Providing industry placements in rural and remote areas

Businesses in rural, coastal and remote locations know how hard it can be to recruit staff.

Offering industry placements to students could be a great way to find new recruits locally and from surrounding areas.

2 of the main challenges rural businesses might face with placements are travel, and the lack of local providers involved in T Levels. Here are a few ideas on how to tackle them.

Challenge 1: Travel - students may need to travel some distance to get to work

Some possible solutions:

  • Find out how current staff get to work so students can get the full range of options.
  • Provide accurate, up-to-date public transport information – for example, bus routes and timings.
  • Match the hours of the placement to public transport timetables and, times when lifts or car sharing are available.
  • Include information about travel and transport arrangements in the placement role description, so students know about them before applying.
  • Reimburse all or some of the costs of transport.
  • Consider a short work trial before signing the student onto the placement, so they can test the journey and timings.
  • Talk to your college or school – they have experience of students travelling long distances and may have creative solutions, including local initiatives such as bus or scooter schemes.

Challenge 2: No local providers deliver T Levels or industry placements

Some possible solutions:

  • Let young people locally know (for example, through contacts, Facebook groups, cards in local shops) that you’re happy to offer an industry placement – could be a great way to find students who travel for study but would prefer a placement nearer home.
  • Go regional – plenty of students travel to colleges and sixth forms some distance from where they live.
  • Be patient! Industry placements are new and will grow significantly in the next few years – tell your college, school and other providers you’re keen to be involved and ask if there’s any way you can contribute for now.

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