Placements and Work Experience Benefits for Both the Student and the Business
The benefits of placements and work experience shouldn’t and cannot be understated – they are invaluable to the student and evidence affirms this. They provide the basis for students to propel their personal and professional development in a way that would otherwise be difficult to achieve.
The opportunity to participate in the reality of a team-based working dynamic as opposed to the more individualistic approach to academic study is clearly going to build on the self-discipline and problem-solving skills that are usually taught and gained at university.
Having effective and reputable evidence, along with a reference, of experience in a working environment allows students to add this to their CV, too. This allows them to begin to build up a positive representation of their abilities that they can advertise to potential employers as they look for work.
Perhaps most importantly, a successful work experience or placement could subsequently lead to the offer of a role post-graduation or on completion of their course. This is excellent, both for the employer, who know they’re taking someone on with whom they know the benefits they bring to the business and for the student who can now start their career in earnest.
Even for those where a job isn’t offered come the end of study, the ability to network during the experience has strong benefits in helping them gain contacts, who could generate referrals whilst offering advice and further opportunities.
Students studying accountancy through college or university will clearly have their wits about them. A student can offer high-level skills that can only be accentuated in a high-quality placement which is curated towards the best candidate. When making the final decision on who is awarded with the opportunity, it is important to ensure the student’s desires, knowledge and interests are most congruent with the business.
A new way of thinking
Young students have a great knack for bringing new attitudes to a business. For example, both placements and work experience allow for management and colleagues to draw upon a flexible source of talent that has perhaps been taught new techniques and methods that are emerging within the industry.
Regardless of how much experience an individual has within their line of work, they will always have something new they can learn and a student on placement could be that source. Therefore, they could add value to the current employee’s stock of knowledge too.
Furthermore, deciding to employ a placement student has the potential for considerably fewer risks compared to recruiting an already qualified full-time staff member. A placement student is a relatively clean slate, from which a company can proactively develop in a way that fits the ethos of that business – this is especially important if there is a view to employing the student on a long-term basis in the future.
Here at Buxton, we’re strong believers in the idea that being taught ideas and actually having the ability to implement them in a working environment are two completely different skillsets. Hence why we believe in providing a platform for future prospective accountants to put their teachings into practice, so they don’t falter when they enter the competitive labour market.
Providing placements and work experience opportunities can form an important part of a company’s business model, corporate social responsibilities and identity, by developing the skills of talented individuals that are important for the future of the industry.
Our Managing Partner and accountant junkie David Buxton is registered as an Approved Trainer of Chartered Accountants with the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW). He is also an approved Practical Experience Supervisor for the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA). As a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountant in England and Wales, his experience is invaluable and key to pass on to the next generation of accountants who will take the profession forward.
For more information on placements or training please get in touch.