Photo courtesy Charlie Round-Turner show photo

Blogs and News

23rd Nov 2018

Local Business Placements Needed for Students

South Thames College is running an innovative pilot project to introduce young people to the world of work


South Thames College is running a pilot project for student job placement. Formerly students might get a week with an employer, but that isn’t enough to either get the hang of a job and be useful to an employer, or for the student to decide whether this might be a career for the future or not.

Chris Dodd, Head of Employability at South Thames College, is pioneering a new type of qualification called “T Levels” which lasts for 45 days and is aimed at preparing students for the world of work. If this pilot project works well it will be rolled out nationwide in 2020. Chris says, “This is to prepare students for a career – it has to be a business sector relevant to their course.” He continues, “Lord Sainsbury consulted with a number of businesses, and produced a report, and this is one of the recommendations.” Young people can be unready for the world of work, so the longer placement is an attempt to assist them to gain necessary skills.

Already some students (above) have been working in a gym – not just being involved in sports training, but clerical work like enrolments or marketing. STC are looking for local employers to taken on student placements. It depends on the size of the workplace but they like to place a couple of students if possible, ideally around five.

There’s a big need for creative placements: art and design, journalism, film, photography and video students as these are more difficult to find vacancies, given the fluidity of the sector. Chris hopes to find a pool of employers, who will partner with STC year-on-year, to give learners an opportunity to join their workforce.

Chris hopes that this will be a good introduction to the world of work, and that local employers will receive the benefit of enthusiastic workers. He stresses that the administration from the businesses’ perspective has been streamlined so there are minimum forms to fill. Some employers have been so pleased with their students that they are planning to offer them jobs at the end of the placements.

Chris says, “Another innovation is doing placements now, rather than in the summer, as was traditional. This way it will be much more aligned to what they are doing on the course, and more relevant to what the students are doing.”

If you are a local employer, please contact Chris to discuss student placements:

Chris Dodd – Head of Employability


Tel: 0208 918 7219.

Julian Jackson is Wandsworth Chamber’s blogger, whose interests encompass technology, cryptocurrencies and blockchain, the environment, as well as photography and film. His portfolio is here: