NTU and Santander Universities launch Placement Learning Academy

NTU in partnership with Santander Universities are launching a skills-led development programme aimed at penultimate year students from low-income households.

Launching in February 2019, PLAN (Placement Learning Academy, NTU) will be a structured skills bootcamp aimed at preparing students who are transitioning into the workplace.

PLAN is looking to support over 100 second year widening participation students, to enable them, regardless of their individual circumstance, to have fair access to opportunities and enjoy the same success levels as their non widening participation peers, both during and after their studies.

The programme has been designed for eligible students from low-income households, focused on enhancing their knowledge of skills not routinely covered in their courses but required by employers, their self-awareness, and their ability to successfully articulate these skills in recruitment processes to achieve success in their placement search. PLAN will create a peer-to-peer learning and community support network for widening participation students going out on their sandwich year.

PLAN explores six work-based skills which employers' value in their recruits. These include building a growth mindset, demonstrating resilience, gaining commercial awareness, active listening, business communication and personal branding. Students will learn how to articulate their skill development and understand how these will be tested within recruitment processes, helping them to begin thinking like a recruiter, leading to them increasing the likelihood of becoming employed.

As part of the partnership with Santander Universities, NTU are developing employability activities to ensure students leave university prepared for the world of work and add value to businesses across the UK.

PLAN will deliver an innovative and impactful skills programme to support students from widening participation to develop their confidence and aspirations to engage in the placement process.

Emmie Studenchki, Employer Engagement Projects Manager at NTU says, "we strongly value our strategic relationship with Santander Universities, their investment into the PLAN programme will further enhance and develop our student experience. Sandwich placements are known to help students progress to further study or give them a greater chance of landing graduate-level employment."

"Santander is committed to supporting higher education as well as local communities across the UK" said Matt Hutnelll, Director of Santander Universities UK. "Our support for the higher education sector is designed to enable universities across the UK to develop ambitious projects that deliver real economic, social and employment benefits. We are delighted to support this innovative skills programme enabling students and graduates to become more employer ready"

Alongside developing their skills, students who go on to secure a placement will also receive NTU's Rise Sandwich Placement Bursary, a non-refundable payment of up to £1,000 to support them over their placement year.

Santander through its Santander Universities division, maintains partnerships with over 1,200 academic institutions in 20 countries. Santander Universities was introduced in the UK in 2007 with the bank already collaborating with over 80 British Universities and Higher Education Institutions, with agreements focused on promoting international exchange, entrepreneurial activities and the mobility of student and researchers within the network.

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