Work Experience and Placements
Work experience is a key part of your Study Programme and hugely beneficial in ensuring you leave college Work Ready and with a clear career plan.
Work experience can include a wide range of activities but this page focuses specifically on external work placements.
Key benefits to work placements:
- Explore your career path and job roles
- Develop industry standard skills and knowledge
- Develop transferable skills such as confidence, communication and initiative
- Network with potential future employers
- Bring your course knowledge to life in a real work environment.
The sections below have been put together to give you the information and support that you need to access and enjoy your work placement.
This content is aimed mainly at Study Programme students. However, if you are a UCEN Manchester or Adult Student, we can still support you and, in the first instance, you should speak with your tutor about work placements or visit one of our Careers & Welfare Hubs.
How to Access Placements
If you are a Study Programme student, you can speak to your Employability Hour Tutor and they will link you with your Employability Partnership Coordinator (EPC). Our EPCs work hard to create fantastic, relevant work placements for you.
At the start of the year, during Induction, your target hours will be explained to you and you’ll be shown how to access live work placement opportunities via Microsoft Teams.
You will be able to discuss with your tutors the best time for you to attend work placement. Some courses involve over 300 hours of work placement, while other courses may only involve 25 to 35 hours. You can of course exceed your work placement target, as long as you keep the right balance with your core college studies. Your minimum hours target for your course will be explained during Induction.
Your Safety on Placement
Ensuring your placement is safe and organised is a priority for us. If you want to arrange your own placement, it is essential that you speak to your Employability Hour Tutor and/or Employability Partnership Coordinator (EPC). EPCs will liaise with an employer to ensure they agree to our Health & Safety declaration and provide insurance details etc. Whilst this remains a requirement, we also carry out robust Covid-safe checks.
All of this must be in place before you can commence a work placement and so if in doubt, speak to your Employability Hour Tutor and/or Employability Partnership Coordinator.
When on your placement, your employer host should provide you with a full induction, a designated mentor and all the support you need.
If you have any concerns whilst on a work placement relating to the role you’re asked to undertake or anything else of concern, contact your Employability Hour Tutor and/or Employability Partnership Coordinator or another member of staff.
Please read our additional information about staying safe as a student.
What is Expected of You on Placement?
It is important to remember that when you are on a work placement, this is an extension of your Study Programme and we have the same expectations of your behaviour and general attitude as we would on campus.
You are representing The Manchester College when you are on a work placement and the way you engage with the opportunity and behave on a work placement will have an impact on our partnership with your host employer.
Finally, don’t forget that this is a great opportunity for you and is the chance to impress a potential future employer. Many of our students have gone on to secure more experiences or paid employment after impressing on placement.
How to Get the Most of Your Placement
Ensure you know your start date and time, travel plan and set off early to be sure of arriving on time. Check the dress code and if you need help and advice, always ask!
Know the company
An employer will be impressed if you have taken time to find out about the company before your placement; What do they do? What are their values? How big are they? Etc. It would take less than 30 minutes to research this on-line.
Show an interest
It is normal to feel nervous on your first day, but you will make a great impression by showing interest and enthusiasm and asking relevant questions. This will also help you to relax and enjoy the placement.
The College have invested in a work placement tracking tool called Grofar. This system has lots of fantastic features to help ensure you have the best possible experience on your work placement. Accessing Grofar as a student is an important part of your work placement experience.
Currently enrolled students, please click this link and enter your college credentials to access the Grofar work experience platform.
By accessing the Grofar web-powered app you will be able to:
- Access the details of your agreed placement
- Find and review your placement targets
- Add reflective comments to consolidate your learnings
- Review your placement
Take a look at our
quick and easy guide for accessing Grofar
Please note: This is a web-powered app and so won’t use your phone memory etc. Once you have signed in using your college credentials, you will get access in one click each time.
If you visit the website and create a shortcut on your Home Screen, it will be easier for you to access your placement details.
Industry Placements Specific Information
Industry Placements are a new type of work placement. They are a mandatory part of some Study Programme courses, including T Levels and the main features include:
- 45-60 days in industry, with at least 315 hours on placement
- A designated role with an employer
- 3 reviews during your placement and mentoring support throughout
As you can see, an Industry Placement is a significant undertaking and you will be prepared in advance through your Employability Hour and will be matched to a suitable role and employer.
Take a look at these documents to find out more and to support with being prepared:
Industry Placement Preperation Guide
Industry Placement Checklist
Do you have more questions about work experience and work placements? We’re happy to help!
For Study Programme students, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or speak to your Employability Hour Tutor and/or Employability Partnership Coordinator (EPC).
If you are a UCEN Manchester or Adult Student, in the first instance, you should speak with your tutor about work placements or visit one of our Careers & Welfare Hubs.