An engaging work placement programme, directly involving businesses and industries, that gives students relevant experiential practice and underpins their learning. The programme equips students for the workplace, with high levels of employability.
Our aim is to ensure that every student is offered a valuable work placement experience integrated in the work that they are doing. Work placements are rated through student and employer questionnaires and feedback.
The overarching strategic objective of De Salis Studio College is to provide an exceptional background in learning and training for students who wish to succeed in the areas of Business, Retail and Management, Finance and Accounting, Criminology, Psychology and Computer Science. The educational offer at the College is quite distinct, yet complementary to other courses available in Hillingdon and West London. Although most courses offering the aforementioned areas provide either vocational or academic pathways, De Salis, with its strong links with business, is able to provide sound theoretic learning and direct work with employers on briefs which they themselves have helped design.
De Salis has gained the commitment of a number of high profile businesses and organisations. The programme will be carefully monitored and reviewed to ensure that it is rich with unique experiences and opportunities beyond the reach of others. More to the point, exposure to the business world in this way, means that students have access to a network of contacts which serve them well when seeking employment. Beyond the corporate organisations involved, there is also considerable interest and support within the community of retailers locally. This too offers a whole range of relevant experience in small and medium sized businesses.
To ensure that students are ready for the workplace, they can spend a considerable period of time during the week at their placement. Students therefore gain first-hand experience of the working world where they are able to learn how things are done in business and commerce. Students can become fully integrated part-time members of staff who develop skills to work independently on tasks assigned to them.
“Throughout the course, training providers must gather evidence that demonstrates that each student has been involved in meaningful employer engagement activities before certificates can be issued to their students. Training providers must record the range and type of employer involvement that each student has experienced in a student activity plan.”
De Salis has a rigorous work experience programme in place, and this is integral to all of our students’ programmes of study. Further to this, we are a studio college and a business college, so employer engagement and work experience assume central roles in our curricular offer. This has stultified a little during times of Covid restrictions. However, De Salis has adapted successfully and instituted a programme of virtual work experience for all Year 10 and Year 11 students. We are also successfully working towards achieving all eight Gatsby Benchmarks. We have a dedicated Assistant Principal, one of whose major areas of responsibility is to oversee our work experience programmes. Given that we are a business college, our placements generally entail some level of supervised administrative work. However, prior to registration in Year 10 and Year 11 we will combine this programme with one that ensures all students entered for certification will be placed with employers that offer a placement or mentoring that meets the needs of the qualification. The trust is partnered with the high-profile accountancy firm, Moore Kingston Smith, and Dana Lukic is our senior contact there and we will work with them to ensure that the attached employer engagement requirements are successfully met.’