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.
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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

Monday, 11 May 2015

Last Chance to Book Your Place at #PlaceNet15

The final preparations are being made for the forthcoming #PlaceNet15 Conference which is being held next week (20-22 May) at the magnificent Bournemouth Highcliff Marriott Hotel. If you have not yet booked your place there is still time to do so via our online booking page.

The venue for #PlaceNet 15
We are very pleased to announce Kate Croucher, University Relationship Manager at FDM Group as the latest addition to the fantastic line up of speakers, which includes LinkedIn, GradConsult, Barclays, Enterprise and RateMyPlacement.

The PlaceNet Trustees would like to thank RateMyPlacement for their continued support of the Conference, in providing sponsorship for the informal networking session Fresher's Drinks, on Wednesday 20 May. We very much look forward to their involvement at #PlaceNet15 and eagerly await the results of the 'Student Savvy Survey.'

Prices for attendees are as below:
  • £495 - full board
  • £235 - day delegate 
Non- Members
  • £720 - full board
  • £295 - day delegate
Membership details can be found here 

Book your place at #PlaceNet15 today via our online booking form

If you have any queries regarding the conference or membership, please email and one of our Trustees will respond

Please note the Conference Schedule may be subject to change

Wednesday, 6 May 2015

#PlaceNet15 Conference - 20-22 May - Bournemouth - Book Today!

We are pleased to announce that bookings are now open for our Annual Conference. #PlaceNet15 will be held in Bournemouth from 20-22 May at the magnificent Bournemouth Highcliff Marriott Hotel

The Venue

Set on a cliff top overlooking the gorgeous sandy beaches of the Dorset coast, Bournemouth Highcliff Marriott Hotel promises to be our best conference setting yet. Bucket and spade optional!

Our 2015 annual conference promises to be as informative as the last focussing on the importance of HEIs and employer collaborationsas well as discussions on the future of Higher Education post the general election in May.

The event also aims to encourage and support the sharing of ideas and good practice among placement professionals. We will be introducing a poster display for the first time and will showcase the work, contribution and achievements of our HEIs members. If you are interested in taking part then please contact us, we would like to hear from you.

Presentations will include

Rod BakerBarclays Bank, who will lead a session titled Creating Relationships – When Companies and Universities Work in Harmony

Charlie Reeve, Associate Director of Grad Consult, will reflect on his experience of working in graduate recruitment and within Higher Education, when helping delegates to Mind The Expectation Gap

How to leverage LinkedIn to successfully optimise your placement strategy - Charles Hardy (Education Engagement Lead EMEA, LinkedIn)

Fresh from recently receiving the Best Placement Service prize at the NUE Awards in February, Coventry University’s Mike Grey will share his thoughts on Managing Quality, Maximising Opportunity & Minimising the Burden on Employers

RateMyPlacement will discuss the findings of their Student Savvy Survey

We also welcome employer presentations from Keystone and Enterprise Rent-a-Car

A full schedule of the conference can be seen below. Please note that timings and sessions may be subject to change.

And finally, we have an exciting line up of social and evening events planned, which will provide plenty opportunities for networking. Prices for attendees are as below:

  • £495 - full board
  • £235 - day delegate 
Non- Members
  • £720 - full board
  • £295 - day delegate
Book your place today via our online booking form

Monday, 9 February 2015

Round up from the National Undergraduate Employability Awards

On Friday 6 February, RMP Enterprise hosted the 6th annual National Undergraduate Employability Awards in London. The event celebrates the work of employers, students and  universities in promoting work based learning and has grown from humble beginnings to become the must-attend event of the placement calendar.

PlaceNet were proud to be involved with the Awards, sponsoring both the headline Top Undergraduate Employer category as well as a networking game in which attendees attempted to win prizes during the course of the event. A number of PlaceNet Trustees were in attendance, and it was a privilege to hear from guest speakers such as Steven Z Ehrlich (AIA Worldwide) and Jo Fairley (Green & Black’s chocolate)

We would like to extend our congratulations to the winners of the University Awards

Best University Placement Service -  Coventry University – Faculty of Computing and Engineering

Best University Careers / Employability Service - University of the Arts London – Student Enterprise and Employability

Most Improved Commitment to Employability - University of Kent – Careers and Employability Service

Outstanding Contribution to Work Experience -  Professor Paddy Gray – Ulster University

Speaking after the Awards, PlaceNet Trustee and EC Futures Team Leader Mike Grey was understandably delighted at the recognition Coventry University had received. 

'This award reflects the hard work of my colleagues in EC Futures, the students we support to secure placements and the tremendous employers we work with. We have grown as a service over the past few years and to be recognised at the NUE Awards is a great honour.’

EC Futures celebrate their success
It is not the first time Mike Grey has tasted award success, having previously been part of the Brunel University team that won Best University Placement or Careers Service at the inaugural National Placement & Internship Awards in 2010. So how does Mike feel about being in the unique position of winning with two separate services? 

'It was great to be part of those early Awards, and it is incredible to see how far they have moved on. Since joining Coventry University and setting up EC Futures, I have wanted my team to be successful in helping our students take the early steps in their careers, and receiving this external recognition from our industry shines a spotlight on the talented students we support from the Faculty of Engineering and Computing.'

A full breakdown of the Award winners can be found on the NUE Awards website - congratulations to all finalists and well done to RMP Enterprise for hosting another brilliant Awards.

Monday, 2 February 2015

PlaceNet heads to the NUE Awards

Later this week, PlaceNet Trustees will be attending the annual celebration of our industry, the National Undergraduate Employability Awards. The event, hosted by RMP Enterprise showcases the outstanding achievements of organisations, universities and students in undergraduate work experience.

PlaceNet is proud to be associated with the NUE Awards and for the second straight year is sponsoring the headline award, Top Undergraduate Employer, which is decided based upon the reviews of students undertaking placements and internships. Last year we presented the prize to Barclays. We very much look forward to presenting the 2015 winners with their award at the ceremony in London on Friday.

Former winner and PlaceNet Trustee Graham Kaye-Taylor said 'it was a real honour for me to be recognised last year by the NUE Awards for my work in helping students to secure placements. As a Trustee, I am delighted at PlaceNet's continued involvement with the Awards which have been growing in stature year upon year.'

PlaceNet would like to wish all the very best to our members that are shortlisted for an award, including:- 
Coventry University (Faculty of Computing & Engineering) in the Best University Placement Service category
University of Greenwich (Faculty of Business) in the Best University Careers / Employability Service category.
Sam Clark - (Canterbury Christ Church University) - Outstanding Contribution to Work Experience

Follow the Awards from 1.30pm Friday 6 February on Twitter using hashtag #NUEAwards

Friday, 9 January 2015

New Year Honours for PlaceNet Vice-Chair

PlaceNet is delighted to learn that our Vice-Chair, Virginia Goodwill, was recognised in the New Year Honours.

Virginia, who works at the University of Brighton, received the British Empire Medal for her work in the Brighton Sailing Club, Brighton Surf Lifesaving Club and PaddleRound The Pier initiative

Virginia Goodwill
The PlaceNet Trustees would like to extend our warm congratulations to Ginny for this much deserved award.