Guidelines for prospective placement employers 2016/17. Agriculture related courses

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1 Guidelines for prospective placement employers 2016/17 Agriculture related courses

2 Sandwich courses at Harper Adams Thank you for your interest in becoming a placement employer. Harper Adams University places great importance on the industrial placement period which is regarded as an essential part of each course as it greatly improves the career prospects of graduates. The University has a responsibility towards the welfare of its students whilst on placement. These notes are intended as a guide for prospective employers to see what is involved in employing a Harper Adams sandwich student. The University offers the following Agriculture courses: BSc/BSc (Hons) & FdSc Agriculture BSc/BSc (Hons) & FdSc Agriculture with Mechanisation BSc/BSc (Hons) Agriculture with Animal Science BSc/BSc (Hons) Agriculture with Crop Management BSc/BSc (Hons) Agriculture with Environmental Management BSc/BSc (Hons) Agriculture with Farm Business Management BSc/BSc (Hons) Agriculture with Marketing Potential benefits to your business of employing a sandwich student A placement student can benefit your business in a number of ways: New ideas and fresh enthusiasm Up to date knowledge of latest industry developments, new technology and I.T skills Knowledge and skills to tackle projects put on the backburner A cost effective additional staff resource Benefit from the latest research through closer links with the University Try before you buy with regard to graduate selection. Harper Adams students: Are good team workers Can think for themselves and get on with the job Can focus on business issues and solutions Resolve business problems effectively. Typical projects undertaken by Harper Adams students include: Enterprise appraisal and business development planning Research and development Reviewing work processes and efficiency Marketing and market research Design and implementation of databases The system Placements are for a period of 52 weeks (including statutory holiday), commencing from July to September. Students are interviewed by the Placement Team in the autumn term before placement to assess their needs and interests, and to review any particular training needs to make them more useful to sandwich employers. Jobs are advertised to students from September and students choose the jobs that most interest them from the details employers have supplied, together with guidance from the Placement Manager. Employers are sent the CV s of all students who have selected the job on offer in late January, and asked to draw up a short list (if necessary) of students they would like to interview. The decision to employ a student is left entirely with the employer. Students are allowed to apply for more than one job at a time. Employer Guidance - Agriculture Placements 1

3 The aim The aim of the work placement is to integrate the theory of the teaching at the University with on the job training to produce a well-rounded individual capable of carrying out the necessary practical work, as well as being able to take management responsibility at the end of the course. Specifically the aims of the placement period are: 1. To provide an opportunity to apply knowledge, understanding and skills acquired in the course, in an industrial, commercial or professional environment. 2. To provide opportunities to acquire and practice the practical and intellectual skills needed in the workplace. 3. To develop an appreciation of management skills and sensitivity towards the interpersonal relationships involved. 4. To inculcate a mature, professional and flexible attitude in readiness for final year study and career development. 5. To provide experience on which to base career plans. 6. To acquire further knowledge and experience upon which the student group as a whole can draw in the later stages of the course. Responsibilities of the University The industrial placement is a joint arrangement between the University, the employer and the student. The University is responsible for: 1. Ensure as far as possible to place students in a situation where the placement is efficiently and safely run and complies with current Health and Safety Legislation and HSE Codes of Practice, by requiring employers to make a written declaration by signature, that they fulfil statutory health and safety and insurance obligations. 2. Placing the student with an employer who is sympathetic to the students needs for training and experience. 3. Agreeing with the employer a schedule of work and learning outcomes, and a method for assessing development. 4. Visiting the student during the placement period (normally twice), the first visit around threefour months after the placement commences, and again towards the end of the placement before the placement ends. 5. Working to ensure that employers are aware of, and fulfil their responsibilities as outlined below. Employer responsibilities The responsibilities of the employer are those normally required in any working situation and therefore include: 1. Hold current Employers and Public Liability insurance and notify their insurers of the students name for their records where required to do so. 2. Comply with employers legal responsibilities under the Disability and Discrimination Act. 3. Operate an Equal Opportunities Policy. 4. Ensuring that accommodation for the student, where provided by the employer, meets basic hygiene and environmental standards. 5. Paying the student according to the National Minimum Wage. More information on pay scales may be available from the NFU. Employer Guidance - Agriculture Placements 2

