Employer Engagement and Work Placements

The College aims to continue to work closely with local employers to ensure we are meeting the skills and learning needs of businesses and individuals in the workforce, and making an effective contribution to enhancing the employability of those individuals.

catering student stood in a kitchen, holding a piping bag

How can we help?

Well managed Employer Engagement is essential in both developing and strengthening links with industry. This area of work focuses on expanding the College’s student work placement and work experience provision, and also investigating ways of developing innovative models of engagement with employers in the area of programme design, development and delivery.

The main objective is to meet both employer and employee demand for skills development.

  • Closing skills gaps
  • Reducing skills shortages
  • Modes of delivery to suit our local employers
  • Employers input into classroom activities

“As local Employers, we want your views – positive or negative! So why not contact Joanne George, Employer Engagement Co-ordinator, today. You can contact Joanne by email, phone, or request a company visit.”

Together - shaping the workforce


Work Placements

What is a work placement?

A work placement is when an employer takes on an unpaid member of staff to work for their company over a set period of time. The student/students would be studying for a qualification relating to the industry in which the employer operates.

Many Borders College students are required to undertake a work placement as part of their studies. For employers, work placements can be a simple and easy solution to manage busy periods – increasing productivity at no cost. It also allows employers the opportunity to raise the skill level of young people and adults, contributing to their current education and improving their future employability.

The College’s creative and motivated students can really add value to a business, particularly in the current challenging times. Participating in the placement programme can raise an organisations profile amongst the local community – demonstrating you are a caring employer. In addition it can also be of benefit to your existing employees, giving staff the chance to develop their skills in supervisory, support and training roles.

The time and duration of each placement varies from course to course but can often be negotiated to meet the needs of the business.

At present the College offers placements in the areas of:

  • Business, Administration & Tourism
  • Horticulture / Landscaping
  • Care & Childcare
  • Horse Care / Animal Care
  • Carpentry & Joinery
  • Gamekeeping
  • Painting & Decorating
  • Hairdressing / Beauty Therapy
  • Brickwork
  • Catering and Hospitality
  • Plumbing
  • Sport
  • Motor Vehicle / Rural Mechanics
  • Retail
  • Agriculture

In turn, employers that offer work placements have a number of responsibilities to ensure those involved get the best from this opportunity. Before embarking on a Work Placement programme, employers must be able to:

  • Provide meaningful work
  • Prior to the placement, set time aside to meet with the student and establish their suitability to fit in with you and your team
  • Be prepared to commit resources, i.e. staff and time, to train, supervise and mentor the work placement student throughout their stay
  • Provide an induction for all students on their first day
  • Conduct a pre-placement check with a member of the work placement department in relation to the health & safety provided by you as an employer and the safeguarding of our students.
  • Allow time for a member of College staff to visit to carry out a mid-placement review.

For further information about work placements contact Verity Hislop, Work Placement Co-ordinator – Tel: 01896 66 26 00 or email employer@borderscollege.ac.uk

Recruitment and Selection

Do you have vacancies to advertise?

Why not take advantage of our free advertising service through our Student Association website. This can be used in addition to other advertising methods or alternatively we are happy to support businesses to recruit from our newly qualified students at the end of each academic session.

For further information please contact Verity Hislop, Work Placement Co-ordinator – Tel: 01896 66 2600 or email employer@borderscollege.ac.uk


Would you like to increase productivity at no cost?

Does this sound too good to be true? Why not see for yourself by taking part in the Borders College Work Placement Programme.

  • Borders College have students from many areas of study looking for work placements now – why not see how our creative and motivated students can complement your business.
  • Work experience is a great opportunity for students to apply learning and skills, improve knowledge and understanding, and plays a vital part in developing the essential skills for entering the world of work.

(please note the College can provide appropriate Insurance cover where necessary) 

Contact Veronica Blackwood, Curriculum & Learning Manager – Essential Skills and Transitions – Tel: 01896 66 2600 or email employer@borderscollege.ac.uk

In order to meet local skills development and recruitment needs the College have a number of Advisory Boards as part of their Employer Engagement programme. 

Advisory Boards are designed to give local employers the opportunity to influence the programmes in their particular vocational area. This ensures that the college deliver the skills required to prepare students for employment, and that courses are both up to date and relevant.
If you would like the opportunity to influence the programmes the college offers in your vocational area please contact Veronica Blackwood, Curriculum & Learning Manager – Essential Skills and Transitions – Tel: 01896 66 2600 or email employer@borderscollege.ac.uk


  • ESOL Employers' Forum
  • PDA Promotional Event
  • Construction Advisory Board
  • Care Employers' Forum
  • Construction Advisory Board
  • Construction Advisory Board

Client Initiated Projects are an excellent way of giving students the experience of producing work for a real purpose, working within realistic conditions and time constraints and adapting to changing client requirements.

In some cases this is a required element of the course, in others it is simply good practice. Whatever the case, if you have a project you think may be suited any of our wide range of courses please contact Verity Hislop, Work Placement Co-ordinator – Tel: 01896 66 2600 or email employer@borderscollege.ac.uk