But how do you get an industry placement?
If you’ve never done it before, it may seem a bit scary to approach companies – even if you have something in mind that you’d like to be doing.
At Canterbury College, we have Industry Liaison Officers, who will help you out in finding a placement, but you may choose to organise your own.
Take a look at our step-by-step guide to getting industry placements with top companies.
Do you know what job you’d like to do in the future? If you do, that’s a great start and you can move straight on to Step 2.
If you’re undecided about what you’d like to do, that’s fine, too – there are ways to make it beneficial for you. Do you like to travel? Consider holiday booking agencies or tour companies. If you like animals, you may want to consider kennels or a vet’s surgery.
It may help you to write down a list of different ideas at this point.
If you decided you’d like to work in catering, think about all the places that would help you get the right experience – restaurants, bakeries, hotels, and cafes are all great places to consider.
Try to think of a few different industries – this will really help to keep your options open and give you more chance of gaining a placement.
Do you know any friends or family that will be able to help you? They may work for or own businesses that interest you, so make sure you get in touch with them and see if they can help you.
If you don’t know anyone, don’t panic, there are still things you can do. Write a list down of companies in your area. It could be ones you walk past every day or you may find it helpful to do a web search and discover places you didn’t know existed.
Either way, make sure you are able to reach these places easily and without it being too expensive – an industry placement is unpaid and it is unlikely they will pay for your travel costs, so just be mindful.
If the company is in the local area, drop in and introduce yourself. This will make you seem keen and confident – everything they are looking for. However, for larger businesses, this may not be an option, in which case give the company a call.
If you get nervous speaking on the phone, write down what you’re going to say. Ask to speak to the right person, ask if there are any opportunities and write down any information they give you.
You may need to send over a CV and a letter. Make sure you have one ready. They may like you to send it over in an email, so ensure you have the right details of the person to send it to.
Make sure you ask for help if you need it.
There’s plenty of support at the College, too. We have great links with local and international employers. The Industry Liaison Officer in your department will do their best to help arrange something for you, should you need their help.