We truly believe in the power of placements here at Leeds Trinity University. We think that all students should have the opportunity to work in industry while they’re studying.
Why? Well, an important part of LTU’s strategy is to create fully rounded individuals with a social conscience who contribute positively to any community they are a part of – and we feel our placement programme does this.
Placements are obviously a great way to get experience before joining the job market – but they also boost confidence and help students to firm up their ideas of what career might be right for them. It’s a real opportunity for them to understand more about themselves and their place in the world.
We arrange around 1,500 placements a year in all sorts of different sectors – everything from traditional businesses placements to journalism, humanities, psychology and English.
And because many of them have a strong social impact it means that each year we’re making a significant contribution to the community we’re a part of. Students tackle projects on everything from homelessness and crime reduction to health and wellbeing.
At LTU every student goes on two placements, giving them the chance to experience different work environments and reflect on what’s right for them. Many other universities face not having enough students taking up placements – we make them compulsory as we believe that it’s the students who don’t apply for placements who are the ones who actually most need the experience.
Here at LTU we’ve put a lot of hard work into tailoring our placements programme so that it supports all kinds of students – from those who are confident and ready to go, through to those who have never worked before and are lacking in confidence.
We embed the placements into the degree programme for those who don’t want to delay graduation and incur extra costs. We keep them short at six weeks for those who ‘haven’t got time for a placement’ and we help those students who don’t know what they want to do to explore the possibilities. We use local employers and alumni as inspiring case studies for those students who feel a placement isn’t relevant to their degree.
And of course, running such a large placement programme every year also means that we have an ever-growing network of employers who have close links with each degree programme. It puts LTU right at the heart of the Leeds business community and has led to business relationships that extend well beyond the placement programme itself. Every year, we encourage both employers and students to nominate each other for a placement award at the Leeds Trinity Employability Awards.
These close links with the business community really help with graduate employment and over 60 per cent of our students continue working for their placement provider in some way. Many of our graduate jobs are also converted from placements.
Our results speak for themselves, with 97 per cent of our graduates in further work or study six months after leaving us. 94 per cent of the employers we work with feel that students met or exceeded their expectations in terms of performance and skills.
We were named the best University in Yorkshire for student satisfaction and also for employability, according to the 2017 National Student Survey. We’re also ranked in the top 20 in the UK for employability – and that’s something that we’re hugely proud of.
To read the full case study on work placements from Leeds Trinity University, please click here.