4 6. Negotiate the terms of employment in advance and issue the student with a contract of employment. Suggested sources of information for employers regarding employment law, statements of employment, working hours, breaks, holidays, wages, equality, disability, health and safety at work, insurance, etc.: Have a high regard for the Health and Safety of the student, and comply with current Health and Safety Legislation and HSE Codes of Practice, and in particular not request them carry out tasks which are outside of the law. 8. Report to the University any recorded accidents involving the student. 9. Release the student for reassessment examinations should this be required. This takes place in early September. However, the University also encourages employers to recognise the purpose of the industrial period in the education and training of the student. We are therefore grateful for any help employers can give by: 1. Providing as many opportunities for acquiring new skills as possible. 2. Providing regular feedback on the student s performance and helping them to improve their employability skills and attributes. 3. Allowing the student to acquire an understanding of the organisation and management of the business, and where appropriate, to make records available. 4. Provide support for the identification and implementation of a Company Project, the aims and objectives of which should be negotiated between the employer, the student and the visiting tutor. Student responsibilities The students are expected not only to learn from their placements, but also to be full members of the workforce. They are therefore expected to: 1. Become functional members of the workforce. 2. Display a positive attitude at all times. 3. Carry out duties as requested. 4. Maintain the highest standards of health and safety and general tidiness. 5. Complete course assignments within the timescales set. 6. Respect employer/client confidentiality at all times. 7. Act as ambassadors of the University at all times. Student assignments Students have to complete two assignments during the year which are assessed by their tutor at the University. They are given a choice from a range of subject areas which will involve them looking at an aspect of the business they are employed in. Students are strongly encouraged to carry out assignments which are going to benefit their employer by providing them with a piece of work containing a balanced appraisal and examination of all of the options available before making a business decision. During the placement students should be asking as many questions about the business as possible, showing interest in the business, and questioning the reasoning behind the work that is carried out. A lot of this information is used in the assignments, so employers are requested to be as open as possible about the business, including (within reason) financial information. Confidentiality is respected at all times. Employer Guidance - Agriculture Placements 3

5 FACTS & BASIS training Students studying BSc Agriculture and BSc Agriculture with Environmental Management may, subject to satisfactory academic performance, undertake a placement where they can gather sufficient evidence of experience to qualify for completing FACTS registration after their placement. BSc Agriculture with Crop Management students can also study BASIS in addition to FACTS. Employers who can offer experience of a range of cereal, root and break crops, use of pesticides and fertilisers along with the opportunity to include the student in crop walking and agronomic decisions made by a FACTS/BASIS qualified person or agronomist may be suitable for supporting students embarking on this training. The Agriculture Placement Manager will discuss this if appropriate when validating new placements. Harper Adams tutor support Timing and number of visits Students on placement are allocated to a visiting tutor and students are normally visited twice during the placement. The first visit from the tutor normally occurs around three to four months after the student has commenced their placement, followed by a second visit towards the end of the placement before the student leaves. For students on placement overseas, this visit/review may be using an agent or discussion with the placement provider, student and assigned tutor using telephone, , Skype or equivalent means to communicate. Visit 1 / Review 1 The tutor and employer usually spend a few minutes discussing the student s progress and any problems that may have arisen. The student is then asked to join the tutor, and ideally to take the tutor on a brief tour of the business, which allows the tutor to gauge how the student is settling in and how much of an interest they are taking in the business. Students have the opportunity to voice any concerns with the tutor which may be raised with the employer. However, students are encouraged to see themselves as part of the workforce, and are expected to be able to make the initial attempt at sorting out problems directly with their employer. Only as a last resort will University staff become involved. Visit 2 / Review 2 Towards the end of the year, the tutor will make a second visit during which the students performance will be discussed and a mark awarded by the employer against a set of employment criteria. Health and Safety The University has a responsibility for the welfare of the student when he/she is on placement. All students undergo Basic First Aid training during induction, and all students are required to access Health and Safety information and undertake and pass a Health and Safety test before commencing placement. In addition, all students attend a compulsory briefing prior to commencing placement which includes awareness of Health and Safety. The University expects employers to hold current Employers and Public Liability Insurance, and not ask the student to do anything which is outside the law. Students working on farms are strongly encouraged to obtain the relevant Pesticides and Lift Truck certification before they go on placement. Employer Guidance - Agriculture Placements 4

6 The University requires all employers to complete a Placement Agreement Health & Safety for each student they employ on placement. Where to go from here - advertising your vacancy It is University policy that we hold electronic records of all placements offered to students at Harper Adams University. New placements are approved/validated by the placement managers, so please provide the details by following the instructions below: 1. Go to the Harper Adams website 2. Click on Register to use this service. 3. Complete Company name, contact name and address then click the Register button. Please ensure you read the information in the green box. 4. In the green box, Click here to return to the sign in page and await notification of your temporary password from 5. Once you have received this, in the Employer Registration box, enter your address and the password which has been sent via confirming your registration. Click on Log in. 6. At first log in, you may change the password at this stage. 7. Choose Add a new vacancy. Complete the form with as much information as possible. 8. Once you have completed your details, click Submit placement. You will have the option to print the page. 9. You will receive an confirming receipt of your vacancy; this will include your reference number. Please keep this for future reference. 10. If you wish to edit your job once it has been submitted, log in via the link as above and your current vacancy will be listed on your home page. NOTE: If you edit your vacancy details, the placement team will need to re-approve before it is readvertised to our students. If you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to contact: Terry Pickthall Placement Manager (Agriculture) Telephone: Kathy Smith Placement Officer Telephone: Should you wish to find out more information about Harper Adams, please visit the website at Employer Guidance - Agriculture Placements 5

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