Friday, 19 December 2014

Merry Christmas from PlaceNet


As 2014 draws to a close, PlaceNet would like to wish our members the very best of season's greetings. After a busy Autumn term we hope you get to unwind over the Christmas period, recharge your batteries and get refreshed ahead of the new year.

The past 12 months have been very successful for PlaceNet. There has been a rebranding exercise. Our website PlaceNet.org.uk was revamped and relaunched. In March PlaceNet sponsored the headline award at the National Undergraduate Awards. Our annual conference #PlaceNet14 was a resounding success in Leeds while the follow on event in Coventry proved very popular too.

So what does 2015 hold in store? Well once again PlaceNet looks forward to involvement with the NUE Awards, and are delighted to see a number of our member organisations short-listed in the university categories. It won't be long before #PlaceNet15 comes around and we are pleased to announce that the conference will be held in Bournemouth from 20-22 May. Save the date!

Merry Christmas, and we look forward to seeing you in the new year.

Monday, 3 November 2014

Autumn Greetings from PlaceNet


It has been a quiet couple of months for PlaceNet, as like our members we have been beavering away at the start of a new academic year. We hope you've made it through September and October intact and will start to see the fruit of your labour over the coming months. 

While we have been a little quiet on the website, there have still been plenty of discussions taking place over on our LinkedIn Group. It you've not already joined please do so, though access is restricted to individuals who work at organisations with PlaceNet membership. 

In May, Dr Lorna Warnock presented to our annual conference regarding a competency framework project she was undertaking with Dr Hilary Jones for the Higher Education Academy. Their work has recently been published and you can read the full report of 'Towards a competency framework for student work based learning' via this link

Once again, PlaceNet is pleased to be involved with the National Undergraduate Employability Awards. For the second year running, we have sponsored the headline award and look forward to presenting the prize to the winners of the coveted Top Undergraduate Employer category. There are also a number of Student and University Awards up for grabs, with the deadline to submit nominations Friday 7 November. 

PlaceNet will be at the Awards in London on 6 February 2015

Wednesday, 18 June 2014

Still time to register for a Free Day of Workshops

Have you booked your place for a FREE day of workshops at Coventry University on Friday 4 July? This event is free for staff at member institutions with a £50 charge for non-members of PlaceNet.

The programme for the day is listed below. Interest can be registered by emailing placenetuk@gmail.com 


Friday  4th July, 10am - 3pm, Coventry University

Following on from the annual conference in Leeds, PlaceNet are offering a FREE day of workshops featuring insights into some of the key new trends and initiatives occurring within UK Universities around the placement and employability agenda.

This is aimed to 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.


The event will take place in the new £56 million Engineering and Computing Building at Coventry University. The event is free of charge to PlaceNet Members, lunch and refreshments will be provided. Non-members are welcome to attend too, at a charge of £50 per person.

The event will run to the following schedule:


10:00am
Welcome + Coffee and Networking
10:30am
Enterprise Placements and Entrepreneurial Learning (Graham Baty, Northumbria University)
11:30am
Running Modules in Partnership with Employers – Intel Project Module (Harminder Kaur, Coventry University)
12:15pm
LUNCH
1:00pm
Developing Employability through Mentoring Schemes (Katherine Walker, Nottingham Trent University)
2:00pm
Launching and Growing a Placement Scheme (Emily Timson, Leeds University)
3:00pm
CLOSE

To register your interest for this event, please email placenetuk@gmail.com 

Friday, 30 May 2014

Conference Feedback









In the aftermath of #PlaceNet14 the Trustees will be circulating a survey to attendees to gauge opinion and thoughts on how the conference went, which will be used for the planning of future events. Judging by the informal feedback we have already received, we may not have to tweak the formula too much.

Here are a selection of tweets from delegates and presenters on their PlaceNet experience











Thursday, 29 May 2014

#PlaceNet14 in Review


Between 21-23 May, Trustees, Members and Presenters gathered for the PlaceNet Annual Conference. #PlaceNet14 was held in the Leeds Marriott Hotel with a delegate list including representatives from 28 universities. In addition to regular attendees were a number of fresh faces, new to PlaceNet or having recently joined the industry. For the first time, the conference was sponsored, thanks to the Cogent Placement Service.

Following a welcome speech from PlaceNet Chair Matthias Feist, which included the announcement of the 4 July event in Coventry, the conference got underway with the first of several pitches from presenters to the floor. This was a new innovation for the conference, in which presenters from parallel sessions were given a couple of minutes to provide an overview of their topic before delegates voted with their feet. First up there was RateMyPlacement who talked about student engagement, while in the break out room were representatives of Sagar Wright discussing their experience as a small company of working with a university placement office to stage an assessment centre to recruit interns.

