​Top 5 best paying regions for student placements and internships

Placement jobs student

Guest post from Rate My Placement

Placements and internships are a big deal these days. There was a time, years ago, when these periods of 'work experience' were either largely unheard of, or happened to be the butt of jokes.

That was all because the perceived value of these programmes was low, the stereotypical image being that of a student stuck in a dark corner and asked to make tea all day. However, over time that has changed – drastically.

Companies have gone from scoffing at placements and internships to holding them in high regard and placing a lot of importance of these experience programmes. Why? Well, as the number of people going to university has grown, so has the amount of people graduating – often with similar skill sets and qualities.

When all these candidates then apply for the same graduate schemes, well...as you can imagine, it becomes tricky to tell who the best person for the job actually is. So, to make it easier, employers use placements and internships to unearth the very best talent.

The students who have ambition, skill and commercial awareness – basically the people they want to employ. After all, if two people who have the same degree apply for the same graduate job, but one has a year's industry experience already, suddenly the decision becomes a whole lot easier.

With thousands of companies now offering undergraduate work experience programmes, the competition between them has become fierce. Therefore, it's no surprise that many employers now dangle rather tasty-looking carrots in front of students' faces in order to grab their attention.

But I don't like carrots...

Sorry, did we say carrots? We actually meant big wads of cash. Many companies pay their placement students and interns thousands of pounds to work for them, in order to attract the most skilled undergraduates.

In fact, on some of these programmes, you could realistically expect to earn more cash than a lot of graduates do. However, not all placements and internships are created equal.

There's quite a lot of variation in terms of what you can earn on one of these programmes, depending on what industry you choose to work in and where the job is located.

Where can I earn the most?

We knew you'd ask that, which is why we've listed the five best paying regions in the UK below for you to take a look at.

5. South-west England

Coming in in fifth place is the south-west region. The average salary earned by placement students and interns in this area between 2014 and 2015 was £16,968, which is certainly not a figure to be sniffed at.

From Fareham to Swindon and from Bristol to Stonehouse, students got to work for companies as diverse as NATS, Intel and Hewlett Packard Enterprise, among many others.

4. Scotland

From the bottom of the UK to the top, the next region on our list is Scotland (notice how we resisted the urge to call it bonnie Scotland…oh, wait). Here students on placements and internships could expect to earn an average salary of £17,113 in 2014 / 2015.

Of course, you'd then have to stop yourself from spending it all on delicious shortbread, which can be tough. Many multinational companies offer work experience in Scotland, including the likes of Microsoft, Grant Thornton, BDO, BP and others.

3. North-east England

As you can see, the north of the UK fares pretty well against the rest of the country when it comes to offering highly-paid work experience programmes. Taking third spot is the north-east region of England, where the average salary was £17,192 (just pipping Scotland by £79).

There are work experience opportunities at locations across the north east, from Newcastle to Darlington to Durham. Work experience opportunities exist at global companies including General Electric, Rothschild, Enterprise Rent-A-Car, Procter & Gamble and others.

2. Greater London

Now, as London is such a big place, we decided that it made sense to split the city up into two regions. First up, coming second in the top five list, is the greater London region.

It's also no surprise that the average placement and internship salary in the region is quite a jump over that of the north east, coming in at £19,392. Companies offering work experience in this area include SAP, Walt Disney, BAE Systems and Warner Bros, among others.

1.Central London and City

Of course, topping the list is central London and the City, the country's major finance, banking and business district. Placement students and interns working in this area pulled in an average salary of £19,870 during the 2014 / 2015 period.

Major employers offering work experience in central London include the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), Morgan Stanley, RBS, M&G Investments, Santander and many, many others.

The information above was compiled by RateMyPlacement.co.uk for the annual publication, A Student’s Guide to the Top Undergraduate Employers 2015 – 2016.