Work Experience

Work experience is extremely valuable to all young people not only as a careers taster but also to gain a valuable insight into the world of work, an opportunity for accreditation, develop employability and enterprise skills and it provides a unique and motivational learning environment. This page is designed to give everyone involved all the information they need when engaging in work experience.

Over the years many employers have invested resources and energy in providing a wealth of work experience placement opportunities. Work experience provides great benefits to those employers involved. It can motivate staff and assist with staff development issues, provide positive role models and demonstrate a sense of duty towards the local community.

Work experience allows employers to model the patterns of work and learning for the future workforce, equipping young people for working life. Work placements can lead to an offer of employment for some students, aid recruitment and raise a company's profile.

  1. The Process
  2. Duties & Responsibilities (Employer)
  3. Health & Safety
  4. Child Protection
  5. Duties & Responsibilities (Student)
  6. Duties & Responsibilities (School)
  7. Duties & Responsibilities (Parents/Carers)

1. The Process

Your child will have a work experience interview. In this one-to-one meeting the advisor will discuss the placement options available and a pack will be provided to take home. The pack will provide further information for parents, this is a time for parent and child to discuss the options available, so the best possible placement for every child can be organised. The parent and child will fill in the options form together and return the pack back to school by the due date.

The Work Experience co-ordinator will then arrange the placement for the student and full details will be provided to the child and the family.

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2. Duties & Responsibilities (Employer)

Over the years many employers have invested resources and energy in providing a wealth of work experience placement opportunities. Work experience provides great benefits to those employers involved. It can motivate staff and assist with staff development issues, provide positive role models and demonstrate a sense of duty towards the local community.

Work experience allows employers to model the patterns of work and learning for the future workforce, equipping young people for working life. Work placements can lead to an offer of employment for some students, aid recruitment and raise a company's profile.

There are five key partners in the successful delivery of work experience, Students, School, Employer, Parent and Central Organisers. All play a unique role; all have specific duties and responsibilities within the delivery chain.

As employer’s duties and responsibilities include:

  • Adherence to relevant employment legislation and guidelines including The Employment act 1990 and Health and Safety (Young Persons) regulations 1997
  • Demonstrate a commitment to promoting equality, fairness and to challenge prejudice
  • Be responsive to the needs of individual students and work in partnership with schools to design appropriate placement opportunities
  • Provide an opportunity to allow the student to make a preliminary visit - this can be viewed as an interview situation to assess student suitability
  • Have a planned induction programme which covers health and safety and conditions of work - this could happen on the preliminary visit
  • Inform students and parents about risks to health and safety and measures taken to prevent and control them. This task is usually undertaken on the employer's behalf by the central organisers
  • Ensure that students are in a safe environment and their welfare is protected
  • Discuss and review the student's leaning objectives
  • Provide students with a point of contact
  • Provide a worthwhile, relevant and mutually beneficial experience
  • Supervise the student at all times
  • Provide feedback to the student and teacher. Staff contact with the student is recommended once every five working days
  • Review the quality of the placement provision. The central organisers may be able to help with this process and the Work Experience Quality Standard for Employers will be an invaluable guide
  • Provide support for the completion of the student handbook or any relevant qualifications

The guidance in place helps to ensure a mutually beneficial experience for all.

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3. Health & Safety

Health and safety is an important consideration in the arrangement of placements for young people. Students are properly prepared and briefed on the hazards of the workplace and the control measures provided to reduce or eliminate risk or injury, before they start work.

All workplace prohibitions will be noted on the student’s job description and risk assessment, which is usually provided in writing prior to the commencement of the placement.

Bradford Council on behalf of the school and employer undertake health and safety checks. This is a specific check with young people in mind and will cover:

  1. Seeing the employers written health and safety policy
  2. Confirmation that the premises have been notified to the relevant enforcing authority
  3. That the employers conform to current HSE health and safety standards
  4. That the employer has Employers Liability insurance

It is important that during the period of work experience the student is supervised at all times even though in employment terms the student is counted as an employee for the duration of the placement. As an employee they are covered by all current employment legislation related to health and safety in the workplace.

Although the duty of care of any student on placement still remains with the school, employers must exercise “due diligence” in their provision.

It is important that any accidents are reported immediately to the school. Guidance to schools suggests that contact must be available both before and after normal office hours. (9am to 5pm). If a student has agreed to work alternative or extended hours’ special arrangements will be made with the school so contact can be maintained.

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4. Child Protection

Throughout any work placement the responsibility for the young person remains with the school. If an employer has a concern about a young person on placement they will be advised to inform the schools named teacher as soon as possible.

