Placements are enormously important in the development of skills, knowledge and awareness. They are particularly valuable in helping to develop key competencies and attributes that employers want.
The University of Reading's resources on Managing Placements provides lots of useful information, including reference to inclusivity issues.
Virtual placements are another option that can be considered. The benefit of virtual placements is that they can enable students from many diverse backgrounds to take part without actually being in the workplace or away from 'home', thus removing some of the possible barriers. Dr Sarah Cardey from the University of Reading's School of Agriculture, Policy and Development has experience of this. Use the link to read her case study Embedding a virtual placement and professional mentoring in an MSc module to support student employability.