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Employability and entrepreneurship embedded in professional placements in the business curriculum

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  • L Education
  • Subjects Outside Of The University Themes
  • Education


Purpose This paper explains the practice of professional placements in a large UK Business School, grounded in literature and research concerning the relationship between professional experience and employability. It explores possible further developments of this practice into student entrepreneurship. Design The paper outlines the relevant literature and then describes the operation of the scheme in practice. It identifies relevant problems and discusses opportunities for both development and research. Findings Professional experience is of immense value to both students and the organisations that host them. Despite reluctance on the part of some of these two key stakeholders, it has the potential for further expansion in terms of number of students on placement, their location, their experience and integrating placements with entrepreneurship education. Practical implications Organisations may see the benefit of employing students on one year or shorter contracts, Universities not currently offering professional placements within the curriculum to their students may wish to adopt best practice, and those that are already involved may wish to consider the optional/compulsory element of the placement experience in order to address the reticence of many students to secure this experience. The paper suggests solutions to the well established question ‘Can entrepreneurship be taught?’ by investigating the idea of Enterprise Placements. Originality/value This work helps to explain, in a practical way, the opportunities and problems associated with the implementation of a placement scheme in the context of relevant literature.

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