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Student Work Placements: What’s on Offer?

Webexpenses offers work experience for students at different levels based on qualification type and experience. This includes secondary school and college work experience, apprenticeships, T levels, university internships, and graduate roles.

Throughout the year, Webexpenses works alongside local establishment Abingdon and Witney College to provide college student placements the best experience possible when balancing between college and work life.

Beyond college, Webexpenses partner with Oxford Brookes University to offer industry placements and graduate roles. Webexpenses have seen great success with work placements and since introducing the scheme, 3 students have transitioned into full-time employment.

How does a Webexpenses student work placement help prepare students for the future? A placement can provide:

  • Insights into how a business runs
  • Hands-on experience by managing own projects
  • Opportunities for full-time employment
  • Students with a work-ready attitude

Find out how Webexpenses has helped students of different levels gain valuable experience and what their work placement has entailed:

Work experience

What is work experience?

Work experience for students typically entails learning about a role, a company, or a career sector. They are usually unpaid and give the student the chance to find out what industry they’re interested in at an early stage before they settle into full-time employment.

Secondary school students

Webexpenses welcome secondary school students for one week of work experience. They typically run in the summer.

The students get to experience different areas of the business including Marketing, Sales, Development, IT, Customer Support and Finance. This allows them to gain a good overview into how a business operates.

At Webexpenses, students always have their own projects to work on - tea making and filing is not an option! Previous students have conducted tasks such as analysing competitor research and updating partner information on the website.

Abingdon & Witney College: College students

In February 2022, Webexpenses welcomed two BTEC Business Administration students into the business for one day per week. Similarly to secondary school students, BTEC students experience what life is like working within a Finance Technology business.

This means they’ll spend time with different teams across the business and manage their own tasks. The work placement scheme is an important element of their course, as BTEC’s transition into T Level courses.

Liam Hamblin - now Software Developer at Webexpenses - began his journey at Webexpenses as a BTEC Computer Science student. Later, he graduated from Oxford Brookes University and was offered a role as a Junior Software Developer. As Liam developed key skills within his role, he was soon promoted to Software Developer in 2021.

Liam says, “I’m really glad to have found this opportunity all those years ago when I first came to do my work experience.”

Meet the team: Liam, Software Developer

Apprenticeships: Business Administration and IT

What is an apprenticeship?

An apprenticeship offers an employee valuable experience to learn on the job and get paid whilst working. 20% of an apprentice’s working hours include completing classroom-based learning. This often leads to a nationally recognised qualification.

Apprenticeship with Webexpenses

Webexpenses partnered with Abingdon and Witney College in early 2022 to launch their apprenticeship scheme. Since then, Webexpenses have filled two apprenticeships in Business Administration and IT.

How does an apprenticeship with Webexpenses allow candidates to kickstart their careers?

The apprenticeship scheme offers candidates an alternative solution to go directly into work and study alongside it. This is typically beneficial for students who do not want to attend University but still want to gain a qualification.

The apprenticeship lasts 18 months and apprentices work 4 days a week with one day at college.

They are assessed monthly in the workplace by a City & Guilds assessor. At the end of the apprenticeship, there will be an end of apprenticeship project and final assessment.

On completion, it will then be decided whether they are offered a permanent position within the Webexpenses team.

T Level qualifications: Studying after GCSEs

What are T Levels?

T Levels are qualifications for students aged 16 to 19 who have finished GCSEs. They are a 2-year qualification and the equivalent to studying 3 A levels.

They have been designed with employers to give students the skilled workforce they need. This helps young people develop their knowledge, attitude, and practical skills to thrive in the workplace.

During the qualification, students are expected to complete 45-days/315 hours of industry placement. This is typically held over three 2-week placements.

Webexpenses welcomed their first Digital T Level student in 2019.

Webexpenses offers T-Levels

What does a typical day look like for a T Level student at Webexpenses?

T Level students rotate around different teams in the company relevant to the Digital IT course, including Internal Support, Infrastructure, Software Testing and Digital Marketing.

Webexpenses' first Digital T Level student joined the Software Testing team in 2019. Unfortunately, the placement had to be cut short due to the first COVID lockdown. However, that following summer Webexpenses offered Sam a year fixed term contract to cover maternity leave.

At the end of his fixed term, he was offered a permanent contract. Since then Sam has gained his ISTQB qualification through the additional learning and development he’s been provided with.

Why would Sam recommend completing a work placement?

“I would recommend anyone to take a placement. It’s focussed on the T Level course and the experience is more in-depth, structured, and you get more involved. Being involved with the system means that you have a direct impact on the client.”

Meet the team: Sam, QA Executive at Webexpenses

University undergraduate industry placements

What are industry placements?

An industry placement is a great way for students to develop practical and technical skills within their chosen field. It also enables the employer to source potential employees once they have completed their undergraduate degree.

Industry placements with Webexpenses

To date, Webexpenses has had 6 university placements across different departments. All industry placements are for one year and paid.

Three of those students are now full-time employees at Webexpenses. This includes 1 in Software Development, 1 in Marketing, and 1 in Accounting & Finance.

Webexpenses are on the lookout for more university students to join them in summer 2023:

  • Marketing industry placement/intern
  • Development industry placement/intern
  • Finance industry placement/intern

Advisory boards: Connecting with local college

Melanie, Head of People Experience at Webexpenses, is regularly involved in the development of student courses and other topics beneficial to the college and workspace experience.

This includes the order in which course modules are taught, what content could be considered to bring subjects to life, delivering talks, and offering placements. Melanie sits on a selection of advisory boards including:

  • Abingdon & Witney College: Digital Advisory Board
  • Abingdon & Witney College: Employer Partnership Board
  • Activate Learning: Employer Advisory Board

So far, Melanie has delivered a talk on Recruitment & Selection to the BTEC Business Admin students.

As the year progresses, the wider team will be involved in delivering other talks. Hugh, Head of Development, will deliver an Agile presentation and Adam, CEO, will cover international business.

Want to find out more? Get in touch:

If you’d like to find out more about our student placements at Webexpenses, please get in touch with our People Experience team.

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