2013-02-22 12.02.3910446721_801668996539850_8406891194717555871_n


Chief Executive Henry Hutchins, Clever Student Lets

Plymouth Firm says Euro student work placements help it with research

FOR Plymouth’s Clever Student Lets, hosting a European work placement students doesn’t just make sense to the bottom line – it gives the firm valuable insights into its key market.

The North Hill-based student lettings company regularly hosts students, typically aged in their late teens, supplied by Plymouth’s Tellus Group.

And it finds the Euro youngsters highly motivated and educated workers, able to pitch in and make a contribution to the successful operation of the company.

But Clever Student Lets director Henry Hutchins (pictured) said there is a value beyond this, particularly for a firm whose key market is with foreign students living in Plymouth – it connects the company with its client base.

“There is not one student we’ve had in the past two years that we would not employ,” Mr Hutchins said.

“They are of an incredibly high standard, and so we give them as much interesting work to do as they can handle.”

“But what they also bring to us is interaction with young people,” he added.

“Our market is students, so the more we can understand them, learn how they think, what they like doing, etc, the better our business gets.

“And because every country is different they bring their heritage with them, and we learn from that too.

“It’s valuable to us, but even if it wasn’t we’d still be pleased to take part, to help the students.

“They are a pleasure to have around, and we feel we are giving something back, by giving them a helping hand.”

Most of the placement students Clever Student Lets has worked with have come from Germany, France, Poland or Italy.

“We have four at the moment, two from Poland, two from Germany,” Mr Hutchins said. “We take one every four weeks, maybe about 15 a year.

“The majority work in computer admin, but last year we had three who did some market research for us – it was brilliant.”

Mr Hutchins said at the end of a six- to eight-week placement, CSL will provide a full reference for each student, focusing on the work that person has done, the quality of the work, and how the student interacts with others.

“When they go back to their countries and are asked what they have done they have something to show,” he said. “That helps them.”

Mr Hutchins said he has also been visited by teachers from Germany and France – keen to see how placement students are getting on.

And he said the other big winner is Plymouth, adding: “Plymouth is beautiful place to study in – and one of the safest cities in the UK.”

Clever Student Lets was set up in 2005 and has grown substantially, just opening a second offices in Union Street.

It has just announced it will be managing the student flats being constructed in Tamar House and the Royal buildings, in Plymouth City Centre, as part of a £5million scheme.

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By William Telford, Business Editor, Plymouth Herald

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