Recent graduates are feeling a squeeze. The graduate job market in 2017 is more competitive than ever before, and students are struggling to find success post-university. Though graduates are more likely to be employed than non-graduates, the ever-increasing university student intakes means that the competition is often fierce. However, many do find work in careers that meet their aspirations – but how?
Research on the topic is clear, employers often feel that students lack relevant experience, which often leads to a lack of success in the recruitment process. Here at UKCloud, we want to support students and give them the opportunity to complete a placement year, gaining real-life experience for their professional future.
But what is a placement?
A placement year is one of the most enriching opportunities offered by Universities. A placement year is a 12-month on-the-job training programme, where students gain hands-on experience within their degree subject.
Employers often cite a lack of basic workplace skills as a main reason why they are unhappy with graduates in the office. A placement year helps to solve this issue, allowing students to gain basic skills of self-awareness and collaboration within a workplace environment. The experience may also allow students to explore the future career options of their degree, giving insight into what job may suit them best.
In one report, the Association of Graduate Recruiters found that there were a range of aspects missing from graduate portfolios including a lack of resilience, social skills and self-management. The practical nature of a placement year means that a portfolio can be built gradually, with evidence of these key skills.
Experience can help to increase skills of time-management. These skills are a core part of University life and may help returning placement students with their final year degrees. Many placements are paid, and allow students an opportunity to save for their final year of study.
Graduates with relevant experience are also 3x more likely to find a job, meaning a placement year can better your chances of finding a full-time position in post-university life.
UKCloud provides an excellent placement scheme, with financial and social benefits. To find out more visit our early careers page, here.