May 21, 2013
While you are at the academy you will be given the opportunity to do work experience. Where possible, your placement will be arranged through your Academy. Work experience is taken in term time and will last for two weeks. The number of hours worked and the pattern of work can vary from job to job. As a rule you should not be asked to work more than eight-hours a day and no more than five days in a seven-day period. Remember to get your hours agreed at your INTERVIEW beforehand.
How it can help you
Work experience can be a great help if you’re still wondering what sort of career you want
A work placement is your opportunity to spend a period of time outside the classroom, learning about a particular job or area of work. During your placement, you'll be able to find out what skills employers look for when they're hiring someone to fill a job vacancy. You will also get the chance to develop your self-confidence and communication skills. This will help you to work better with other people in further or higher education, as well as in your future career. A placement may form part of your course if you're doing Health & social Care or the Diploma qualification - available in selected Academy’s and colleges - involves at least ten days of work experience.
What you need to know
You will not get paid for the hours you do but you should not be expected to buy any special clothing or equipment - this should be provided by your employer. Work experience will help you to understand what it might be like to work in a particular job. This will help you decide what you want to do for a career and also develop skills and attitudes essential for the world of work. If you are a disabled student, health and safety legislation may stop work placements in some places. This is because health & safety rules in the workplace take priority over the Disability Discrimination Act. However, if you are a disabled young person and want to go into work, you are entitled to the same job opportunities as anyone else.
What you can do
Research all the careers information you can and learn about different jobs and careers. This will help you to get some ideas and think about what type of work experience you would like to do. Have a couple of ideas just in case. Some work placements may be popular and you may not get your first choice. Work experience can play a key role in helping you develop an understanding of the world of work. It will help give you an insight into what working is really like. It can also help you to think about what options are available to you when you leave the Academy.
There is a lot of competition for some placements so think about planning something in advance. To get some ideas have a look at local companies' websites. Talk to your Work Experience Coordinator first to find out what work experience opportunities your academy can offer. Also, talk to your family and friends to see whether they have any contacts who can help. Getting as much work experience as possible in your chosen career, or areas that you are interested in, will help you in the future. It will look good on your CV and be useful to include on job applications. Don't forget that any experience is better than no experience, even if it isn't directly related to what you want to do as a career. Many employers think that Work experience is very useful. You'll find many people, including your parents or carers; teachers and advisers will recommend that you try some type of work experience.
How to organise a work placement
Make sure all the paperwork is filled out correctly. Where possible, you will be involved in deciding what sort of area you'd like to spend your placement in, and what you'd like to achieve during your time there. Think about the subjects that you're studying and the sort of career you would like to follow in the future. Then see if your school already has links with a company that closely matches your needs. If they don't, they may be able to set up new links with a company - but this takes time, so make sure you mention it early on when you're planning your placement.
Who can help?
Your work experience coordinator will be able to give you more information on what type of work experience and placements are available.
What you'll get out of work experience
- Pick up new skills, experiences, ideas and understanding of the work.
- Learn how to deal with people, work in a team, use office equipment and IT packages.
- See what you enjoy and don't enjoy about the particular jobs/careers.
- Talk to people who are already doing the job and find out what they think about the work they are doing.