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, 1 April 2016

#PlaceNet16 Conference - Heading to Birmingham on 18-19 May

We are pleased to announce details of the PlaceNet Annual Conference. #PlaceNet16 is heading to Birmingham and will take place on Wednesday 18th - Thursday 19th May at the fantastic Hyatt Regency Hotel.

The hotel is situated in the heart of the city, within walking distance of Birmingham New Street station, shops and nightlife. Facilities at the venue include an indoor swimming pool and sauna, spa and fitness centre.

After listening to feedback from our members the conference has been re-designed and split into two themed days. Wednesday 18 May is University Insights Day in which the focus will be on sharing good practice on topics such as employer and student engagement.

We are very excited to start the conference with a keynote presentation delivered by Aimee Bateman and Kath Foot from the award winning careers consultancy website Aimee has worked for some of the largest recruitment companies, and has been a pioneer for digital careers coaching, producing quality advice and guidance through her YouTube channel. Kath is no stranger to HE, having spent over a decade at University of Cardiff, where she developed the Cardiff Award scheme, before joining Career Cake in 2015.

Our second keynote speaker is Rachel Lyons, who will be drawing on her experience as Trainer for Fitch Learning, her former role as Graduate Recruiter for Goldman Sachs, and combining this with her work as an accomplished Professional Comedian who has performed at venues such as The Comedy Store. This session is sure to raise some smiles as Rachel explains 'What students can learn from a stand-up comedian'.

In addition to our keynote speakers, we have a wealth of expertise from the HE sector ready to share good practice.

Hanna Luetkemeier (Business Development Team Leader, Nottingham Trent University) will discuss taking a commercial approach to employer engagement.

Martin Perfect will be presenting on the SMART48 Initiative, which recently won an AGR Development Award for the University of Leicester.

Rachel Collins, Head of Placements at University of Liverpool will address the important topic of creating and converting early student engagement.

Jess Swift, Student Engagement Officer at the recent NUE Award winning University of Birmingham will be talking about how students can use LinkedIn to explore their future.

Tom Ledgard from two time Best University Placement Service EC Futures (Coventry University) will offer the recent TEDx Coventry event as a case study for creating events to provide real experience.

Finally Matthias Feist, who will be stepping down from his role after 5 years, will reflect on his time as PlaceNet Chair during a 'confessional' session.

Thursday 19 May is Employer Insights Day which will be an interactive day hosted by Rate My Placement featuring a range of top placement employers running workshops, presentations and panel sessions.

Following the PlaceNet AGM, RMP will offer the student perspective, explaining what reviews on the Rate My Placement website reveal about student attitudes towards placements.

The keynote will be delivered by IBM, exploring what makes for a great placement student and looking beyond staple skills such as teanwork,

Helen Alkin, Recruitment Manager for Marks and Spencer will lead an interactive workshop on Assessment Centres, posing the question 'How hard are the in practice?'

The afternoon sessions draws upon a range of employer perspectives, from new providers of work experience (IMI Precision Engineering), SMEs (ProspectSoft) and larger undergraduate employers (L'Oreal).

To round things off, there will be a panel discussion involving all of the Employers, in which delegates can ask questions relating to student recruitment and employability.

Bookings can now be made online and we have a range of prices including residential, non-residential, and single day options. 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 

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.

Friday, 19 June 2015

PlaceNet Master Class - 24 July - Coventry University

Using Social and Digital Media in Employability Initiatives (Friday 24th July, 10:30am - 3pm, Coventry University)

Following on from the annual conference in Bournemouth, PlaceNet is offering a FREE Master Class Event for Members featuring insights into some of the key digital and social media trends and initiatives occurring within UK Universities around the placement and employability agenda. The event will take place in the new £56 million Engineering and Computing Building at Coventry University.

This event is aimed at placement and employability professionals with an interest in utilising social and digital media in their work 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, including leading academics such as Lorna Walker (Senior Lecturer, Regent's University London) discussing using social and digital media in the classroom and Luisa Dunn (Business Relations Manager – Henley Business School and former Recruiter for Facebook) discussing how employers utilise these technologies for recruitment.

Vanessa Dodd (International Centre for Guidance Studies) will introduce the 7 Cs of Digital Career Literacy, with Alex Field (Rate My Placement) and Graham Kaye-Taylor (The Placement Blog and Brunel University London) running an activity session on emerging technologies such as Periscope.

Lunch and refreshments will be provided. There will also be free parking, details will be sent through after you register for the event.

The event will run to the following schedule:

Welcome + Coffee and Networking

The 7 Cs of Digital Career Literacy 
Vanessa Dodd, International Centre for Guidance Studies

How to use Social and Digital Media in the Classroom 
Lorna Walker, Senior Lecturer, Regent's University London


Emerging Technologies Activity Session 
Alex Field, Rate My Placement and Graham Kaye-Taylor, Brunel University London


How Employers Use Social Media in Recruitment 
Luisa Dunn, Employer Relations Manager, Henley Business School


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. 

