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Undergraduate placements close the employability gap

BABC Midlands Team 2009/2010 – Left to right: Jessica Nelson, Cassie Muir and Natalie Gilvear (BABC Midlands Intern 2009/2010)
BABC Midlands Team 2009/2010 – Left to right: Jessica Nelson, Cassie Muir and Natalie Gilvear (BABC Midlands Intern 2009/2010)

4 August 2011

Student placements are playing a key role in enhancing graduate employability, with a year’s placement alongside a university degree seen as ‘fundamental’ in bridging the gap between higher education and the work place.

At Aston University around 70 per cent of Aston undergraduates now opt for a placement as part of a four year course. The University believes UK and International based placements are vital in providing students with the high level of work based skills they need, while offering employers an opportunity to identify suitable students for future employment.

Aston’s strong internationalisation and employability agenda has led to a 100 per cent increase in the number of students on overseas placements since 2006/7. There are currently 236 Aston students undertaking placements overseas, across all continents. In the UK, Aston University is rated amongst the top 20 UK universities most likely to be targeted by top graduate recruiters.

Etta Parkes, Head of Placements at Aston University said: “With an ever increasing demand for cultural awareness and the ability to work in multicultural environments, both UK based and worldwide companies are actively recruiting Aston University students onto placements. In China alone, Aston has placed around 30 interns with companies such as AVIS China, PWC China, J.P. Morgan and JSI Logistics in the last few years and this trend is on the rise.”

Recruiters have also recognised the benefit of undergraduate placements. Jessica Nelson, Transatlantic Business Manager for the British American Business Council (BABC) said: “This year the BABC Midlands (part of the Chamber of Commerce in Birmingham) has welcomed its fifth placement student from Aston Business School. Every student that we have taken on has been a great asset to the team and been extremely professional, friendly and hard working. Some of the students have now gone on to international careers taking with them the many skills and qualities that they have obtained during their placement which will take them far in their careers.”

Research has shown that placement experiences enhance employability and an increasing number of graduate recruiters consider placement experience as an indicator of an applicant’s suitability. This has been clearly proven at Aston University and has been recognised by the 2010-11 High Fliers survey, which again ranked Aston University amongst the top 20 UK universities most likely to be targeted by the UK’s top graduate recruiters.

Aston University have been successfully managing placements for over 30 years throughout the UK, Europe and beyond, and have a very professional and active Placement Office team dedicated to helping high calibre students find placements and helping employers to successfully fill vacancies.

If your organisation is interested in Aston’s undergraduate placements please contact:

UK Placements:

International Placements:

  • Carolina Salinas +44 121 204 3211 c.salinas@aston.ac.uk                                   
  • Rachel Cox +44 121 204 3020 r.cox@aston.ac.uk                   

Employable Graduates; Exploitable Research