Work Experience

The Date for Work Experience is 17/07/2023 – 21/07/2023

Deadline for completed forms is 07/04/2023

The aim of work experience is to help prepare our students for the transition from education to employment. It gives them the opportunity to get involved in the world of work and gain first-hand knowledge of what a particular job entails.  

For Students

All work experience is good experience and will embed knowledge and skills that will last for a lifetime. You can read more here.

How do students benefit from a Work Experience Placements?

Following a period of Work Experience you will develop: 

  • More confidence
  • Improved self esteem
  • Ability to communicate with adults
  • Improved timekeeping
  • Additional practical work skills
  • Team working
  • Problem solving skills

 Also, doing work experience gives you the chance to:

  • Try out your career ideas
  • find out more about what’s involved in a job and see if it’s for you
  • learn new skills or build on those you already have
  • meet new people and grow your network of contacts
  • show employers what you can do so they consider you when a job is available
  • identify any reasonable adjustments you need because of a disability or long-term health condition

Where to start?

Start by thinking about what your interests are and what you think you might be good at.  For example, if you love helping people you might want to try out a caring profession like healthcare or working with the children or the elderly; if you like sport then maybe speak to see if you can do experience at a gym or leisure centre. 

It’s a good idea to brainstorm lots of ideas first.

You can do this with friends or family. Get everything down on paper to start. Find out which companies specialise in what you are interested in (there’s a list of websites you can use at the bottom). If you’re really not sure how your interests match up with different jobs, use and complete the personality and interests quizzes to help you identify where you might want to go on a placement. Remember, all work experience is good work experience.

Where to start? – Applying for a formal work experience placement

Many well-known large businesses such as TescoPizza Express and HSBC operate their own work experience programmes while some businesses such as Barclays work in partnership with other businesses.

It’s not just commercial organisations which offer work experience. You’ll also find larger charities and public sector organisations offer work experience for pupils and students.

The easiest way to find out whether an organisation operates its own work experience programme is by searching for the name of the business online followed by the words work experience. This will direct you to a page on their website, explaining how students should go about applying for a placement.

As well as searching directly online, many organisations also advertise work experience placements online. On the Success at School and Student Ladder websites you’ll find advertisements for placements covering every part of the country.

These placements tend to fill up quickly and are sometimes only offered during certain weeks. Your work experience week is 17th-21st July only.

Where to start? – Approaching businesses that don’t advertise work experience placements

Don’t let the fact that a business does not advertise work experience opportunities put you off from asking if they’ll take you on!

For example, small and medium-sized businesses account for 60% of all private sector employment in the UK but may not have the time to formally advertise work experience placements every year. If you’re interested in what a business does, it’s worth contacting them to see if they’d offer you work experience.

How you approach contacting a business will vary from business to business. It can be a good idea to speak to the manager or owner, either in person or by phone, before making a formal application. Speaking to a person beforehand should give you an idea of whether a business is open to offering work experience. Should your initial contact be positive, you can then ask the business whether they would like you to make a formal application.

Although it’s often better to speak to a business beforehand, don’t be afraid to send off speculative emails to businesses you are especially keen to work for. A brief email explaining why you want to do work experience at the business, along with your CV, demonstrates your initiative and self-motivation, two qualities employers value greatly.

You will need to organise your own placement. Once this is confirmed, you will need to get the document below signed by yourself, your parents/carers and by the employer. If this document is not completely in its entirety and to the satisfaction of the academy, then the placement will be refused.


How can Parents/Carers help?

Support for parents  – why WEX is important?

Young people need to be motivated and determined if they are to benefit from the opportunities that a Work Experience Placement presents.

You should encourage your child to think of the type of placement that they believe they would like to have whilst remembering that all work experience is good work experience. For example, they might picture themselves in different industries such as catering, engineering, agriculture/horticulture, community care, clerical administration or hairdressing.  Personal preferences might also be considered such as working for large or small companies, working indoors or outdoors, dealing with members of the public or being part of an office team, using equipment like computers, fax machines, photocopying machines or manufacturing equipment.

Helping them to identify industries and factors in this way will help them narrow down the decision process and ultimately arrive at a placement that will suit them best. Remember, whilst the placement will not be taking place until 2023, companies can only support so many students at once so it is better to apply earlier rather than later.

All students will need to source their own placements and once confirmed they should ensure the following document is completed by them, yourselves and the employer and handed back to the academy.

Failure to provide the above documentation will the result in the academy disapproving the placement.

Students will be guided in their Work Experience applications through their studies during PSHE lessons. This will include ways to make contact with a placement provider as well as how to present themselves throughout their placement. Close contact is maintained with each student while he or she is on placement to ensure that the placement is progressing satisfactorily both from the students’ and the employers’ points of view. 

It is a good idea for students to:-

  • Spend time preparing for the placement through discussion and research in class and at home
  • Record their learning during their placement the work experience diary
  • Share their knowledge and experience with fellow students on returning to academy.
  • Ask for a reference from the Employer at the end of their placement.

If you have any queries, please contact Mr Drake our Associate Assistant Headteacher for Careers.