A Message on behalf of SPIN:

“Its that time of year when (hopefully) you’ve got a little time to plan ahead and look at the projects you’ve got on for next year and how they might be achieved. Is it a bit daunting?

How about taking on an undergraduate student to work with you for the summer? The SPIN scheme will be entering it’s 4th year and has already joined up many companies with the brightest and best, most motivated undergraduate students who are considering working within the space sector.

New students are already checking our website, now we’re looking for companies and organisations with projects that they need completed. The projects could be something you can’t find the time or manpower to do internally, it could be an extra pair of hands on a project that your staff will be working on next summer, or it could be bringing in a skill set that you don’t have on hand at the moment. Typically the students are in their 2/3 or 3/4 year of an undergraduate degree (you specify what kind of degree) and the project will be of about 8 weeks duration.

In 2015 we had over 800 students from across the disciplines looking for placements, and we know from so many studies that one of the biggest barriers to business growth is the dearth of manpower and skills. Many companies have used SPIN as an extended interview and selection process, offering jobs to the students who’ve worked for them all summer, and others have tasked the students with providing information and studies for them that they’d otherwise struggle to achieve.

We ask that you provide a sketch/advert of your project which we’ll upload to the SPIN website (see the template attached), and advertise for 4 weeks. We’ll then check all applications comply with your requirements before sending them to you for either straightforward selection or interview. The relationship from then on is between you and the student you select. We do request that you inform unsuccessful candidates of the outcome as soon as you can. These young people are all trying hard, and do not need to be distracted when they should be concentrating on their work and/or exams. The most organised and switched on students are looking now for placements next summer, so the earlier you’re able to identify a project the better and easier your experience will be.

It is expected that students will be remunerated so that they are able to stay near you or commute from their university accommodation or home. All the students are paying fees and taking on loans and this scheme aims to make the gaining of work experience a level playing field and not only the preserve of the better off. SPIN has some funding to support SMEs participating in the scheme, however the pot is finite and early commitment is essential.

More information can be found on the SPIN website, where there is more information for potential hosts and a page of FAQs.

If your company already hosts undergraduate placements during the summer, you might want to consider linking up with SPIN. Uniquely, SPIN hosts an Induction to the sector as a whole (27th June) which students find an eye-opener, and they could also join the SPIN Showcase event held in November, to show off their experience and your organisation. We are very happy to include more students in the events, as this ensures that the profile of the sector as a great place to work gets spread far and wide.

If you’ve got any questions, please don’t hesitate to ping me an email, I’ll be very happy to give you more information.

Kathie Bowden

UK National Space Skills and Career Development Manager
Institute for Environmental Analytics and UK Space Agency
University of Reading
Harry Pitt Building, 3 Earley Gate, RG6 6AL
T: 0118 378 7763
M: 07956 341122
E: k.e.bowden@reading.ac.uk
Skype: Kathie.bowden”