Work experience is any experience that a person gains while working in a specific field or occupation.

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Work Experience

Work experience can range from one-day tasters to month long placements. Work experience provides a live hands on experience of work that showcases what skills and talents they can contribute, what the working place is like and helps to demystify careers.

Research shows that young people who experience four or more meaningful encounters with employers are less likely to be at risk of being unemployed.

Work experience also supports the employer’s future talent pool and raises brand awareness.

For successful work placements, employers should be flexible with the time and length of work experience as different young people will need different levels of support.

Work placements should offer a variety of roles if possible, not just ‘low status’ jobs.

Employers should offer feedback and a debriefing at the end of the placement to give the student something to work on.

Each organisation should nominate a work experience mentor/buddy who has a duty to:

  • Make the student feel welcome and treat them as a young adult who will make a valued contribution to the team.
  • Be patient and supportive with the student, helping them learn if they make any mistakes
  • Provide an introduction to your corporate values and expectations of conduct.
  • Conduct a risk assessment prior to the placement starting.
  • Provide a full induction with a quiz to ensure that the student has understood any health and safety issues.
  • Notify the school immediately if the student is absent or ill during the placement.
  • Debrief with the students at the end of each day to reflect with them on what they have learned and feedback positively.
  • Feedback views on the placement to the programme co-ordinator and to the school.