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.

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Relevant work experience isn’t essential for getting a graduate engineering job – but it certainly helps. To help you find the right placement for you, we've put together a guide to the formal opportunities offered by leading UK engineering employers in 2022. Here you'll find a list of summer internships and, below that, a list of industrial placement years you could apply for. We've also listed some employers that offer shorter work experience stints in the spring. You can also click the highlighted links below to go straight to each section.

Spring insight days/weeks | Summer internships | Industrial placements

Engineering spring insight days/weeks

Often called 'spring weeks/days' or 'insight weeks/days', these opportunities aren't as common in engineering as they are in other career areas, such as finance, but some engineering employers are starting to offer them. These shorter formal work experience stints are usually aimed at first- and second-year engineering students. Here are a few to consider:

  • Bentley runs virtual insight days for students and graduates.
  • BP offers a range of insight experiences – discovery weeks, discovery days and shadow days. Each is open to a different group of students (for example, the digital and technology discovery week is aimed at STEM students while the widening participation week is for students from ethnically diverse backgrounds)
  • GSK runs its GSK Revealed insight days for first-year students. They include events for students interested in science, technology and engineering roles.
  • Mace has previously offered an insight week in April for first- and second-year undergraduates.
  • Rolls-Royce has previously offered insight weeks for first- and second-year students from ethnic minorities who are studying STEM or business subjects.
  • Skanska has run virtual and in-person insight days for students that can lead to further work experience opportunities.

Covid-19 has led some employers to rethink how to provide students with insights into their sector. Some have developed online taster materials for students to explore their career options. They tend to be self-paced so you can access them at any time. Have a look on websites such as Springpod and Forage.

Engineering summer internships

Numerous employers offer engineering summer placements. Some are open to any student, while others are limited to penultimate year students. Here are a number to consider:

  • AECOM offers summer placements typically lasting between 6 and 12 weeks.
  • Atkins, an SNC-Lavalin business runs 8-week summer placements for students in all degree years except their final year.
  • Babcock International Group offers 10-to-12 week summer internships at a number of its UK facilities.
  • BAE Systems : offers a 12-week summer internship scheme.
  • Balfour Beatty: has a civil engineering summer placement scheme lasting between 8 and 12 weeks.
  • BP runs summer internships for students in their penultimate year or students in their final year who are going on to do a masters in the next academic year.
  • Centrica: offers summer internships for penultimate-year students. The placements are also open to those in their final-year (or taking a postgraduate course) and looking to start employment immediately after graduation.
  • Costain has previously run an 8-12-week summer work placement as part of its Sponsored Student Programme.
  • Cummins hires students for short-term placements at a number of its UK facilities.
  • Dialog Semiconductor offers summer internships that last between four weeks and three months for students undertaking an undergraduate or postgraduate degree.
  • Dyson has previously offered a three-month summer internship for penultimate-year students.
  • EDF Energy offers summer internships.
  • E.ON has previously offered summer placements.
  • ExxonMobil offers project-based summer placements that typically last eight weeks.
  • Ford Motor Group offers vacation trainee opportunities lasting a maximum of 12 weeks.
  • GSK runs a limited number of summer placements.
  • Laing O'Rourke runs summer placements that last a minimum of 6 weeks. You can stay on the programme for up to 12 weeks.
  • Leonardo offers summer placements at its Bedfordshire facility.
  • Lloyd’s Register offers summer internships.
  • Lockheed Martin runs summer placements.
  • Mace offers a ten-week summer placement for first-, second- and penultimate-year undergraduates.
  • MBDA UK runs a 10-12-week summer placement programme.
  • Mott MacDonald : offers summer internships of up to 8 weeks.
  • National Grid offers 12-week summer internships for penultimate-year students.
  • Nissan Motor Manufacturing UK has previously runs a 10-week engineering placement scheme.
  • Rolls-Royce has previously run 10-week summer internships.
  • Shell runs an assessed internship programme lasting 10 to 12 weeks for penultimate-year students.
  • Siemens offers three-month summer internships.
  • Skanska UK has previously offered summer internships for civil engineering students.
  • The Science and Technology Facilities Council runs summer placements lasting between 4 and 12 weeks.

Engineering placement years

Engineering industrial placements (also sometimes called a year in industry) 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:

  • AECOM offers industrial placements lasting between 6 and 12 months.
  • Airbus runs placements at a number of its sites around the UK.
  • Atkins, an SNC-Lavalin business offers 12-month industrial placements for students who have the option to take a year out and work with an employer.
  • Babcock International Group offers 12-month industrial placements to students who are due to take a placement in industry as part of their degree.
  • BAE Systems offers one-year industrial placements for students.
  • Balfour Beatty offers 12-month internships.
  • BMW Group offers placements between 6 and 12 months to third-year students.
  • Bosch runs a 12-month placement scheme for undergraduates – 6-month internships are possible in some cases.
  • Caterpillar offers 12-month industrial placements for pre-final-year undergraduates.
  • Centrica hires year in industry students.
  • Cummins runs a 12-month industrial placement scheme.
  • Dialog Semiconductor offers a small number of one-year industrial placements.
  • DSTL runs one-year industrial placements.
  • Dyson provides placement years for penultimate-year students.
  • EDF Energy offers 12-month industrial placements.
  • GSK offers one-year industrial placements to fit in with sandwich degrees.
  • Jaguar Land Rover offers 6- or 12-month industrial placements for penultimate-year students or those applying for a placement as a formal part of their degree.
  • Laing O'Rourke offers industrial placements lasting 12 months for those studying a four-year sandwich degree.
  • Leonardo offers industrial placements.
  • Lockheed Martin runs 12-month placements for students on sandwich degrees.
  • Mace offers 12-month industrial placements to students looking for a year in industry as part of a sandwich course.
  • MBDA runs 10-month industrial placement years.
  • Metaswitch offers internships lasting up to one year.
  • National Grid offers 12-month industrial placements for penultimate-year students.
  • Network Rail: offers engineering placement years for penultimate-year students.
  • Nissan Motor Manufacturing UK offers a one-year engineering placement scheme.
  • Rolls-Royce offers 6- and 12-month internships.
  • Siemens provides 12-month industrial placements to those looking to complete a year in industry as part of their degree.
  • Tata Steel offers 12-month placements.
  • Toyota Motor Manufacturing (UK) Ltd runs an industrial placement year scheme.
  • UK Power Networks offers engineering powering placements of 10-12 months to students looking for a year in industry between their second and third year of university.
  • Unilever offers 12-month industrial placements 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 extracurricular activities, voluntary work, part-time jobs or work experience outside of engineering. Head to our article on what to plan for your summer if you can't find an engineering internship for more ideas.

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