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Careers & Employability

Graduate Head Start Placement Scheme

Employer Handbook No-cost graduate placements for local organisations


Contents Introduction to five-week graduate placements . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2 Frequently asked questions. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3-4 Placement process . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5 Summary. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6 Useful contacts. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7

Introduction to five-week graduate placements The University’s Graduate Head Start placement scheme was established to help both businesses and recent graduates during the current economic climate. We match capable graduates with local organisations that require extra manpower or expertise to undertake a project that will be beneficial to your business. The placement scheme forms part of an intensive course in Employment Skills and Professional Development, which is delivered by the University to prepare the graduates with the skills that they need to make your project a success.

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Frequently asked questions What are suitable working hours? The placement can be undertaken for five weeks on a full time basis or over a longer period on a parttime basis for up to a maximum of 10 weeks. If the placement is full time it should be for no more than 37.5 hours per week from Monday to Friday. In order to provide the best service to both companies and graduates, we offer this level of flexibility to ensure both your needs and those of the graduate can be accommodated.

Are there any costs involved? Placements are unpaid, therefore there are no direct costs to your organisation. You may wish to make a contribution to the graduate’s travel expenses but this is by no means a requirement to offering a placement. Expenses can be paid to the graduate through the University.

What type of work placement is suitable for graduates? The placement scheme is designed to help graduates enhance their development and improve their employability skills. Therefore, any project with a developmental focus would be appropriate. Placements involving specific projects are encouraged to ensure that both the organisation and the graduate have a clear definition of what outcome is required during the placement.

Possible projects could include:

Developing marketing plans and materials Organising events and producing promotional publicity 3

Researching in to new products or existing services Laboratory support Supporting operational procedures, such as finance resources

or human

Developing IT systems, databases and websites Reviewing and developing administrative procedures Similarly, it is important that the graduate gets involved with the daily routine of an office or department in order to gain valuable experience within a work-focused team environment. A Placement Co-ordinator for the University will advise you on the suitability of your project and will support you in producing a placement brief.

What support is offered by the University during the placement? A Placement Co-ordinator from the University will oversee the placement and will support you and the graduate throughout the whole process. This approach is tailored dependent upon the level of support that is required by each graduate and organisation. It is intended that the graduate works in an independent way, allowing them to demonstrate initiative against a background of support provided by their placement supervisor and the University. If you have any queries, the Placement Co-ordinator welcomes contact from you or the graduate at any time during the placement.

I have a placement that is not suitable for this programme, can I still offer it? Yes, we have the facility to advertise placements, jobs and research opportunities to students and graduates through Careers & Employability at the University. We can also signpost you to other student placement schemes (from five to twenty weeks) within the University. For more details about advertising these potential opportunities, please contact your Placement Co-ordinator.


Placement process Before the placement:


a suitable graduate has been identified to undertake your project, we recommend that you have an initial meeting with them in order to confirm their suitability and to ensure that both parties are happy to proceed

We suggest that you negotiate working hours/days and a mutually convenient start date for the placement during this initial meeting

You will also be provided with a health and safety form and an official placement offer form to complete prior to the start of the placement.

At the beginning of the placement

Ensure that the graduate is aware of any specific health and safety

requirements in your organisation and the facilities available to them, i.e. toilets and catering amenities.

During the placement


that the graduate is treated as an employee in terms of conditions of work

The graduate will be supplied with a timesheet which will need to

be countersigned on a weekly basis by their placement supervisor. This will evidence that the graduate has attended the placement to ensure that we can reimburse their expenses

Provide supervision when necessary to the graduate. We recommend

that the placement supervisor has regular update meetings with the graduate. This ensures that the graduate is provided with appropriate feedback and that they are working effectively within your timescales.

After the placement

Complete a short evaluation form to enable the placement team to continually review and improve the placement scheme if required.

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Summary Graduates year

are available to undertake placements throughout the

There is no cost to your organisation for hosting a placement The placement will provide with you with an enthusiastic individual to support research, workloads or innovations within your organisation


placement is flexible and is negotiated between you, the placement provider and the graduate

Graduates are to be treated as an additional unpaid member of the workforce


Placement Co-ordinator will be available to support both the organisation and the graduate throughout the placement


placement provides vital experience for a graduate that will enhance their career prospects

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If you would like more information on the Graduate Head Start placement scheme, please contact a member of the team: Jaime Cox - Placement Co-ordinator 01244 513066 Sally Harding – ESF Project Co-ordinator 01244 513066

When you have finished with this document please recycle it


This document is printed on 50% recycled paper

For further information on the services available to employers through Careers and Employability, please visit www.chester.

Careers & Employability, University of Chester, Parkgate Road, Chester CH1 4BJ

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