Every student aged 16-18 at enrolment will attend a short period of work experience – this is a great opportunity to find out about different industries, to explore a range of job roles and to gain workplace skills!
Your work experience will usually be arranged with a local employer and so will, as far as possible, be within easy travelling distance from your home address. Work experience cannot be paid, but it is nevertheless a real investment in your future.
Each student’s work experience must last for a minimum of 30 hours and usually takes place over the course of one week, Monday – Friday. Some employers might prefer to arrange your hours differently, for instance you may attend for one day a week over a number of weeks instead. You will set targets for your work experience and complete a logbook to note down and reflect on all you achieve.
Some qualifications are accompanied by an industry placement of approximately 350 hours. Students completing one of these selected courses will attend a placement with a local employer for one or two days a week alongside their studies, for approximately six months.
These longer placements allow students to forge very close links with employers and gain outstanding skills – so they greatly enhance your employment prospects.
Mostly placements are unpaid, though some employers do pay students. You could even use your part time work as your industry placement, though the work must be relevant to your chosen course of study.
Here’s What You Will Gain!
Whether it’s work experience or an industry placement, you will:
• Improve your understanding of the types of job role available in industry;
• Build your CV – any period of work experience on it will make you stand out from the crowd!
• Grow your confidence in the workplace – this is one of the biggest benefits students tell us;
• Increase your chances of securing paid, casual or part-time work with the employer while you’re still at college or even a full time job or apprenticeship when you’ve completed your course;
• Develop your workplace skills such as communication, teamwork and time-keeping;
• Expand your knowledge of the skills you need to work on: employers will provide feedback so you’ll know what you did well and where you need to improve;
• Raise your awareness of what an industry is really like – you may decide it’s not for you, but this will help you make informed decisions about your future career.
To prepare you for the workplace, Employability lessons in college will teach you about writing a CV and a covering letter, about appropriate attitudes and etiquette in the workplace plus the soft skills employers seek, and also how to make the most of your work experience or industry placement, along with a raft of other useful information and guidance.
The college can, and does, assist students in finding work experience and industry placements, but we also encourage students to find their own. Practice makes perfect - when you begin to seek full time work, you’ll know exactly how to go about it!
If you’d like to get a head start, you can discuss work experience and industry placement possibilities with your tutor or with the college’s Work Experience team. For Work Experience contact Caroline Kearsey on 01476 404303 or for Industry Placements contact Chloe Rollings on 01476 404264 or you can email us on firstname.lastname@example.org .