Every year, graduate recruiters stress the weight an excellent work positioning carries in the hiring process. Virtually half the companies surveyed for High Fliers Researchs 2016 Graduate Market report “repeated their warnings from previous years”, mentioning that candidates would have “little or no opportunity” of getting a task offer with no prior work experience.

Although graduate task competitors is not as strong as it was, with more tasks on offer to graduates this year than ever previouslyever, one-third of the approximated 20,798 positions readily available in 2016, according to the report, are reserved for applicants who have worked with the hiring business before. Nevertheless, on the plus side, there are now several various ways to find that experience, from pre-university positionings to paid internships for recent graduates.

Maybe most remarkably, more students are now selecting the oldest option on the list, the sandwich course, which has provided students the possibility to integrate scholastic pursuits with an extended useful work placement considering that 1840. This is despite cautions a couple of years ago that the model was in decline.

Restored cravings

The newest GreaterCollege Data Company figures bear out that there has actually been a bounce-back in its popularity. A total of 153,535 first-degree undergraduate students were registered on sandwich courses in 2014-15, compared to 113,795 in 2009-10, when over the exact same time periodperiod undergraduate numbers in overall have actually been falling.

Besides piling application letters on top of coursework in the 2nd year, the placement year could set students back an extra 1,800 in tuition fees, so why are more students being drawn to the sandwich course?

Helen Higson, deputy vice-chancellor of Aston University and professor of greatercollege knowing and management, states that as students begin to believe more about why they should do a degree, the design that provides them the added value of work experience is ending up being more appealing.

” For numerousa lot of our students, their parents didn’t go to university and their families remain in quite low-level jobs. A placement year provides them the chance making those connections and develop social capital,” she says. “Research I have actually done programs that if you are a less confident, less academically strong student, the positioning year enhanced your degree performance more than if you were a strong student.”

Three-quarters of students at Aston invest a year in industry, including those on non-vocational courses such as English and history, who, Higson states, benefit the most from a positioning year.

” An English degree qualifies you for everything and absolutely nothing. To be able to use English literature skills, like composing and analysing, in a vocational environment actually takes these research studies and makes them relevant,” she says.

‘ A brand-new maturity and diligence’

Kate Purcell, a teacher of employment research studies at the University of Warwick, says that work positionings are most efficient when a certain skill set needshave to be acquired however acknowledges the soft skills that are on offer, such as teamwork.

She says that her research study has actually revealed that, as these types of courses have ended up being increasingly structured over the previous Ten Years, students with these degrees are more most likely to be able to access graduate tasks earlier.

Hesa validates this in its Locations of Leavers from GreaterCollege study, which reveals that sandwich degree-holders have an 82 per cent employment rate compared with 74 per cent for other graduates.

While a sandwich year does cost students more, it does not cost as much as it used to. After the tuition cost hikes in 2012, the cap on positioning year costs was half that of a routine year, at 4,500. However this was reduced to 1,800 in 2014-15 owing to concerns about the impact on needas needed for sandwich courses.

However, each university subsidises this charge to a various level. Loughborough University, for instance, charges 840 for a placement year, while the University of Bath requests for the full 1,800. Meanwhile, Aston University provides scholarships that lower the fee to 1,000 for the year. These decreased fees may make the alternative of a sandwich year more available for some, however students that carry out positionings far from home will likewise deal with the expense of new accommodation and relocating.

Harper Adams University, a professional agricultural school where 93.5 percent of students pay an extra 1,800 to invest 12 months in market after their 2nd year, is one institution that thinks passionately that the design works. The university boasts a 96 percent employment rate, which is higher than the nationwide average of 93.2 percent.

Andrew Jones, director of learning and teaching at the university, states that this is “no mishap”By investing a year at the same company, Jones states that students “can take on enhancing quantities of obligation” and benefit that company in a significant way, adding that it’s not unusual for students to be employed by the company that provided them a positioning.

“When the students come back, we find they are altered people. They come back with a new maturity and diligence. They work extremely hard due to the fact that they understand how they can progress in their profession as they leave university,” he states.

Beyond industry, students discover important transferable skills as they applyrequest placements by approaching the procedure as they would a job search, getting ready for interviews and composing CVs and application letters, states Jones.

Cari Thomas, a fourth-year student at Harper Adams who is training to be a rural surveyor, describes the application process as “extremely structured”, however it benefited her when applyingmaking an application for graduate jobs to such a level that she secured a position before finishing her fourth year.

“When I started trying to find jobs, employers were really thinking about exactly what I did in my sandwich year due to the fact that it means I’m one year more detailed to being certified [as a surveyor] than other graduates. When I begin, they will not need to reveal me the ropes,” she states.

Higson says that the placements provided through sandwich degrees are more advantageous than other work experience stints due to the fact that the skills learned in the lecture hall and in the workplace can be integrated and built on in the final year.

“Integrated work experience is much better, due to the fact that they have actually had a possibility to show on what they’ve found out and use it,” she states. With this in mind, Aston has actually set its sights on enrolling 100 per cent of its student body in a positioning year by 2020.

“There’s a much larger cross-section of people going to university,” Higson includes. “If we desire to ensure that everyone gets an equal opportunity … to achieve through university, certainly something like a placement year is an actually compelling way of doing that.”