Monday, 20 March 2017

PlaceNet Conference May 17th & 18th 2017 is heading to Manchester

This year's conference will once again bring together best practice from across the world of placements and a range of insights from fantastic placement employers. The conference has been split into two separately themed days, offering placement and employability insights from both the university and employer perspective. 

There will be keynote presentations from Paul Redmond (University of Manchester) and Dr. Charlie Ball (Graduate Prospects) and Helen Alkin (Future Talent Manager, Marks and Spencer) headlining an impressive line-up of award-winning placement practitioners and undergraduate employers.

17th May - University Insight Day (Registration and networking from 9:45am)
The importance of early engagement - Paul Redmond, Director of Student Life, University of Manchester
Creating a snowball effect through employer engagement- Ann Cooper, Head of Placements & Work Experience, University of Southampton (Winner Outstanding Contribution to Work Experience 2017 at the NUE Awards)
Delivering placements to scale: home and abroad - Carolina Salinas, Head of Placements, Aston University
Applying nudge theory to placements – Kimberley Harris, Internships Development Manager, University of Warwick
Our story- Andrew Stainton, Student Placements Manager, University of Huddersfield, Business School Placement Unit (Winners of Best Placement Service in the UK 2017 at the NUE Awards)
Allies and influence: Gaining power and credibility across the institution - Adele Browne, Senior Placement Manager – De Montfort University 
Developing employability initiatives to build the aspirations of widening participation students - Tonia Galati, Talent Development and Employability Manager, Kingston University

18th May - Employer Insight Day (AGM at 9:30am, conference Day 2 starts at 10:30am) 

Hosted by Rate My Placement.
Dr. Charlie Ball - Head of HE Intelligence - Graduate Prospects

Rate My Placement - 'Student Attitudes towards Work Experience'. Lizzie Brock (Head of Marketing) and Amirah Hajat (Marketing Coordinator)

Plus sessions from: 

More incredible speakers will be announced in the coming weeks but spaces are limited so please book ASAP.

There will also be a range of networking sessions and a hackathon style idea generation event.

The conference will be taking place at the wonderful Crowne Plaza Hotel in central Manchester. We will also be hosting sponsored drinks and a conference dinner at the fantastic Botanist Restaurant.

 *****Attendance at the conference also provides you with PlaceNet Membership and free attendance to our Masterclass series throughout the year. See here for more details ********

Please either complete the attached booking form and return to or visit our Eventbrite page to book online.

We look forward to seeing you there.

Wednesday, 15 March 2017

Free PlaceNet Membership offer!

In advance of releasing information of the stellar line-up of speakers and booking details of the Placement Conference 2017 taking place in Manchester on the 17th and 18th May, we wanted to make an announcement regarding a significant change to how we run and fund PlaceNet activities.

As a charity staffed solely by volunteers who are in it purely for the love of placements, we strive to keep an extremely low-cost base and are always considering new ways to deliver outstanding value for our members. In recent years’ we launched our popular series of free Masterclasses for members but now we have decided to go one step further…………

We know how hard it can be to secure budget and that spending in placement and employability departments is constantly under the microscope. We also appreciate it can be hard to secure permission to become members of a professional organisation and then subsequently even more challenging to secure further budget to attend the annual conference.

This year we are revolutionising our long-established membership model; more than anything we would love you to attend and benefit from our annual conference! Therefore, if your institution books a space at the conference, you automatically will become members and can as part of that package send multiple staff to our multiple free Masterclass events across the year.

For example, if you sent just 1 person to the conference for £395 (the same price as last year), you will secure membership and could send 4 staff to each of 2 masterclasses, that would equate to 10 days of targeted professional development (with food and drink included) across the year at less than £40 a day.

PlaceNet Membership Benefits include:
·                     Free attendance to the Masterclass Series
·                     Access to the PlaceNet LinkedIn Group
·                     A team of Trustees lobbying and promoting your interests nationally
·                     Professional placement support and advice

Clearly to make this work, we need the support of the placement community; please make every effort at attend our annual conference and will keep working hard behind the scenes to bring you fantastic professional development and networking events.

Keep an eye out for conference updates coming very soon!

All the best

Mike Grey (Chair of PlaceNet, on behalf of the Board of Trustees)

Monday, 23 January 2017

Creating & converting student engagement with placements

Book your space on the Creating & converting student engagement with placements masterclass today by completing this form.