The named teacher is the individual responsible in a school for child welfare issues. They can be contacted through the school office, the visiting teacher or the central organisers.

The School will be responsible for visiting young people on placements to check not only on progress but also provide an opportunity to confidentially discuss child welfare issues.

“If a young person raises a child protection concern or the person making the visit has a concern the named person should be informed immediately”

An employer must not knowingly place a child with anyone who they perceive may fail a Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) check.

Employers CRB checks are not required by law for the block one or two week placements. However, as an additional safeguard and as a model of good practice, central organisers may CRB check the named supervisor of the placement. Further safeguards may be necessary for extended placements.

In some cases, some employers may require a student to be CRB checked. This is a rare occurrence and requires advanced notice. This may apply to student teachers or nursery nurse placements. CRB checks can be arranged either by the school, Local Education Authority or central organisers.

A positive CRB check may enhance student’s progression and employment prospects.

Employers undertaking CRB checks are also putting into place additional company safeguards.

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5. Duties & Responsibilities (Student)

Work experience gives the opportunity to find out more about the world of work and how it differs from school. It gives an insight into different types of jobs and helps to develop skills in a real work setting. It provides opportunity to work with adults and be treated as an adult, leaning to adapt to new situations.

In addition, it will develop self-confidence, a wide range of skills, improve communication and interpersonal skills. Work experience can sometimes lead to an offer of employment.

There are five key partners in the successful delivery of work experience, Students, School, Employer, Parent and Central Organisers. All play a unique role; all have specific duties and responsibilities within the delivery chain.

The student should:

  • Attend
  • Be punctual
  • Adhere to health and safety
  • Be co-operative
  • Show respect and consideration for others whatever their age, gender, ability, ethnic or cultural background
  • Dress appropriately
  • Act in a responsible and safe manner
  • Contact school and placement if absent
  • Complete diary/progress file
  • Send a thank you letter to the placement provider
  • Use the opportunity to apply key skills and identify personal learning outcomes

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6. Duties & Responsibilities (School)

Work experience enables students to gain an experience of work suited to their abilities, needs and curriculum demands. It can make a significant contribution to the learning of young people and it is part of a progression to work based learning, further and higher education and employment. As part of personalised learning, young people can be prepared for a fast changing future in which they will continue to learn throughout their adult life.

Quality work experience is an integral part of work related learning and the development of young people’s employability and functional skills.

There are five key partners in the successful delivery of work experience, Students, School, Employer, Parent and Central Organisers. All play a unique role; all have specific duties and responsibilities within the delivery chain.

The school should:

  • Ensure their duty of care
  • Have a named person responsible for co-ordinating work experience
  • Provide quality training for all staff involved in the work experience process
  • Make the student aware of the opportunities available for work experience
  • Allow the student to make a reasoned choice of appropriate placement appropriate to his/her needs
  • Be responsive to the needs of female and male students from diverse backgrounds and of diverse ability and work with providers to design placements which are flexible and accessible to a wide range of students
  • Prepare the student for the placement/interview
  • Support the student and placement provider during the placement
  • Visit the student during the placement period allowing time to review the placement with the supervisor and student
  • Provide 24-hour emergency contact details
  • Ensure that all placements used are on the local organiser’s database
  • Provide an opportunity for the student to be de-briefed after the placement and evaluate their placement
  • Set up appropriate mechanisms for recording the experience
  • Ensure that the placement has had a health and safety check by a person with relevant qualifications and has the correct insurance in place
  • Demonstrate through policy and practice that it is unacceptable to discriminate against students on grounds of gender, ability, ethnic or cultural background
  • Adhere to local procedures
  • Not use placements for other purposes without prior agreement with the appropriate work experience provider

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7. Duties & Responsibilities (Parents/Carers)

Parents and Carers are an essential part of any successful work experience programme. They should be involved in every stage of the process, from the selection of the occupational area and eventual placement, talking about working life, maybe even providing a placement for a young person to providing permission for a young person to attend a placement after vetting the health and safety information provided. Supporting young people on placement makes the experience a valued part of the education process.

There are five key partners in the successful delivery of work experience, Students, School, Employer, Parent and Central Organisers. All play a unique role; all have specific duties and responsibilities within the delivery chain.

The parent/carer should:

  • Understand and appreciate their son/daughter’s commitment whilst on placement (as described in the student input section)
  • Discuss issues with your son or daughter when they are thinking about a placement
  • Sign and return the relevant paperwork to school promptly
  • Comment on any medical or health issues relating to your child’s placement
  • Report any difficulties or problems experienced during the placement
  • Take an interest in your child’s placement and help with any project work
  • Ask to see the diary or workbook which your son or daughter completes whilst on placement

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