Apply Now


Matrix logo


Students can drop in to speak to the Careers Adviser and Work Experience Development Officers and make an appointment or arrange an appointment via another member of curriculum or support staff.


Middleton Campus - find us in the Henry West building (next to iLearn)

Rochdale Campus - find us in The Cube


We offer a comprehensive, impartial Careers Education, Information, Advice and Guidance (CEIAG) service to support current, future and past students. We are here to help you to explore your career and study options and to prepare you to move forward into education, training or employment. Our Careers Advisor was recently been crowned “Careers Champion” in 2019 during a national competition. Find out more about how the Careers Team can support you below.

The Careers Team work closely with a range of partner organisations to provide additional advice, opportunities and support where applicable, including:

We have a college wide commitment to careers at Hopwood Hall College. Students will have the opportunity to access a range of career activities and the careers team work alongside curriculum and support staff to achieve the Gatsby Benchmarks – a framework for high-quality careers provision (

The Careers team is accessible to all students from entry level to higher education including those who have an EHCP or SEND. We provide impartial advice and guidance in a variety of ways including 1:1 sessions, group talks and careers events with employers to enable students to make informed and aspirational course and career choices.


  • Assisting students to recognise their career values, skills and interests and the importance of these when considering career ideas
  • Providing information, advice and guidance about a range of opportunities
  • Supporting students to understand the local job market and the importance of this when making career decisions
  • Assisting with the development of your own career management skills to navigate your future career path
  • Providing students with access to a range of online career resources or through the colleges’ virtual learning environment

  • Providing advice and guidance regarding progression to Higher Education including the wide range of options available including higher education apprenticeships
  • Supporting with the UCAS application process and providing personal statement advice and feedback
  • Offering information and advice regarding student finance
  • Working closely with universities and GM Higher to deliver appropriate presentations and offering advice regarding higher education
  • Delivering a Higher Education fair

  • Support during enrolment to assist those who are undecided about their future plans
  • Providing a “Talk Don’t Walk” service for those students who may be having doubts about their chosen course, discussing their options during their first term
  • Offering advice and guidance regarding course progressions and next steps

  • Advice regarding sourcing full time and part time employment
  • CV advice and feedback
  • Good practice with application form filling and interview techniques


If you would like an adviser to get in touch for a 1-1 session please complete the enquiry form below.

    Click here for more information regarding jobs in demand within Greater Manchester.


    Work Experience Placements are a vital and valuable part of your study programme, and the college, in partnership with local and GM wide employers to support our learners as part of your course.You will have a designated Work Experience Development Officer specific to the course that you are studying.They are here to support you through your work experience journey, by guiding and advising you before and whilst on placement, promoting new placements vacancies to students, logging and monitoring your placement, and being the go-between with you and the employer.

    The Work Experience Development Officers are also preparing for the delivery of four key T-Level pathways (Digital, Construction, Health and Science and Education) from 2021. Industry placements are becoming a new part of these Level 3 Technical Education courses and are designed to give students a valuable opportunity to put their learning into practice, develop excellent skills and become more employable. An industry placement is different to work experience, as the placement involves working for an employer in a role directly relevant to their course for a period of 45-60 days.


    Work experience gives you the chance to put what you’re learning in the classroom into practice.You will discover more about your own skills, talent and interests, and how to apply these in the professional workplace. Not only that, you will meet lots of new people, and develop personal and life skills.


    • Help you prepare for working life
    • Make you more independent
    • Prepare you for college/training or employment
    • Identify any additional support you may need
    • improve your social skills, including communication and listening skills
    • improve your emotional wellbeing and confidence
    • Give you experience of the world of work – helping you gain references for your CV
    • Provide evidence of your skills and knowledge for college/training applications, Higher Education applications and information for application forms and interviews.


    The duration and type of work experience opportunities available will depend on the course you are studying. Some courses have a mandatory work experience requirement which means that a certain number of hours needs to be completed in order to pass the course. Please check your course requirements to see if this applies to you.

    The type of work experience available is as follows:

    • Work Experience block placement
    • One day per week for an arranged period of time
    • Master classes
    • Workshops
    • Ad hoc project work
    • Industry Placement


    The Department for Education is making a number of reforms to Technical Education in order to ensure that students leave their course with “the skills, knowledge and expertise that employers want”. These reforms will introduce T Levels – two year, classroom-based technical training programmes, which will provide a high quality option alongside traditional A level options.

    T Levels are new courses which are beginning to be introduced from September 2020, which will follow GCSEs and will be equivalent to 3 A levels. These 2-year courses have been developed in collaboration with employers and businesses so that the content meets the needs of industry and prepares students for work.

    T Levels will offer students a mixture of classroom learning and ‘on-the-job’ experience during an industry placement of at least 315 hours (approximately 45 days). They will provide the knowledge and experience needed to open the door into skilled employment, further study or a higher apprenticeship.

    Please find out more information on the links below:


    Industry placements are an integral part of these Level 3 Technical Education courses and are designed to give students a valuable opportunity to put their learning into practice, develop excellent skills and become more employable. An industry placement is different to work experience, as the placement involves working for an employer in a role directly relevant to their course for a period of 45-60 days. This educational reform introduced in some colleges in 2020 with Hopwood Hall College piloting the placements with limited places available in the academic year 20/21.

    What you need to know:

    • 45 days minimum in the workplace. (equating to a minimum of 315 hours in total)
    • This is in response to new reforms to technical education and work readiness.
    • The placement will be a good fit with the student’s course, meaning they will be able to develop their technical skills required to work in that industry.
    • Those eligible for support for expenses such as travel and subsistence will continue to receive it. If your child does not currently receive this support but you are concerned about or unable to cover these additional costs, please let us know (
    • Our dedicated Work Experience Development Team will assist in finding a suitable, meaningful placement for your child.
    • Attendance at this placement is compulsory.

    What are the benefits of doing a placement?

    • Students will improve their ability to gain a job
    • Likely to result in further opportunities such as paid employment and apprenticeships
    • Students will develop their knowledge and skills relevant to their course and future career
    • Students will have greater understanding of what it is like to work in their chosen industry
    • Students will receive coaching and mentoring from a line manager

    Frequently asked questions

    Q: My child/young adult hasn’t had a good experience with work experience in the past -- why would industry placements be any different?

    A: Traditional work experience involves a student working for just 1 or 2 weeks. Due to induction processes and limited time, often students cannot gain full exposure to all areas of the business and/or role. The new industry placements will last for a minimum of 45 days with students placed within businesses that are relevant to their courses, meaning they will be able to develop and hone the skills they really need. Furthermore, an initial screening process will be conducted by the Work Experience Development Team for the employer and student, to ensure the right fit.

    Q: Will my child/young adult be making the tea and photocopying?

    A: No. Students will be given relevant tasks to gain the experience they need to make a start in their career. The creation of industry placements is to combat skills shortages in the country, therefore, industry specific skills development is a huge focus of the placement.

    Q: But won’t this take them away from their studies?

    A: No - the industry placement will be planned to fit well with their studies so they will be prepared for the placement and it will add real value to their course. For example, if your child is studying at college for 3 days per week, their placement will take place on one of the two days remaining in that week. Our senior management, curriculum leads and tutors have worked closely with the Department for Education to ensure this is the case.

    Q: How can I be sure they will receive a good placement?

    A: We will match your child with an employer that is directly relevant to their course. We will ensure that the employer has relevant work and provides a good standard of line management so the student can receive the coaching and support needed to learn and work well.

    Q: What about their part-time job?

    A: We will provide plenty of notice regarding when the industry placement will take place to allow the student to change shifts if needed.

    Q: What does my child/young adult need to do?

    A: • They must attend the placement.

    • They will be accountable to a line manager at the business who will expect them to meet standards in areas such as professionalism, timekeeping, communication and teamwork.

    • They must adhere to all health and safety rules at the business.

    • They need to complete a log book, reflecting on their learning and development.

    Q: What checks will be done to make sure this is safe?

    A: We will run due diligence on all employers for health & safety, insurance and safeguarding purposes.


    HHC work with many local and Greater Manchester employers that support our learners with both work experience placements and Industry Placements.

    If you are an employer and you are considering taking on one of our students please read our employers guide BELOW.

