We are often asked by parents and guardians what we tell students about work experience; here is a brief outline.

Why should students undertake work experience?

Finding a good job is difficult, lots of applicants will be trying to secure the same position. Employers know they will have to train new staff but they are looking for candidates with knowledge and experience of how a workplace functions. Students develop their employability skills every day that they are on a placement. The more work experience an applicant has the more impressive their job applications will be. With more experience, applicants often also perform better at an interview as they can draw on more examples of real work situations.

What should students do before a work experience placement?

  • Make sure they are clear about where and when their placement begins.
  • Plan travel arrangements which will get them to their workplace with time to spare.
  • Check what clothing and equipment is required for their placement.
  • Contact their workplace to confirm the details they have been given regarding start time, location and person to contact.
  • If they receive free college meals they should speak to student services before they start their placement.

What should students do during their placement?

  • Pay close attention to instructions and safety guidelines.
  • Focus on safety at all times and do not undertake tasks they are not trained for.
  • Be polite and respectful at all times.
  • Be aware that they may have to undertake quite basic tasks but their time in the workplace will allow them to see how a business operates.
  • Inform the placement AND college if they are ill and cannot attend their placement.
  • Complete any tasks set by teachers or pastoral mentors.
  • Contact their pastoral mentor if they have any issues they are concerned about.
  • Contact our safeguarding team on 01772 644377 if they feel they are at risk of harm.

What should students do following a placement?

  • We ask students to review their placement after they have returned to college, often interviewers ask candidates what they have learnt from their work experience so it is important that students reflect on their placement. Students complete a CV in college; they should add details of their work experience placement to their CV.