Speakers confirmed
  • Keynote speaker:  Ollie Leggett, Managing Director of IE Brand
  • Roshni Barot, Sarah Tasker & Victoria Burns, University of Birmingham
  • Sarah Rourke -  Henley Business School,  The University of Reading

Tuesday, 14 June 2016

Internationalisation, Diversity and Social Mobility - A PlaceNet Master Class

Internationalisation, Diversity and 
Social Mobility 
Thursday 7th July, 10:30am – 3:30pm 
University of York

Following on from the annual conference in Birmingham, PlaceNet is offering a FREE Master Class Event for Members featuring insights into some of the key trends and initiatives occurring within UK Universities around the placement and employability agenda. The event will take place at the beautiful campus of the University of York.

This event is aimed at placement and employability professionals and will provide an excellent follow up to the annual conference and a further opportunity to network with colleagues from around the country and share best practice.

We will have a range of experts from across HE and graduate recruitment, including a range of speakers form the award winning Careers Network at the University of Birmingham discussing a variety of their initiatives, FDM Group (Winners of Diversity in Recruitment Target Job Award 2016) giving an employers’ perspective and DMU Global from De Montfort University talking about their large scale international placements schemes. More speakers will be announced very soon!

Registration, Coffee and Networking
Welcome from University of York
FDM Group: Diversity in Recruitment (Winner of Target Jobs Award for Diversity 2016)
University of Birmingham: A suite of employability initiatives to widen participation
De Montford University: DMU Global – International Internship Schemes
Speaker TBC
Summary and Close
Delegates Depart

Lunch and refreshments will be provided. Information about parking will be sent through after you register for the event.

How do I attend the PlaceNet Master Class?

To book your place please email:  

If you are a PlaceNet Member Institution, please feel free to bring multiple members of staff from your unit and other related employability services. 

Alternatively, the event is £50 per non-member attendee. 

Thursday, 5 May 2016

Looking ahead to #PlaceNet16

#PlaceNet16 Conference
18-19 May
Regency Hyatt Hotel, Birmingham

With two weeks to go until #PlaceNet16, the finishing touches are being applied to what promises to be our best conference ever. The PlaceNet Trustees look forward to welcoming delegates to the Hyatt Regency Hotel, Birmingham on 18th and 19th May to share ideas and good practice.

The conference has been split into two separately themed days, offering placement and employability insights from both the University and Employer perspective.  There will be keynote presentations from Aimee Bateman (Career Cake), Rachel Lyons (Fitch Training) and IBM, headlining an impressive line-up of award winning HE practitioners and undergraduate employers.

The full conference schedule can be found at the bottom of the page.

Limited places are still available, offering residential and non-residential options. Bookings can be made online at

Delegates from PlaceNet member organisations benefit from discounted rates. To join PlaceNet and take advantage of this discount, please follow this link

If you have any questions about the Conference, please email 

Wednesday 18th May 2016 - University Insights Day

Registration and Networking
Welcome to PlaceNet Conference 2016
Keynote: Aimee Bateman and Kath Foot – Career Cake
Session 1

Taking a commercial approach to employer engagement - Hanna Luetkemeier, Business Development Team Leader – Employability and Enterprise at Nottingham Trent University

Session 2-5    Ideas Worth Sharing (TED Style Talks) 20 minutes each plus Q&A
·         SMART48 Initiative (AGR Single Initiative Award Winner) – Martin Perfect, Employer Relationship Manager – University of Leicester
·         Get them while they’re fresh- creating and converting early student engagement – Rachael Collins, Head of Placements, University of Liverpool
·         When I grow up I want to be a mermaid – How LinkedIn lets students explore their futures – Jess Swift, Student Engagement Officer, University of Birmingham
·         Creating events to provide real experience - TEDx Case Study – Tom Ledgard – EC Futures, Coventry University

Coffee Break
Session 6
Building Transnational Career Support - Veejay Mistry
 – Careers Advisor, Regent's University London
What students could learn from stand-up comedians Rachel Lyons – Trainer, Fitch Learning and Stand Up Comedian
Sponsored Drinks at Hotel
Leaving for dinner

Thursday 19th May 2016 – Employer Insights Day

An interactive day hosted by Rate My Placement featuring a range of top placement employers running workshops, presentation and panel sessions.