Martin Edmondson of Gradcore addressed the conference to offer insight into engaging with small and medium sized employers, before Charlie Ball from HECSU discussed DLHE, and how the work of Placement Officers impacts on employment outcomes. Delegates enjoyed an impromptu drinks reception courtesy of Sagar Wright before dinner, while the evening networking session sponsored by RateMyPlacement proved very popular. There was even time for a bit of television celebrity spotting, with Mr Tumble posing for 'placement selfies' with delegates.

Thursday saw the conference hall filled to capacity with the addition of day delegates. Dr Lorna Warnock kicked off proceedings by giving a very interesting presentation about how York University has been developing PhD internships, before sharing a competency framework that has been created to break down for employers what they can expect when hiring undergraduate, masters or PhD students.

The first 'pitching contest' of the day saw PlaceNet Trustees Mike Grey and Sarah Sheikh go head to head with Faizan Patankar from the Career Geek Blog. While Mike and Sarah offered an insight into international placements, Faizan shared his perspective on the use of social media in engaging with students. Speaking as a former intern and international student, he explained how an effective use of technology could help break down barriers for international students in accessing careers services. Faizan also talked about different social media platforms and offered examples of good practice.

In the afternoon session, Jo Chester from Cummins who hire 150-170 placement students a year, gave a recruiter's perspective on writing CVs, highlighting that there is no perfect formula but it is vital to target both the employer and the role, while a cover letter is the opportunity to demonstrate enthusiasm. Meanwhile, Pauline Maden from Cogent talked about the Cogent Placement Service, the background behind its creation and goal to reverse the trend for reducing numbers of placements in the life sciences sector.

Rounding off the afternoon was James Waring from Nicholas Associates who provided an overview and then a demonstration of the All Together work placement software. James and his colleague Charmian Roberts had also been on hand throughout the day to speak to delegates during breaks. Thursday's networking session left attendees shaken not stirred receiving a course in cocktail making in the 1871 Bar. Dinner followed in Bibi's restaurant  while evening drinks were provided by conference sponsor Cogent

The final day of #PlaceNet14 got underway in a rather light-hearted fashion. Trustee Alex Elkins compered a session on When Placements Go Bad, during which he recounted anonymised anecdotes submitted by delegates of when a placement had ended in unusual circumstances. Prizes were awarded to Emily Timson for most prolific conference tweeter, while Martin Perfect lived up to his name and was rewarded for making the best cocktail during the Thursday social event.

The important business of the day got underway with the PlaceNet AGM, in which accounts were presented and Trustees Matthias Feist, Jan Fielding, Virginia Goodwill and Sarah Sheikh were re-elected for a further three years. The conference was brought to a close by the PlaceNet Chair who thanked presenters and delegates for attending, and praised the work of the organising team for putting on a great conference.

Wednesday, 21 May 2014

A Free Day of Workshops for PlaceNet Members


Friday  4th July, 10am - 3pm, Coventry University

Following on from the annual conference in Leeds, PlaceNet are offering a FREE day of workshops featuring insights into some of the key new trends and initiatives occurring within UK Universities around the placement and employability agenda.

This is aimed to 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.


The event will take place in the new £56 million Engineering and Computing Building at Coventry University. The event is free of charge to PlaceNet Members, lunch and refreshments will be provided. Non-members are welcome to attend too, at a charge of £50 per person.

The event will run to the following schedule:


10:00am
Welcome + Coffee and Networking
10:30am
Enterprise Placements and Entrepreneurial Learning (Graham Baty, Northumbria University)
11:30am
Running Modules in Partnership with Employers – Intel Project Module (Harminder Kaur, Coventry University)
12:15pm
LUNCH
1:00pm
Developing Employability through Mentoring Schemes (Katherine Walker, Nottingham Trent University)
2:00pm
Launching and Growing a Placement Scheme (Emily Timson, Leeds University)
3:00pm
CLOSE

To register your interest for this event, please email placenetuk@gmail.com 

Monday, 19 May 2014

#PlaceNet14 Preview












Ahead of this week's conference, PlaceNet Trustee and placement blogger Graham Kaye-Taylor shares his thoughts on what is to come in Leeds.

Is it really that time of the year again already? It barely seems like 12 minutes since #PlaceNet13 drew to a close, let alone 12 months, but here we are on the eve of another conference. The Trustees have been working hard behind the scenes to piece together what we believe will be our best conference yet and I for one can't wait for Wednesday lunchtime to come around.

