Work Experience is an opportunity for students in Year 10 to gain a broad experience of the world of work, to develop skills, to find out about a particular job or role and to get a feel for a job sector, before committing to employment or courses in higher education.
Research has shown that young people are more likely to be successful in finding employment when they have a proven track record of work experience. Taking part in the Work Experience Programme shows motivation and interest. Sometimes, work experience proves that the job or industry is not for you, this is good as you have tried it, identified skills that you need, learned what you enjoy doing and what you don’t enjoy doing. It is also about networking and possibly building up contacts for the future. You never know, it might lead to future employment or recommendations.
Students are encouraged to find their own placements. Once the placement has been confirmed, both the Pink Permission Form (completed by the parent/guardian) and the Green Offer of Placement Form (completed by the Placement Provider) must be returned to School for the attention of Mrs Tracey Hoof Work Experience Manager. The placements are then Health and Safety Assessed by Shropshire Education Business Links, who also prepare students for the Work Experience Programme by providing interactive presentations on ‘Finding your Placement’ providing access to the EBL Database of some 3,000 plus employers who have previously offered work experience placements, and also preparing students before their placements regarding Health and Safety in the Workplace, the standard behaviour expected and other requirements, such as what to do if things go wrong, and what to do if you are ill and unable to attend the placement.
Once a placement has been secured, it is essential that students contact their placement providers to agree start times and the hours of work etc. Employers may also want to meet students beforehand – known as a ‘pre-placement’ interview.
Students will receive a Work Experience Diary for completion during the Placement and a member of staff will visit or phone the Placement Provider during the week of Work Experience, completing the ‘Teachers Comments’ section of the Diary.
After the Placement, students will be given the chance to discuss their experiences in School, but Parents/Guardians are also encouraged to talk over what your child(ren) have gained from the experience too.
The form also provides us with a point of contact for the placement allowing us to make a visit or telephone call to ensure that all is going well.
Telford & Wrekin Council have issued guidelines categorising placements into low, medium and high risk. Many large Companies, Schools and Nurseries already have rigorous health and safety checks in place so would be classed as low risk and would not require a check.
Medium risk placements such as those at a hairdresser, warehouse, riding stable or gym may require a visit if they have not hosted a work experience student before or do not employ apprentices.
High risk placements such as those in agriculture or construction would require a visit should they fall into the same category as above.
High risk and some medium risk employers are referred to Shropshire Education Business Link to undertake checks on our behalf.