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Thames Valley Berkshire LEP hires University of Reading work placement student

For two consecutive years Thames Valley Berkshire LEP has hired work placement students from the University of Reading. This year the LEP has welcomed James Copland who will work as a Research Assistant for the next 12 months.

James Copland, 20, is studying for a Mathematics Bsc at the University of Reading and said of his placement, “I applied to Thames Valley Berkshire LEP because it was a perfect opportunity for me to utilise some of my existing skills, but also to challenge myself to develop them further by applying myself in a working environment. I knew that at the LEP I wouldn’t just be doing the same thing day in, day out, but would be engaging in a wide breadth of tasks.

“I have already become familiar with a plethora of new data tools, as well as supporting a variety of areas of the LEPs operations. I hope to continue to learn new technical skills, but also to enhance my professional skills such as teamwork, communication and interpersonal skills. Two months in I am already enjoying the challenge and responsibilities associated with the role, as well as the sense of achievement knowing that what I’m doing is actually making a difference, rather than just being purely academic. Overall I’m look forward to the upcoming year with optimism and enthusiasm.”

Caroline Perkins, Research Manager at the LEP added, “Our experience of offering 12-month work placements for undergraduates has been fantastic. The students have added real value to the organization, both in terms of their technical skills and bringing fresh ideas.  I would encourage small local companies to consider offering placements as a way of accessing additional resource and experience the satisfaction of watching a student grow and develop their skill set.”

There are a range of opportunities available in Berkshire for young people to understand the world of work, whether that be by asking their school about the Enterprise Adviser Network, apprenticeships and T-levels.


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