Planning industry placement projects and tasks

It’s up to you to decide on the projects and tasks that students will do during their placements.

They can do what anyone else in the job role does - as long as they are trained to do it, and properly supervised.


- Tips for choosing projects and tasks

- Suggested projects and tasks for each skill area

Other helpful activities

Tips for choosing projects and tasks

Here are some tips for choosing suitable projects and tasks:

  • Make them interesting and challenging – projects should challenge students and help them develop a breadth of skills so they can progress into a career.
  • Vary tasks throughout the placement – giving students repetitive tasks won’t build a broad range of skills and could demotivate them.
  • Develop the student’s practical skills – that’s the real purpose of a placement. So, select tasks which are new to the student and support them to build their skills.
  • Be realistic – giving students too much to do or asking them to carry out difficult or complex tasks without support won’t help their development.
  • Supervise and train students – so they can learn to do the tasks well, with supervision at first and then without that when they have shown they are competent.
  • Reflect the role – most job roles involve a range of tasks, so projects should give students a chance to learn a wide range of skills.

Suggested projects and tasks for each skill area

The examples that follow are high-level descriptions of example projects or tasks a student could do. The college or school will advise you on how to select tasks that support students’ progress with their course, developing both technical and employability skills.

Agriculture, environment and animal care

  • Clean and prepare technical equipment for work
  • Carry out risk assessments for tasks carried out by volunteers
  • Carry out harvesting operations

More about selecting projects and activities for an Agriculture, Environment and Animal Care industry placement 

Business and administration

  • Prepare reports and management information from HR data
  • Describe and organise information and collections of physical and digital resources
  • Plan, schedule and prepare for a series of project or team meetings

More about selecting projects and activities for Business and Administration placements


  • Prepare, cook and present food to agreed food safety standards, practices and guidelines
  • Create an event budget, including resource control and minimising waste
  • Produce ideas and proposals for future events and promotions

More about selecting projects and activities for a Catering industry placement


  • Inspecting equipment for calibration and serviceability
  • Contributing to planning work schedules
  • Utilise a range of trade skills to carry out work

More about selecting projects and activities for a Construction industry placement

Creative and design

  • Undertake safe handling, movement and installation of cultural objects
  • Research and develop creative ideas for a TV/Radio production
  • Contribute to a fundraising application

More about selecting projects and activities for a Creative and Design industry placement

Digital and IT

  • Diagnose digital problems and provide internal end-user application support
  • Write or maintain simple scripts or code
  • Install and configure basic hardware system components, networks and devices

More about selecting projects and activities for a Digital and IT industry placement

Education and childcare

  • Support children to develop numeracy and language skills, through games and play
  • Support the use of technology to enhance learning
  • Observe children to support learning development

More about selecting projects and activities for an Education and Childcare industry placement

Engineering and manufacturing

  • Evaluate engineering designs to determine the most effective solution
  • Interpret diagnostic information and use electrical wiring diagrams to determine system serviceability
  • Position, assemble, install and dismantle integrated electrical apparatus, systems
    and process control equipment

More about selecting projects and activities for an Engineering and Manufacturing industry placement

Hair and beauty

  • Work with stylists to creatively assess client requirements
  • Maintain effective, hygienic and safe working methods
  • Select, use, and apply a range of beauty therapy techniques

More about selecting projects and activities for a Hair and Beauty industry placement

Health and science

  • Perform laboratory tasks following specified methodologies
  • Contribute to obtaining and recording patient clinical history
  • Understand and apply statistical techniques for data presentation

More about selecting projects and activities for a Health and Science industry placement

Legal, finance and accounting

  • Record, analyse and report on financial data
  • Analyse and investigate relatively straightforward risk/compliance issues
  • Undertake legal and factual research and present the findings

More about selecting projects and activities for a Legal, Finance and Accounting industry placement

Other helpful activities

There are other activities that will help placements work well:

Induction – helps students settle in and covers things like working practices and health and safety  requirements that students need to know about before doing the tasks.

Shadowing – watching an experienced person doing the job gives students a feel for the tasks they will be doing in their placement role.

Feedback and progress reviews – to let students know how well they are doing the tasks and what they need to do to be even better at performing those tasks.

Extra training – to help the student do their tasks to a really high standard, and/or tackle a wider range of tasks.

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