Enabling Supportive Placements
As our University moves towards ensuring that all students have access to placements or work-based learning opportunities, and as it continues to support students to access internships, we need to recognise that access to such opportunities is not always equitable. Consequently, not all students feel comfortable on placement and may have experiences which negatively impact on their confidence and motivation. Debrett’s (2016), for example, evidences that coming from a privileged background, being privately educated and having a network of contacts, were the keys to gaining an internship.
We are about to pilot a new programme which will use Tara Yosso’s work on Community Cultural Wealth to help students recognise and learn from the cultural knowledge, skills, abilities and contacts that BAME students have, but which often go unrecognised. If you would like to get involved in this work please email us.
A number of our departments are delivering initiatives designed to enhance equitable access to, and outcomes from, placements. These are:
The following organisations offer a number of supportive initiatives which, whilst not necessarily directly designed to address differential outcomes, support those from Black, Asian and Minoritised ethnic groups to progress in to employment
- Civil Service Fast Stream Summer Diversity internship programme – for students from diverse backgrounds in their final 2 years at university.
- Guardian Newspapers BAME Positive Action scheme – 2-3 week summer placements for BAME groups.
- Media and creative industries diversity programmes – helping young people from black, Asian and other non-white minority ethnic (BAME) backgrounds secure paid training opportunities in creative companies, and supporting them into full-time employment.
 As reported in the media (e.g. https://www.theguardian.com/education/2015/mar/30/debretts-poll-privilege-internships-private-school).