Microplacement programme receives £100,000 funding
CityCareers set to expand a placement programme set up by CityCareers that helps students to broaden their horizons
A programme run by CityCareers to help students explore different career options, has been granted £100,000 of funding from the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE). The Micro-placements programme, initially piloted with The City Law School, gives students the chance to do work placements in sectors unrelated to their field of study. It aims to make students aware of the many different careers available to them, help them to identify transferable skills gained through their degree and address inequality in the progression of certain student groups.
The Micro-placement programme was trialled last year with The City Law School, providing placements to LLB students during their summer holidays. The placements allowed students to gain non-legal work experience and enhance their employability skills, while exploring alternative career options.
The programme provides additional support to students from under-represented groups, low income backgrounds, students with no family history of higher education, or those who are disabled, Care Leavers or Looked After Children. Students from these groups are offered additional workshops and training on job applications, CVs and interview skills.
Following an application and assessment process, the programme then sources bespoke placements to suit the students’ needs.
Early trials of the programme have shown it is an effective way for students to explore new career options and to encourage them to begin career planning. It has also lead directly to students getting a job.
Expanding the programme
Gemma Kenyon, Head of Careers said the scheme aims to help students to broaden their horizons. She said:
We started the scheme with in the Law School because many students study law and naturally assume they will go on to become a lawyer or a barrister. Aside from law being an incredibly competitive industry to get into, many students decide later on that this path isn’t for them but are unsure what else they can do. Law degrees give students such a broad range of great skills which are applicable in lots of different areas and careers. The scheme allows students to research these more.
CityCareers will use the HEFCE funding to create two new posts, an Employer Engagement Advisor, who will liase with companies to source placements and an Administrator to manage the coordination of the scheme. The funding allows them to expand the scheme to 7 programmes across 4 Schools. They will soon be working with students from Actuarial Science, Accounting and Finance, Mathematics, Psychology, Sociology and Politics.
Addressing barriers to student success
The programme has been awarded funding from HEFCE as part of its Addressing Barriers to Student Success project. The project was set up following research commissioned by HEFCE that found that there is a significant difference in the employment or educational progress from different student groups. The groups include black and ethnic minority students, students from lower socio-economic backgrounds, disabled students, mature students and part time students.
Gemma Kenyon, Head of Careers said:
The Micro-placements programme does not prioritise offering placements to different student groups. Instead we provide additional support in order to help level the playing field. Our research found that students from underrepresented groups have fewer professional contacts to help them gain work experience, offer advice and help them to feel professional when applying for roles. The scheme is set up to reduce this disadvantage and help students to overcome these barriers.
HEFCE Chief Executive, Madeleine Atkins said:
Funding this programme will support real progress towards closing the unacceptable differences in outcomes between groups of students. We look forward to working with providers to make sure this targeted, evidence-led investment maximises outcomes for students – contributing to improved productivity and social mobility and, of course, individual opportunities.
The Higher Education Funding Council for England promotes and fund teaching and research in higher education institutions.