My son Tom has just completed his 2nd year of a four year degree in Computing Sciences at The University of Kent – the University were to provide him with a placement starting in September 2014, but have not found one. I'd thought it was just bad luck on his part, but I now also find that his friend Glen is also in the same boat without a placement from The University of Derby.

As the owner of my own business I don't subscribe to an "entitlement culture" – I believe that, if you want something in life, the only person that can really help you achieve that is yourself. So, I agree with the idea that they must put the work in to secure a placement. However, as any HR person will know, at the age of 20, the main thing that students don't have access to are quality networks. Placement offices should really be excellent at helping them to find network contacts, as the decision makers for placements are often outside of the student's own circle of influence at this stage of their lives.

Tom – at the end of year Prom in 'relaxed' mode

I did some investigating and found that, in both cases, the student placement office were not excellent in these "enabling" strategies. When I contacted the University of Kent to enquire as to what was going on I was given a robust administrative defence of "their position" but no real answers to my questions about such matters. 

Whilst it is ultimately the responsibility of the student to find a placement, the "game has changed" recently with students now spending up to £36 000 for their education. This obviously changes the expectation, especially when placements with the likes of Google, Microsoft et al are actively promoted as a key part of the "psychological contract".

Glen Brown – not the devil

So, if anyone knows of any companies looking for one or two students to work from September 2014 in computing (systems development, programming etc. not so much IT support), please let me know or connect directly via their Linkedin profiles below. I'm searching on behalf of both of them to help them access networks and not to replace their need to apply for posts and so on. They are available to work pretty much anywhere. We would be most grateful for any suggestions of places to look that may not be visible, shares of this post, Linkedin connections or direct contacts. 

Connect with Tom

Connect with Glen