From where I sit, the placement industry appears to be in a period of change. While it is too early to generalise, 8 months into working with the first cohort of £9k sandwich placement students I can see anecdotal evidence of how the fee changes has impacted on at least some of my courses. Employability remains high on the agenda and I'm seeing more postgraduate courses offering mandatory or optional internships. With that in mind I'm particularly looking forward to hearing from Dr Lorna Warnock and Dr Hilary Jones regarding their study into producing competency frameworks for postgraduate internships. The session on International Placement Perspectives strikes a chord as my institution plans to expand overseas work experience opportunities for our students. As somebody with more than a passing interest in Social Media, I'm also excited to hear what the founder of Career Geek Blog has to say.

Away from the conference floor comes plenty of opportunity for networking. We've tapped into the local knowledge of our members to book Bibis restaurant. Our Thursday afternoon social remains wrapped in secrecy but I'm assured that this year it does not involve boats. We have also introduced 'Fresher's Drinks' which are loosely themed networking sessions. Wednesday evening I will be hosting (with sponsors RateMyPlacement) drinks for delegates 'New to the Profession', while Thursday night (sponsored by Cogent) offers the chance to network regarding 'Progression in Career'.

This will be my third PlaceNet conference and I expect a very different experience from previous events. In Liverpool I arrived as a relative unknown but received a warm welcome both from the Trustees and delegates. In Bristol last year I was given the platform to speak to the conference and participate in the Q&A panel session. This year, I'm very much part of the establishment and have a greater appreciation of all the hard work that goes into organising an event such as this.

Have a safe journey and my fellow Trustees and I look forward to welcoming you to Leeds.





Tuesday, 13 May 2014

#PlaceNet14 - A Word From Our Sponsors



PlaceNet is pleased to announce our sponsors for this year’s conference. Premier Sponsor of #PlaceNet14 is Cogent, sector skills council for the science industries. In addition to working with industry to identify skills needs across the sector, Cogent operate their Life Science Placements Service through which students and graduates can access scientific placements and work experience. The inaugural UK Life Science Skills Awards are being held in London on 15 May, celebrating excellence and achievement in the sector including the contribution of placement students. Pauline Maden and Martine Cooksley will be representing Cogent at #PlaceNet14 and will be on hand to talk to delegates about how the Placement Service can work with their university.





We are also delighted that RateMyPlacement will  be joining us in Leeds. I’m sure they will need little introduction as their excellent website, placement guides and the National Undergraduate Employability Awards are well known across the land. What you may not be aware of is their monthly university newsletter which provides placement services with useful news and information from the world of placements. Francesca Hall and Lizzie Brock will be attending #PlaceNet14 and RMP is sponsoring Wednesday night’s ‘Fresher’s Drinks’ networking session.



Monday, 12 May 2014

Join the growing list of delegates at #PlaceNet14




#PlaceNet14 is barely a week away but there is still time to book your place. In doing so you will be joining fellow placement professionals from the following organisations who have already signed up for the conference, taking place in Leeds 21-23 May.

Birmingham City University
Brunel University
Canterbury Christ Church University
City University
Cogent Life Science Placement Service
Coventry University
De Montfort University
Kingston University
Leeds Metropolitan University
Leeds Trinity University
London Metropolitan University
Northumbria University
Nottingham Trent University
Regent's University London
University College London
University of Bradford
University of Brighton
University of Derby
University of Greenwich
University of Leeds
University of Liverpool
University of Portsmouth
University of Salford
University of Warwick
University of West London
University of Westminster
University of Wolverhampton
University of York

Please send any queries you may have regarding the conference to placenetuk@gmail.com or find us on Twitter @placenetuk

Wednesday, 30 April 2014

Countdown to #PlaceNet14 Conference - 21-23 May



The countdown to the #PlaceNet14 Conference is well underway. Our Trustees are working hard behind the scenes to finalise the agenda, book a fantastic venue for the Thursday night dinner and get ready to welcome you to Leeds on 21-23 May. If you have not yet registered to attend, there is still time to do so.

The full residential conference package includes 2 nights stay in the Leeds Marriott Hotel with access to the pool and fitness suite; all meals and refreshments, plus conference information and papers. The fee for PlaceNet members is £395, and £600 for non-members. Book your place at the conference here

We also offer a non-residential (Thursday only) package, which includes lunch, dinner, refreshments and conference information. This rate is for PlaceNet members only and costs £200.

Membership of PlaceNet for HE/FE organisations for 2014/15 is £195, so it works out cheaper for existing non-members to sign up for membership if they wish to attend the conference. If you're not already a PlaceNet member or have yet to renew your membership, you can do so online.

Should you have any queries about the conference, please send them to placenetuk@gmail.com and we will aim to reply on the same working day.

