Sharing industry placements with other organisations
Sometimes it’s helpful for 2 employers to share an industry placement.
For example, when:
- there may not be enough work for a student to do in 1 organisation
- it may be useful for students to experience different aspects of work (for example, with another employer in a supply chain)
- large employers want to offer greater breadth of experience by sharing placements with smaller organisations
- micro-businesses, sole traders and freelancers can’t always commit to a whole placement
How sharing works
A placement can’t be with more than 2 employers.
The aim is that a student works in 2 employers for an agreed number of hours which make up the complete placement.
Together with the other employer, you'll:
- work with your college or school to design the industry placement.
- agree appropriate projects and activities that support the student’s development objectives (the college or school can support you with templates and advice to do this)
Each employer will provide work, training and supervision when the student is with them. It’s also part of the college or school’s job to help the student see how their work with both employers fits together to help them learn.
Setting up a shared placement
If an employer wants to share a placement but doesn’t have a second employer in mind, colleges or schools could suggest one and make the introductions.
Here are some questions to discuss with the other employer and the college or school when you're ready to set up a shared placement:
- What checks are needed and who will do them, for example, health and safety, safeguarding?
- How should we share the time and what pattern of placement would work for us both?
- How are the projects and activities going to be shared between our organisations so that there isn’t too much repetition?
- Have we agreed total hours between us, which meet the requirements for an industry placement (a minimum of 315 hours)?
- Do the projects and activities we’ve agreed between us give the student a breadth of experience?
- What payments (if any) will be made to the student so that they are fair to both of our organisations?
- What arrangements should be made for the student to travel between our two sites?
- When will the student’s progress be reviewed and how is this feedback shared between our two organisations and with the college or school?
- Are there any opportunities for us to do joint publicity or promotion based on our shared industry placements?
Shared placement examples
2 childcare businesses near to each other want to offer an industry placement.
Both businesses realise the benefits of sharing the placement, so that the student gains experience of the childcare assistant role in two different environments. They agree to share the placement time 50:50 between them.
Managers from both businesses collaborate on designing an effective placement where experience gained in one environment adds to the experience of working in the other. Staff at the 2 businesses say they have benefited from working together and sharing the student between them.
A large construction business is trying out shared industry placements on a few of its sites.
Each site organises the placement and invites a small business in their supply chain to share it. The site manager and small business organise separate projects, which take place on their own premises.
Sharing placements with smaller businesses gives students a different but complementary experience of the industry. They can compare what it’s like to work in different-sized organisations. They get a broader picture of how the industry works and the wide range of career opportunities open to them.