The Government is committed to raising the employability of young people.
As part of that process most students now go out on work experience as they approach school leaving age (usually aged 14-16 in Years 10 and 11). The aim is to help them to get a better understanding of, and be better prepared for, life in the adult workplace.Work experience is usually for one or two weeks at an employer’s premises. The aim is for students to carry out tasks much as an employee would, but with the emphasis on learning about the job and the company.
Your child will be encouraged to find their own placement. If they can’t find their own, there is a bank of registered, checked placements available from the school work experience co-ordinator. However bear in mind that there is no guarantee they will get the placement they want from this pool of placements, especially if it is a popular one.
How can you help?
As a parent/carer of a student going out on Work Experience you should be aware of:
- When they are going out on Work Experience
- Where they are planning to go for their Work Experience placement
- The hours that they will be working
- The nature of the work that they will be doing
- The travel arrangements that will need to be organised
- Learning outcomes that should be achieved from the placement
- The names of the contacts at school and at the workplace
You can help by:
- Taking an interest and help them find a work placement that they would like to do
- Make sure that all forms and paperwork are returned quickly
- Help them to understand the goodwill shown by the employer offering the work placement
- Help them to arrange and prepare if they have an interview with the employer
- Help your child to be realistic about what to expect. They may well spend some time making the tea or helping with simple but essential administrative jobs such as filing or photocopying
- Remind your child that if they find they don’t understand how to do something they should always ask someone
- It is important to leave a good impression. A work experience student who is polite and helpful may be making contacts which will stand them in good stead later on
- Ensure that your child attends the placement regularly and punctually
- Talk to them during the placement about what they are doing and how they are getting on and encourage them to complete their diary
- Encourage your child to have a positive approach to the placement, even if it isn’t quite what they expected
For more information on our Work Experience programme please obtain a copy of our ‘Work Experience Parents Guide’ from your child’s school.