Environmental placements information for placement hosts

To advertise your placement opportunity on The Kent Placement Portfolio you need to:

For a successful placement and to get the right candidate make sure you have a clear idea of what you are offering and what you expect from prospective students.

  • Think through what you need the student to do - does the task require specialist knowledge or skills that are not currently present within your organisation?
  • Make sure your placement offers students the chance to increase their skills and employability as well as providing value for your organisation.
  • Be clear about your needs and the placement objectives – and use these when discussing the role at any interviews you may hold.
  • How long will the placement last and how many days do you expect them to work a week?
  • Put prospective students through the same selection process as you would any other potential employee.
  • Consider equality and diversity in the workplace and make sure this has been assessed.
  • Will the placement receive any sort of pay or expenses reimbursement?

As an employer, you should make sure any placement opportunity conforms to legal requirements. It is good practice to provide a structured environment in which students will work, and treat them with the same fairness and respect as you would other employees.

Paid and unpaid internships

The government is encouraging employers to pay a wage that reflects both the value of the student's contribution and the level of training and support offered by the employer.

Employers should also make sure that any placement they offer complies with the law on minimum wages. If a student is effectively performing as a 'worker', then in most cases they will be entitled to the National Minimum Wage.

See our flow chart for determining whether you should pay your students (PDF, 262.3 KB).

Once you have received a response from a student you should:

  • confirm you have received their application
  • contact them within 2 weeks to let them know whether or not they have been successful
  • arrange to meet with the student and academic mentor (if possible or necessary) to confirm the details of the finalised placement, adjusted to fit the students' abilities and needs
  • you should also get all parties to agree and sign the placement agreement (DOCX, 151.1 KB). You may also need to provide a copy of your organisation's equal opportunities policy to the university
  • if your placement is a one off email climate.change@kent.gov.uk so we can remove it from the website.

In the first few days of the placement, it will be useful to organise an induction meeting with the student to specify the requirements of and expectations from the placement, provide additional information about your organisation and its operating context and ensure the student is introduced to key staff or volunteers.

A placement mentor should be appointed for the student as their first line of support. The placement mentor has an important role in monitoring the effectiveness of the placement for you and the student.

To help you plan and structure your placement we have created some documents to assist with the induction process:

It is good practice to make sure the placement is monitored and that a brief report is completed with the student. You may wish to undertake an appraisal meeting at the end of the placement period.

It is also likely that the student may ask you to act as a referee for them. It is suggested that you either give students a standard reference letter - which can be given at the end of the placement – or alternatively you may agree to give the student references for specific jobs.