In this ongoing series of features we’ll be taking a look at an area of the student experience and finding out more about the work that’s been undertaken in developing that particular area. This week, we look at the formation and development of the Placement Learning Unit over the last 2 years.
The Placement Learning Unit
In 2011 students asked for better support for personal development. In response to this the University set up the Placement Learning Unit in February 2012, the aim was to support students in developing their employability skills through work experience and through reflective learning. The PLU supports students with making high quality job applications by being more effective at reflecting on and articulating their skills as well as helping students identify what skills they need to develop and in setting objectives to achieve these aims.
The PLU focuses on helping students to recognise the contribution work and extra-curricular experiences makes to their employability and it manages a number of internship schemes such as Green Steps (for students interested in the environment and sustainable businesses), The Warwick Undergraduate Internship Scheme (for students thinking about a career in Higher Education) and the Warwick Graduate Internship Scheme for recent grads. The University continues to offer a work experience bursary to promote and assist students in their unpaid placements for up to 10 weeks.
These bursaries provide that sometimes necessary additional support as Chemistry student Jack Hardiman says:
Without the work experience bursary I would have had no way of paying for travel and expenses necessary to complete my financial services internship in Liverpool. Thanks to the support I have received from the PLU I have now discovered a career path that I am passionate about and have added valuable experience to my CV."
The Unit continues to campaign for students rights around pay and conditions for internships, and successfully negotiates on a daily basis with organisations wishing to advertise unpaid vacancies on My.Advantage to Warwick students.
If you wish to find out more about getting experience, the bursary internships schemes, opportunities for work on campus and how to contact the PLU, their workshops and drop-in times, then go online.
Did you also know…?
Since its launch, the PLU has provided 183 Warwick students and graduates with paid placements and paid over 350 unpaid work experience bursaries.
In December 2013 the University placed 90 graduates in paid graduate internships.
Warwick was the first UK University to provide an environmental sustainability educational internship programme. In partnership with Monash University, the Green Steps programme is aimed at developing the skills or participants who wish to affect environmental change in business.