Event leaders have called for a "joined up approach" to student placements from trade bodies, academia, agencies and corporates to head off a potential brain drain this summer.
"I don't want to be a doom-monger but there are 670,000 people going into the workforce and we need a joined-up approach to keep the best people in the industry," Confex event director Duncan Reid told the panel discussion at the show this morning.
Elsewhere on the panel were senior members of ABPCO and HBAA, both of whom backed calls for an umbrella body to act as a conduit between students and employers and offer accreditation for work placements.
"One of the things we have been considering is accreditation and it makes sense to have one umbrella body to oversee that," said Juliette Price of Hotelzon, who also oversees education at HBAA.
With the precarious financial situation meaning many employers are currently reluctant to commit to full-year work placements, there was also support for a universal version of the ‘Passport' work experience scheme run by Leeds Metropolitan University.
The system allows students to build up credits working on different event for different employers.