PlaceNet AGM
RateMyPlacement – The Student Perspective – What do the RateMyPlacement reviews reveal about student attitudes towards placements?
Session 1

Assessment Centres: How hard are they in practice? – An interactive workshop led by Helen Alkin, Recruitment Manager at Marks and Spencer

Coffee Break
Session 2
Keynote – Thinking beyond ‘teamwork. ’What is it that makes a successful placement student?
Kelly Markwick, UK Schools & Universities Attraction Manager, IBM
Session 3-5    Ideas Worth Sharing (TED Style Talks) 20 minutes each plus Q&A
·         How important are universities in helping to support the establishment of a placement scheme – Claire Kennady, Human Resources Manager, IMI Precision Engineering and Alison Hedley, Employer Services Manager at Bradford University
·         Why should students consider working for a smaller company during their placement year? – Stuart McLaren, Sales and Marketing Director, Prospectsoft
·         How can universities support mass recruitment campaigns for placement schemes?  Hannah Neal, Graduate Talent Specialist, L’Oreal UK & I

Panel Discussion – Delegates will have the opportunity to tweet questions which will be answered by the employers

Wednesday, 20 April 2016

Employer Insight Day at #PlaceNet16

Employer Insight Day at #PlaceNet16

Thursday 19th May 2016

Hosted by 

Keynote from

with guests

The second day of the #PlaceNet16 Conference will provide delegates with insights from a range of employers and answer the question ‘How can collaboration open doors for your students’

Our hosts for the day Rate My Placement will begin by offering a student perspective:
‘What do the Rate My Placement reviews reveal about student attitudes towards placements?’

Keynote speakers IBM will be asking asking delegates to 'Think beyond Teamwork' - to identify what makes a great placement student. What are the skills, including the less obvious ones, that students need to make successful applications and how can universities support in instilling these skills in their students?

We are delighted to welcome Helen Alkin, Recruitment Manager for M&S, who will be delivering an interactive workshop on Assessment Centres, asking:
‘How hard are Assessment Centres in practice’

Recent winners of the Best New Provider of Work Experience award, IMI Precision Engineering will discuss:
‘The role that universities play in helping to support the establishment of a placement scheme’

Award winning ProspectSoft  will offer the perspective of an SME and explain 'Why should students consider working for a smaller company during their placement year'

Offering a perspective from a large provider, L’Oreal will lead a session on:
‘How universities can support mass recruitment campaigns for placement schemes, and the role they play within recruitment strategy’

There will also be a panel discussion in which delegates can ask employers questions regarding student recruitment and employability.

Places are limited and bookings coming in fast so please sign up before you miss out

Friday, 18 December 2015

PlaceNet Master Class - 5 February 2016 - London

Theme: Employability and Student Entrepreneurship; an insight into placements with SMEs and start-ups, the emerging skills gap and how Universities can help in the search for talent

Prior to the annual conference in May, PlaceNet UK is hosting a ‘forum' event which will explore the links between employability and entrepreneurship, discussing best practice and how to leverage opportunities for both students and the University. The programme will also cover placements and internships SMEs, hearing from founders and directors from Tech City based companies; Europe’s fastest growing tech cluster and home to nearly 5000 start-ups.  

The event will be hosted in the Clubhouse at ‘The Hangout’, City University’s student start-up incubator situated in the heart of Tech City.

When: 5 February 2016 
Time: 10-3pm
Where: The Hangout – City University London Incubator space at Unruly42-46 Princelet St, London E1 5LP
Nearest Tube stations: Liverpool Street, Aldgate East, Whitechapel Overground: Shoreditch High Street


10.15 - 11.15: Employability and student entrepreneurship – What is the link and how can one benefit the other; how to work with internal and external partners to facilitate a mutually beneficial relationship - Alex Elkins, Entrepreneurship Education Manager, City University London

11.15 – 11.30 : Coffee break

11.30 – 12.30: Placements with Start–ups and SMEs – Case studies, success stories and how to engage with small and medium size businesses - Stuart McLaren – Sales and Marketing Director at Prospectsoft

12.30 – 13.30: Lunch with a tour of the Hangout

13.30 – 14.15: Students and small businesses – How to engage students to consider placement and internship options with smaller companies - Kylie Cook, Graduate Consultant – Rise Sheffield 

14.15 – 15.00: Industry insider panel Q&A – Emerging startup clusters across the UK are continuing to struggle to recruit the right talent – how can Universities help fill the skills gap? Are placements and internships the answer?

Rajeeb Dej – Founder - Enternships 
Will Bantinck – Head of Careers, Makers Academy 
Alexander Kayser – Founder - Yreceipts 
Stuart McLaren - Director of Sales and Marketing – Prospectsoft 

How do I attend the PlaceNet Master Class?

To book your place please email:

If you work for a PlaceNet Member Institution, this event is free of charge. Please feel free to bring multiple members of staff from your unit and other related employability services. 

What if I am not a member of PlaceNet? Non-members are welcome to attend for a small charge of £50 per person.

Catering and refreshments will be provided throughout the day. If you have any dietary requirements then please let us know when booking.