employability is increased by the need to focus on personal transferable skills, such as teamwork, self-motivation, analytical skills, communication, problem solving and taking criticism and direction.
Students will often develop greater self-confidence and self-awareness as a result of their experiences. The time spent in the workplace may cement their career aspirations and bring about a new sense of ambition, commitment and purpose and provides an enhanced understanding of the practicalities of the work environment.
Benefits of Work Placement to students
- Provides the opportunity to put course theory into practice.
- Chance to learn new knowledge and skills, both course-related and personal.
- Gives an insight into working life, develops self-awareness and supports students in making career decisions. It also helps students to become more confident in their skills and abilities and how they can contribute to an organisation.
- Development of the CV, highlighting new skills and achievements and enhances employability and job prospects after graduation.
- Creates a network of potential contacts for the future.
Work placement offers employers the opportunity to assess potential employees before awarding them longer-term contracts which can prove to be a very cost effective recruitment strategy. They can also benefit from the input of fresh ideas and innovations from enthusiastic and motivated students. For some employers, it is an opportunity to address short-term company needs such as covering staff leave, helping out at busy periods or undertaking projects for which no-one else has the time within the business.
Reasons employers recruit students
- Students offer a source of skilled labour and an insight into new practices being taught in HEIs and can bring new ideas and perspectives into the workplace.
- They can provide a flexible and cost-effective solution to recruitment needs and help ease staff workload at busy times.
- Employers can identify potential new recruits for future graduate recruitment, by giving them the opportunity to assess potential employees before awarding them longer-term contracts.
- It develops links with HEIs for a range of purposes, such as R&D.
The recruitment procedure at WIT is flexible and open to the needs of individual employers. In most cases, the Placement Coordinator advertises a job specification for the placement role internally to the students, with an indication of the skills required, etc.
Students apply for the role by submitting a CV and these are then sent to the employer for review. If students are shortlisted for interview, the Interview sessions can be held either at the WIT campus or the employer's premises.
A Best Practice Guide for Employers
A Best Practice Guide for Students
|Food Science with Business||Eleanor Kent||[email protected]|
|Pharmaceutical Science||Helen Hughes||[email protected]|
|Physics for Modern Technology||Claire Keary||[email protected]|
|Physics for Modern Technology||Cathy Walsh||[email protected]|
|Tom Kent||[email protected]|
|Horticulture||Cara Daly||[email protected]|
|Work Placement Secretary||Eleanor Reade||[email protected]|