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Engineering work experience

Roadworks signWork experience is a vital part of kick-starting your career – and you can find it in lots of different places.

There’s lots of general work experience information in the Knowledge Bank , but for engineers there are a few more opportunities and things to think about. Take a look at some possible work experience options.

The Year in Industry

The Year in Industry is a scheme which helps students to find year-long work placements with a variety of different companies. If you want to do a year’s work as a gap year, or as part of a “sandwich course”, then the Year in Industry could be a good place to start.

To apply, visit the Year in Industry website and fill in an online form. The organisation will send out your details to different companies, so that you only have to apply once. Applications cost £25, which will also cover extra parts of the scheme like management training. Placements start in the summer or autumn.

Sponsorship

Sponsorship is a great way to help out your finances while you study – but it can also provide valuable work experience opportunities. Many sponsorship schemes include summer work placements, and you might even have the chance of a first job after you finish your course.

Working while you study

Lots of engineering courses, such as apprenticeships and HNDs, are based around work experience, so if you’re planning on taking one of these you’ll already be off to a good start.

However, other courses can still offer opportunities to get some experience. Many degrees include a work placement as a standard part of the course, or will allow you to go on one during it. It’s worth talking to your department and careers service to see what’s on offer.

Even if you can’t bring work experience into your course directly, lots of university and college engineering departments have links with engineering companies who might be more willing to offer placements to their students. Again, your department or careers service should be able to help you find out about this.

Part-time work

It’s not always easy to find work experience that is specifically engineering-related. Remember that any kind of work experience will give you skills that can be attractive to employers, such as organisation and communication skills. In fact, just having had a job will show potential employers that you can be responsible and reliable – and you could earn some money, too.

It’s also worth looking to see if jobs are available with engineering companies even if they aren’t engineering-based – for example, admin work. This will give you useful contacts and could provide a way in to a placement or a job.

Access Professions

If you want to be notified of new opportunities for engineering work experience, sign up for Access Professions to receive email notifications when companies and other organisations have a new scheme or event available. As well as work experience, Access Professions will tell you about opportunities ranging from open days and workshops to free podcasts and online information.

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