What if I am not a member of PlaceNet?

If you are not a PlaceNet Member, you can now take out Membership for the remainder of the year 
for £100 and bring multiple staff members to this and the next FREE PlaceNet Master Class event in early 2016. To take-up the PlaceNet Membership offer please click here

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

Friday, 22 May 2015

#PlaceNet15 Conference Report - Day 1

The following is a report filed by Matthias Feist, Chair of Placenet, about the first day of the #PlaceNet15 Conference. It was originally posted on the What I've Learned Recently....  blog and republished here with permission of the author.

It’s always the most exciting part of my professional placement year – the annual PlaceNet conference. For three days, placements and employability professionals from about 20 universities discuss academic placements, employer engagement, and how to provide a quality student experience in an ever more austere funding regime. It’s exciting for me, as, since 2011, I am chairing it. You can follow the conference on Twitter under #PlaceNet15.
At yesterday’s first day, we saw five presentations: Kate Croucher, University Relationship Manager for FDM Group, gave her perspective from having recently moved from the world of university employability into industry. It was very interesting to hear how her understanding of universities – and how they function on the inside – is perceived by employers working with them. This was followed by an informative presentation on the social media habit of university students by Lizzie Brock and Alex Field from RateMyPlacement. They also focused on how placement services can build a content strategy when engaging with their students. Here is where the true theme of the afternoon emerged – the use of video.
Charlie Reeve from Grad Consult picked up this topic, his talk about expectation gaps within the world of higher education. He talked about how recorded video interviewing is becoming ever more popular with employers, and how important it is for students to be prepared for this. Charlie demonstrated this by getting the participants to video interview each other using their mobile phones.

PlaceNet Trustee Alex Elkins practising video interviewing
A theme picked up again by Vanessa Airth, from London Metropolitan University, who talked about how the Business and Law School, uses video presentations for student assessment on their short placement module. The presentations finished with Mike Grey, from Coventry University’s EC Futures team, discussing how to ensure placement quality.
What followed were fresher’s drinks – sponsored by RateMyPlacement – and celebrating 20 years of PlaceNet with a yummy cake. What struck me as most interesting during this day, was that content creation and sharing (especially video) seems to be the hot topic for employers and students. Without planning it, this PlaceNet conference seems to become more of a hackathon focused on the uses … no, the dominance of technology, which has now clearly reached the world of higher education. This theme will recur in tomorrow’s installment on day 2.
Embedded image permalink
Celebrating 20 Years of PlaceNet

Wednesday, 13 May 2015

A Message from the Chair of PlaceNet

2015 is the fourth PlaceNet conference that I have the honour to chair. It is also the 20th anniversary conference, and I feel privileged to be given the opportunity to contribute again. PlaceNet has a truly unique fabric: practical knowledge, useful debate and open networking strengthens us as professional, making our conference the highlight of the placement year. Organised for and by practitioners, who work daily at the ‘coal face’ of placement and employability provision, it always gives me guidance and inspiration for yet another year. Employers recognise that placements simply work, and you will find this year an even stronger presence of businesses that want to work with universities and seek their answers from engaging with PlaceNet affiliated services. PlaceNet lives through our volunteering work, and our ability to collaborate with others, both at our universities and with our peers in the wider placement community. I am looking forward to strengthening those ties yet again.

Matthias Feist

#PlaceNet15 - Last Chance to Book

There is still time to book your place at the #PlaceNet15 Conference. The event is being held at the magnificent Bournemouth Highcliffe Marriott Hotel overlooking the Dorset coast. The conference begins on Wednesday 20 May and concludes Friday 22 May.

We are delighted to welcome a broad range of speakers from across the student recruitment industry who will share their insights and good practice to conference delegates. The schedule is given below but please note that sessions and timings could be subject to change
Book your place today via our online booking form

  • £495 - full board
  • £235 - day delegate 
Non- Members
  • £720 - full board
  • £295 - day delegate
Please note that memberships are due to be renewed for the period 1st April 2015 - 31st March 2016
Joining PlaceNet as a member has several benefits for both Placement Professionals and Employers. Our membership is based on departments/subjects within an institution, and can include five individual contacts.
As a member you will be added to our mailing list and invited to our LinkedIn group for online networking opportunities. Additional benefits for placement professionals include
  • Professional placement support and advice
  • Discounted membership fee at the annual PlaceNet conference
  • Regional Collaboration & Training and regular updates
To renew your annual membership please click here:
  • £195 (HE/FE)  - Price freeze for the third  consecutive year
  • £225 (Corporate/other)
We are always keen to hear from our members about the new and interesting developments in the world of placements and employability.  If you are a member feel free to use our mailing list and LinkedIn groups.
If you have any queries about membership or the conference, we would love to hear from you. Please direct your questions to