Partnerships with work placement providers and professional identity: How can we improve the student experience?


  • Thomas McCooey Liverpool John Moores University, Faculty of Arts, Professional & Social Studies



Sometimes they are essential to fulfil the requirements of an industry’s standard benchmark. For example, in journalism this has been the case for many years with the National Council for the Training of Journalists, where a set number of work placement days are required to gain the organisation’s diploma in journalism, which many universities, including Liverpool John Moores, provides.

But how well do work placements serve their purpose, and serve students about to embark on their careers?

Many students get on well, and walk out of a placement after two weeks having boosted their desire to burst into the industry on the back of a wave of confidence-boosting experience.

But some may see themselves as a burden to superiors pressed for time, and are perched in a corner of the office and forgotten about. They may leave demoralised and in some cases, re-evaluating their career plans.

I have started to research the responsibility education and work placement providers have to ensure students get the best out of their placements through leading LJMU’s scheme with the Liverpool Echo. This is with a view to building tools which can hopefully enhance the student experience in what can be a daunting area.

Sitting in any work environment as a student on placement can be a daunting prospect, and I want to use the experiences of students on The Echo scheme to put building blocks into place to ensure in future, more have a chance to prepare by knowing what to expect and how to navigate an experience which may be new to them. I will also use input from The Echo, and this research could be open to other partnership providers for other courses.

This research, influenced by students, aims to promote graduate employment prospects and inclusivity, as students would be given access to more resources to help them prepare.

At the conference, I would like to share what I have learned so far.

Work placements are a common way to try and help prepare students for future employment.

Partnerships with work placement providers and professional identity: How can we improve the student experience?, PowerPoint. Only LJMU staff and students have access to this resource.