Thursday, 17 April 2014

#PlaceNet14 Draft Agenda



We are pleased to publicise the draft agenda for the #PlaceNet14 conference in May.


Book your place online using this link


Thursday, 10 April 2014

Sign up for #PlaceNet14


The annual PlaceNet conference is fast approaching. This year, #PlaceNet14 will be held from 21-23 May at the Leeds Marriott Hotel, which boasts excellent leisure facilities and is located close to both the railway station and city centre shops.

The conference will provide a mix of interesting speakers, discussion and debate regarding the issues surrounding our industry as well as plenty of time to network. If you've not previously attended one of our conferences, Graham Kaye-Taylor provides a flavour from Day 1, Day 2 and Day 3 of the 2013 edition via his Placement Blog.

To book your place at #PlaceNet14 register your details online using our sign up page. The full residential package for members is £395 which includes full board in a single occupancy room with en suite, all meals and refreshments, conference information and papers.

We very much hope you will be able to join us and look forward to seeing you all in West Yorkshire next month.

Monday, 10 March 2014

The National Undergraduate Employability Awards

On Friday 7th March, RMP Enterprise hosted their annual celebration of the world of placements, internships and work experience. Rebranded this year as the National Undergraduate Employability Awards (having previously been known as the National Placement and Internship Awards), the event drew together employers, placement services and some very talented interns.

PlaceNet were well represented at the Awards, with five of our Trustees in attendance. Virginia Goodwill presented the headline award 'Top Undergraduate Employer' to the winning organisation (the result of which is embargoed until RateMyPlacement publicise their Top Employers Guide for 2014-15). Vanetta Cayenne and Alex Elkins were on hand to network with other attendees and to promote the upcoming #PlaceNet14 Conference

Owly Images
The Top 100 Undergraduate Employers - Award sponsored by PlaceNet
Mike Grey and his EC Futures team at Coventry University were deserving finalists in the Best University Placement Service category. Meanwhile it was third time lucky for Graham Kaye-Taylor who after narrowly missing out in 2012 and 2013, left with the 2014 Outstanding Contribution to Work Experience award.

We would like to extend our congratulations to all of the winners, but particularly those in the University Awards

Aston University - Best University Placement Service
University of the West of England - Best University Careers / Employability Service
University of Birmingham (College of Social Sciences) - Most Improved Commitment to Employability
Graham Kaye-Taylor - Outstanding Contribution to Work Experience
Tim Ward - Highly Commended - Outstanding Contribution to Work Experience

Owly Images
The PlaceNet table - with new hot off the press tablecloth
Thank you to RateMyPlacement for staging another superb awards and we look forward to returning to the #NUEAwards in 2015

Thursday, 6 March 2014

PlaceNet Rebranded

You may have noticed that PlaceNet has had a bit of a rebrand. As a modern 21st century organisation, we felt that our existing logo looked a little dated and wanted to adopt something fresh which encapsulated the collaborative approach that our members use in linking students with industry.

Rather than approach a specific designer direct, PlaceNet's Alex Elkins (Branding & Marketing) sourced designs through crowdsourcing. A brief was posted online via DesignCrowd and the submitted entries were voted upon by our Trustees.

We are very pleased with the finished product and proud to unveil our newly designed logo below. Please feel free to leave feedback in the comments section below.





Monday, 3 March 2014

#PlaceNet14 Conference Announcement

The PlaceNet Trustees are pleased to announce that our 2014 conference will take place in Leeds. #PlaceNet14 will run from Wednesday 21 May - Friday 23 May at the Leeds Marriott Hotel. The team are working hard behind the scenes to bring you a exciting group of speakers at what we hope will be our best conference yet.

Booking information and membership renewal details will be released shortly. In the meantime, put the dates in your diary and we'll look forward to seeing you in West Yorkshire.

Friday, 17 January 2014

PlaceNet at the NUE Awards

PlaceNet is pleased to be involved with the National Undergraduate Employability Awards (#NUEAwards) We are sponsoring the headline Top Undergraduate Employer award and continues our relationship with RateMyPlacement having sponsored categories at the previous incarnation of these awards.

We will have Trustees on hand to present the award to the winner when the Awards take place in London on Friday 7 March.

Good luck to all of the shortlisted finalists

Thursday, 16 January 2014

A new website for PlaceNet

Welcome to the new website of PlaceNet - Placements in Industry. Our Trustees are meeting on 17 January to finalise details of our annual conference and we will bring you details as soon as they become available. 

In the meantime, you can follow us on Twitter @placenetuk , join the conversation in our LinkedIn group PlaceNet - Placements in Industry Network or connect with our Trustees via the Trustees tab listed above.