Our Skilled Placements train students to become consultants, with students taking part in projects to develop bespoke solutions for clients we source from the charity and social impact organisations in the local community, or focus on a specific social or environmental issue.
Our programmes cover undergraduate and postgraduate students and enable students to experience real-world scenarios and develop the skills they will need for graduate roles. Skilled Placements provides an easy to scale intervention which promotes student experience, enables students to use and develop core skills, and aligns with universities’ civic agenda and graduate employment priorities.
Social Innovation Programme
The Social Innovation Programme (SIP) is a 6-8 week programme, currently running at Bristol, Winchester, Cambridge and Kingston, which provides student consultancy services to local charities and social enterprises. The SIP is designed to bring a double benefit: to support undergraduate students in gaining skills and experiences they can take into their future careers, and support local organisations to increase their capacity by asking students to create innovative new solutions.
The SIP is an extracurricular programme and Student Hubs recruits diverse, interdisciplinary student teams to learn from and share skills and perspectives with each other. Student Hubs facilitates programme delivery, including providing student training throughout and recruiting and training corporate mentors to support student teams during the programme.
The SIP culminates in a showcase event where students pitch their proposals to the charities and social enterprises they have been supporting.
In 2018/19, we supported 233 students to undertake social consultancy placements posed by 41 local organisations. Previous projects have included researching the viability of a social enterprise to support One25’s work with vulnerable women in Bristol and researching the apprenticeship levy for Spiral.
If you are a student or organisation interested in taking part in the programme, find out more at your local Hub’s website and get in touch.
Impact Labs and Engage for Change
Impact Labs specifically recruits postgraduate students to support socially impactful organisations with their impact measurement. We source the organisations, connect them with our diverse student teams and work with the organisations to produce practical briefs which could include students developing a theory of change, developing an impact report, helping the organisation collect data or evaluating a specific intervention.
Engage for Change brings together an interdisciplinary team of students to design, implement and evaluate issue-based interventions to be implemented at university level. This programme strongly supports universities to build student consultancy into their practice, with students advocating for change and providing practical solutions to issues faced across the organisation.
“Impact Labs provided us with a fantastic opportunity to help develop tools to evaluate our impact. The group of students working with our charity were very proactive and competent.”
– Brazelton Centre, Impact Labs partner 2019
“Participating in Impact Labs was a thoroughly worthwhile experience with tangible benefits that will inevitably improve our practice in the future.”
– Romsey Mill, Impact Labs partner 2019
If you are a student or organisation interested in taking part in the programme, find out more at Cambridge Hub’s website and get in touch.
Across our network, we provide training for students doing all of our programmes, enabling them to reflect and develop key skills in the social issue they are aiming to tackle. We believe in inducting volunteers well to ensure they succeed in their development during their volunteering and are engaged to become active citizens for life. These trainings include:
- An introduction into social issue they have chosen to engage with;
- Safeguarding and Accessibility training;
- Training specific to skills they may need (i.e. providing Schools Plus volunteers with tutoring training);
- Reflection training for transferring their volunteering experience into other elements of their life.
“Anytime i’ve worked alongside Cambridge Hub, I’ve come away with such a positive experience. Participating in SIP was especially fantastic…with training in areas related to project management, data collection and analysis, and problem-solving in practice. The team-based structure also allowed me to connect with students and organisations I wouldn’t have met otherwise and was a great opportunity to learn how to work together at a distance.”
– Allysa Czerwinsky Mphil, Cambridge Hub Volunteer