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How do I find digital industry placements?

The Department for Education has been pulling together some alternative approaches to consider when sourcing industry placements for digital students.

Non-digital companies can offer digital skills training

The key is to think ‘digital skills’ rather than ‘digital company’.  In other words, digital industry placements do not need to be at a digital company. 

Almost every organisation has some digital service, for example:

  • the IT department
  • marketing - where they manage websites, intranets and social media
  • data warehousing and interrogation

While these won't provide the ‘game designer’ experience or similar that your students may want, non-digital companies still give them the opportunity to put their skills into practice, gain valuable experience of the workplace and identify broader applications for their skills. Students might even get more of an opportunity to use their cutting-edge knowledge and ideas to make a real and lasting difference.

Examples of organisations that offer digital industry placements

Digital T Level-style industry placements have already been successful in many different organisations including:

  • Local authorities
    Examples include the London Borough of Hackney and Norfolk County Council (see the case studies below) and the Department for Education is working with the Local Government Association to promote industry placements, including in digital.
  • NHS trusts
    Placements could take place in their IT departments, medical imaging, marketing etc. Manchester University NHS foundation Trust is one of several successful placements and discussions are ongoing with many other trusts.
  • Retail businesses
    There have been digital placements in retailers, including Amazon.
  • Law and accounting
    These businesses usually have significant IT departments (see the Horwich Farrelly case study below).
  • Hospitality
    Hotel and pub chains can also offer digital placements, whether it is helping in their IT department or with their online marketing.
  • Distribution, engineering and manufacturing
    These businesses, such as InTandem Systems, can offer successful digital placements, including in their data warehousing, supply chain or IT departments.
  • Charities
    Lots of charities need digital support in terms of working more efficiently and reaching clients or other stakeholders. Examples include the 1851 Trust and Royal Albert Memorial Museum (see the case study below).
  • Civil service
    The Department for Education has hosted some industry placements and plans are being developed to host placements across the civil service, including in digital.

Case studies

General industry placement films