Managing work-based learning during economic down turn - implications for students, employers and placement co-ordinators.

A grant has recently been awarded to Daniel Bailey from the Higher Education Academy Engineering Subject Centre. The project,  in collaboration with the Northants Engineering Training Partnership (NETP),  looks at the challenging issues around managing work-based learning during an economic down turn.

It is widely accepted that student placement opportunities greatly improve the employability or the participants. This study considers the affects of the current downturn is having upon placement activities, in particular it will review the benefits of placement, evaluate the impact of the economic down turn and concerns of those involved, evaluate the activities which have been put in place to support placement activities and explore other coping strategies to assist placement co-ordinators to mitigate any change in placement arrangements.
This is a research project, which will be focused around the impacts of the current difficult trading climate has on the provision of placement opportunities and experiences for undergraduate students.  The aims are:
  • To gather further knowledge of the benefits of placement activities
  • To better understand the threats to placement opportunities in the current climate
  • To develop of a ‘toolkit’ which will provide placement co-ordinators with some guidance on coping strategies to minimise the effect of economic changes.

The key outcomes of the project will be:
  • Provide placement managers, Programme Leaders and those new to placement activities with a clearer understanding of the potential threats facing the development of new and continuation of existing placement opportunities
  • Provide those involved in offering placement activities with coping strategies to address any change caused by economic change – these strategies will help negate any negative change.
  • Adding to the body of knowledge and developing possible best practice for placement management
The above will be delivered through:
  • Production of a ‘Toolkit’ for placement co-ordinators, which will outline the key points from the activities mentioned above.

For more details contact: Daniel Bailey ( or 01604 893065).

For more details about Northants Engineering Training Partnership (NETP) can be found at: