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Which engineering employers offer summer internships or industrial placements?

The majority of leading engineering companies offer work experience to student engineers. Here’s what’s on offer.

Relevant work experience isn’t essential for getting a graduate engineering job – however, it certainly helps. TARGETjobs Engineering’s Student Survey found that finding a placement was a major worry for undergraduate engineers, so we’ve put together a quick guide to opportunities offered by leading UK engineering employers. You’ll find both summer internship and industrial placement options.

Engineering internships for summer vacations

Numerous employers offer engineering summer placements. Some are open to any student, while others are limited to those who have just finished their penultimate year. Here are a number to consider – though this isn't an exhaustive list.

  • Amec Foster Wheeler: offers summer internships lasting up to ten weeks to students in their penultimate year.
  • Atkins: summer placements, typically between eight and ten weeks long, are available for students at any stage in their degree.
  • Babcock: offers 10-to-12 week summer placements.
  • BAE Systems: offers a 12-week summer internship scheme.
  • Balfour Beatty: has summer placement schemes lasting between 8 and 12 weeks.
  • Bechtel: runs a 10-week infrastructure summer internship for students at any stage in their degree.
  • BOC: offers summer internships of up to ten weeks for second- or third-year students.
  • BP: runs a summer internship for students in their penultimate year of undergraduate or postgraduate study (students in their final year of undergraduate study who are going on to do a masters can also apply).
  • Cummins: runs a 10-12-week summer placement programme.
  • Dialog Semiconductor: offers summer internships that last between four weeks and three months.
  • DSTL: runs summer placements of 8 to 12 weeks.
  • EDF Energy: offers 12-week summer internships.
  • E.ON: offers ten-week summer placements.
  • ExxonMobil: offers summer placements lasting eight weeks.
  • FirstGroup: offers summer internships lasting 8 to 12 weeks to students in their first year of a three-year degree or second year of a four-year degree.
  • GlaxoSmithKline: runs summer placements of 8 to 12 weeks for students in their penultimate year at university.
  • Imagination Technologies: offers summer placements for penultimate-year students.
  • Jaguar Land Rover: offers a three-month summer internship for penultimate-year students.
  • Leonardo: offers summer placements.
  • Lloyd’s Register: offers summer internships to students who are about to enter their final or penultimate year of university.
  • Mars: has a 12-week summer internship.
  • MBDA UK: runs a 10-12-week summer placement programme for students who have completed a minimum of one year of their degree.
  • Mott MacDonald: offers eight-week summer internships.
  • National Grid: a number of 12-week summer internships are available to penultimate-year students.
  • Nissan Motor Manufacturing UK: runs a 10-week summer placement programme.
  • Rolls-Royce: runs summer internships lasting ten weeks.
  • RWE npower: offers summer internships lasting six to ten weeks.
  • Shell: runs an assessed internship programme for penultimate-year students.
  • Siemens: offers summer internships to first- and second-year undergraduates.
  • Skanska UK: offers an eight-week summer placement.
  • Tata Steel: offers three-month placements.
  • Thales: runs a three-month internship for students at any stage of their degree.
  • Transport for London: offers 10-week summer placements for penultimate-year students.
  • Unilever: has a 12-week summer placement in research and development.

Engineering industrial placements

Engineering industrial placements tend to last for 12 months, although in some cases they can be shorter. Some are restricted to penultimate-year students, while others are more flexible. Here's a number to consider – though again, there are plenty of others.

  • Airbus: placements of 6 to 12 months are available to undergraduates.
  • Amec Foster Wheeler: offers placements lasting 12 months to students in their third year of a four-year sandwich course or those taking a year out.
  • Arcadis: offers a year in industry programme.
  • Atkins: industrial placements between 8 and 12 months long are available for students who require a year in industry as part of a sandwich course.
  • Babcock: offers 6-month and 12-month placements to students who require a year in industry as part of their degree.
  • BAE Systems: 12-month industrial placements are available.
  • Balfour Beatty: offers an annual internship scheme that lasts between 6 and 12 months.
  • Bosch: runs a 12-month placement but 6-month internships can be possible.
  • Caterpillar: offers 12-month industrial placements for pre-final-year undergraduates.
  • Cummins: runs a 12-month industrial placement scheme for undergraduates.
  • Dialog Semiconductor: offers several one-year industrial placements.
  • DSTL: runs one-year industrial placements.
  • EDF Energy: offers 12-month industrial placements.
  • E.ON: offers one-year industrial placements.
  • ExxonMobil: has industrial placements lasting 12 months.
  • Ford Motor Company: offers 12-month placements. NB these are called 'business placements' but cover all functions, including product development.
  • GE: offers a 12-month internship to penultimate- and final-year students.
  • GlaxoSmithKline: offers 12-month industrial placements to fit in with sandwich degrees.
  • Imagination Technologies: offers a year in industry for students in their penultimate year at university.
  • Jaguar Land Rover: offers 12-month industrial placements, as well as 6-month 'summer placements'.
  • L-3 TRLTechnology: runs 12-month industrial placements.
  • Leonardo: offers industrial placements.
  • Mace: offers 12-month industrial placements to second-year students looking for a year in industry as part of a sandwich course.
  • Mars: has industrial placements lasting 12 months.
  • MBDA UK: runs one-year industrial placements for students who have completed a minimum of two years of their degree course.
  • Mott MacDonald: has 12-month industrial placements.
  • National Grid: provides 12-month placements for penultimate-year students.
  • National Instruments: runs a 12-month internship on its engineering leadership programme.
  • Network Rail: offers a year in industry placement scheme.
  • Nissan Motor Manufacturing UK offers a one-year industrial placement.
  • Rolls-Royce: provides internships of 6 to 12 months.
  • Siemens: offers one-year industrial placements to first- and second-year undergraduates.
  • Skanska UK: runs a one-year internship.
  • TATA Steel: offers 12-month placements.
  • Thales: runs a 12-month internship for students at any stage of their degree.
  • Toyota Motor Manufacturing (UK) Ltd: runs an 11-month industrial placement scheme.
  • UK Power Networks: offers engineering powering placements to students looking for a year in industry between their second and third year of university.
  • Unilever: has a 12-month industrial placement in research and development for penultimate-year students.

Getting an engineering job without work experience

Employers’ views differ as to how important it is for graduate scheme applicants to have engineering work experience. A number point out that, while they value it, they are very happy to consider graduates who can demonstrate the required competences by drawing on other areas of their lives. These might include extra-curricular activities, voluntary work, part-time jobs or work experience outside engineering.

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