SHU launches short placement scheme to strengthen talent pipeline Sheffield Hallam University is inviting employers to take first year computing students on a one week placement to give them early exposure to the world of work. Claire FletcherNews and Opportunities and Skills14th October 2019careerseducationSheffieldSheffield Hallam Universityskills As part of Sheffield Hallam University’s (SHU) new Highly Skilled Employability offer, it is inviting businesses to take computing students on a short placement half way through their first year. This shows a real commitment from the university to get students well versed in how tech businesses work and we’re delighted to see SHU responding so well to the needs of our sector. You can support the scheme with a low-level investment of time and resources, and in turn, you might find your next star intern, or employee! SHU is extending its employability offer to first year students, adding to its successful history of internships and year-in-industry placements. The week long placements are designed to show Computing students the inner workings of Sheffield’s tech businesses, helping them to contextualise their learning and develop the skills that employers need. This could really strengthen the talent pipeline for Sheffield’s digital industries, so we are keen to see as many businesses as possible back the scheme. How will it work? The ‘ask’ of employers is relatively low. You can take a placement student in the form of either a one-week block placement in January 2020, a one day a week placement from January – April or, if you are unable to host student at your workplace, a project based placement at University with regular one to one employer contact. Whilst SHU is keen to stress that the students’ skills will not be as advanced as those who undertake a sandwich placement, they will have a competence in either: security and networks, programming, digital marketing and social media or IT support. What can you offer? Whilst a week doesn’t seem like a long time, the key to these placements is to enable students to absorb the day to day workings of a tech business. The opportunity to shadow members of your team, observe and ask questions will provide invaluable experience and insight which can then be applied to their studies. Mike Heselton, Employability Lead for SHU’s Department of Computing explains, “It’s essential that all students – even those that are really bright and have all the skills on paper – are exposed to a professional environment so they understand the expectations that employers have of them. They need to see how an office works, how people behave, how people talk to each other and how work is allocated. It’s really important that our talented students actually understand how to apply that talent in a professional context.” And whilst the students will be inexperienced they will still have plenty to offer. Mike continues, “Our students will only have four months of study behind them, but they will be bright, tech savvy and have lots of ideas.” If you haven’t engaged with either of our brilliant universities and the placements and internships they offer, this is a great way to dip your toe in without committing a lot of time or resources. Plus, you’ll be doing your bit to shape the much needed tech talent pool of the future. Interested? If you are interested and would like more information, please contact Arnett Powell, Employer Partnership Officer on 0114 2253433 or firstname.lastname@example.org.