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