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Having been enrolled with the WBL scheme for several years now, we have found many benefits to the programme. Students who demonstrate enthusiasm and a willingness to learn are often able to contribute to live working projects after a couple of weeks training. These students are a pleasure to have in the team for the 5 weeks & has often led to summer employment to assist the team during, typically, our busiest period (summer). We now have a member of full-time staff who first joined as part of this scheme.

How has the student’s role added value and benefit to your organisation?

It is pleasing to see students enjoy their time here and can encourage them to seek employment or further studies into the job specific, or the industry we work in. Having a student with us on placement can provide coaching opportunities to our existing staff and can assist with our continuous improvement to our internal development programme.

Can you offer advice to other organisations considering hosting second year undergraduates on work placement?

I would recommend the programme. Students demonstrating a positive attitude have added value to the team. It is rewarding to see them progress.

What would you say are the most important skills and quantities you look for in a prospective employee?

An ability to demonstrate assertiveness and application of skills acquired to job role applied for. If the candidate has researched the business, the industry we are in and ability to provide details/ask further inquisitive questions. Experience with specific software is advantageous.

Do you think it is important for students to undergo Work Based Learning during their studies?

I believe that the experience gained from a work based learning is only positive and can be a great addition to any CV prior to full time employment. The placement offers an insight to expectations within a workplace. It is an opportunity to apply and develop the skills previously acquired within a practical, professional, working environment. It can reaffirm to students whether a career within this sector would be a potential option for them or not.