This paper discusses the unique process and benefits of a collaboration with local businesses, the Economic Development Unit (EDU) of two local Councils and students participating in Holmesglen Institute’s business student placement program.
The Councils’ EDU promote the placement program to their business network and businesses apply for a student, using a 'position description' form. Holmesglen’s co-ordinators interview the businesses to build relationships and to gain an understanding of the type of student that fits the requirement of the business.
Students develop their CV and an application letter for the business that bestaligns their interests with the specified needs of the business. Holmesglen business student placement co-ordinators’ activities thereby are replicating an HR consultancy with students and businesses as their clients. During and after the placements, co-ordinators follow up with the businesses, students and the Councils’ EDU.
In 2018 and 2019, forty-four placed diploma or degree students and thirty-eight host businesses were interviewed or surveyed about their experience with and motivation to participate in the 10-week placement program.
Through understanding the issues, motivation and benefits for host businesses, Holmesglen’s co-ordinators were able to place well-prepared students who were the ‘best fit’ for businesses.
The findings revealed that collaboration extended the placement benefits to students who became more work-ready. Businesses reported benefitting in a number of ways including being exposed to the ‘latest thinking’. The reputations of the participating councils were enhanced. Collaboration also impacts positively on improvements to the content of specific subjects and the delivery of future courses.
Unanticipated gains from this collaboration include being approached to participate in a research project and an industry representative for a Course Advisory Committee to develop a new Human Resources diploma.
Holmesglen’s program uses the collaboration between the stakeholders to add value to all the stakeholders.