    Employer feedback

    “Jodie has been an excellent addition to the team, she has been assertive, polite and helpful during her placement. Jodie has assisted with a range of tasks whilst acting quickly and confidently around a wide range of dog breeds. We would love to have Jodie back in the future and she has asked to develop her knowledge by continuing to volunteer with us.” - Animal Care Employer


    “While working at JST I made a frustum, square to round and many welding joints. Their pleasant attitudes, patience and always being able to answer questions I had in full detail made it a very enjoyable experience. gaining skills that were incredibly helpful for me like learning how to interpret and carry out drawings with ease, knowing the tolerances of materials so I can gauge what to set the welder too, and a bountiful amount of power tools and machines I can now confidently use responsibly. Doing this work experience has alleviated all of the worries I had prior and I feel more positively about my future career now”. - Fab & Weld Student

    Work Experience: An Employer’s Guide

    Benefits to students

    Work experience is a fantastic opportunity for young people to explore their career options and develop their personal and professional skills. This will be one of their first introductions into the world of work, giving them invaluable insight into working relations and professional conduct.

    Benefits to employers

    Not only does work experience benefit young people, but it is beneficial from an employer perspective for a number of reasons-


    • By hosting work experience students, you have the chance to see the individual in the workplace and as a result may find your next recruit or apprentice


    • Young people can bring with them a raft of alternative thinking and ideas with them that you and your team can adopt and put into practice

    Learn something new

    • Not only do the students learn, but you may also learn a trick or two from them as well to keep you and your staff on their toes!

    Additional resources & address skills shortages

    • Having an extra pair of hands for a week or two can only help workload. Not only that, but they may bring with them additional skills to plug a skills gap in your business.

    Community Engagement

    • Developing relationships with schools and hosting work experience students helps build a positive image for your business and can raise your profile in the local area.

    Get involved

    If you are interested in offering work experience opportunities to Hopwood Hall College students, the below steps will get you up and running in no time.

    1. Meeting
      - Setup a meeting with our Work Experience Development Team to discuss the plan and offer in further details.

    2. Plan
      - Once the placement and plan has been agreed, one of our Development Officers will conduct a risk assessment and assist in creating a plan of activity for the individual.

    3. Contact
      - We will provide support throughout the placement, acting as a point of contact and checking both you and the student are happy.

    4. Review
      - Once the placement has been completed, we will contact you to review how things went.

    Frequently asked questions

    What are my health and safety responsibilities towards the student?

    Work experience students should be treated as an employee during their placement. Hopwood Hall College will conduct a risk assessment prior to the student arriving in your workplace which will cover a number of areas.

    Does my business insurance cover me?

    Work experience students are covered under your existing Employers Liability Insurance policy provided your insurer is a member of the Association of British Insurers.

    Are there any costs involved?

    As this is a work experience placement, there isn’t a requirement to pay the student for their placement as it is part of their education. However, if an employer wishes to contribute for areas such as travel, meals or refreshments, this would be entirely acceptable and to the discretion of the employer.

    What should the induction include?

    A typical induction should provide the student with:

    • Emergency arrangements (fire, accident and first aid)
    • A tour of the premises
    • “Do’s and Dont’s
    • Welfare arrangements such as breaks, toilets, eating/drinking arrangements
    • Any significant risks which may affect them e.g. Machinery, equipment, manual handling, hazardous substances, slips/trips, dealing with the public
    • Key contacts - Mentor
    • A brief of the duties they will be carrying out.

    How long will the placement last?

    Work experience placements vary in length and are extremely flexible. Whether comprehensive weeks, full days or half days our work experience placement co-ordinator will liaise with you to work out the best package for your business. Industry Placements are also available for Students.

    Making work experience a success

    • Meet the young person before the work placement starts
    • Discuss planned outcomes and expectations
    • Create a plan of tasks for the duration of the placement
    • Plan an induction programme that includes health, safety and conditions of work
    • Identify a supervisor and mentor
    • Review progress during the work placement
    • Provide feedback to the college

    College Support

    • The Work Experience Development Team will be your point of contact from beginning the partnership through to review and feedback. We will assist with planning and organisation to make the process as streamlined as possible for all parties.
    • Alternatively, if you are interested in sharing your knowledge and experience in house, we would be delighted to host an event whereby you can speak to students regarding your sector and future pathways. Contact to arrange.

    Enquiry Form

    Fill in the details below and someone will attend to your enquiry presently.

    Captcha Code