At Brine Leas School we are committed to facilitating students with work experience opportunities. We are proud of the fact that we are one of few schools who continue to offer ‘traditional’ Work Experience for our Pre-16 students and we now facilitate Work Experience in our Sixth Form. We have had some hugely positive feedback from the students and the employers who hosted placements and we would like to express our gratitude to the students, parents and employers who support this process and make the week so worthwhile.
Work experience provides students with valuable insights into particular careers to aid decision making; however, this kind of work is also invaluable when it comes to UCAS/job applications and interviews; students can draw upon their experiences from within the work place and ensure that they stand out from other candidates.
Work experience is as a placement at an employer’s premises in which a student carries out a range of tasks and duties more or less as would an employee. For many young people this is the most significant contact with the world that they have before entering employment. The benefits include:
- Increased self-confidence, motivation and maturity;
- Increased understanding of the world of work, curriculum relevance and future career opportunities;
- Enhancement of employability skills addressed during PSHE lessons;
- An insight into ‘work ethic’;
- The placement can be included on future CVs, college and university applications.
Work experience formally takes place during the Autumn term of Year 11 and Year 13. The earlier students can arrange their work experience the better as it will ensure that they secure placements that are more relevant to them.
Brine Leas School has built up a list of local employers that regularly support our students with work experience. Their details can be accessed through our Work Related Learning Team. However, there may be links through family and friends that you may find useful as self-placement has proven successful in providing a quality experience.
When students have identified a company where they would like to undertake work experience:
- They should use the contact details, for example, from their website, to call, email or visit and ask very politely if they could support them with work experience.
- Companies are all very busy businesses so students may need to make contact two or three times to get a response.
- Once an employer agrees to a student undertaking work experience with them, students need to complete the consent form along with their parent/guardian and the employer. This form needs to be put into the drop box outside of Pupil Reception
In addition to the formal work experience period, within Brine Leas Sixth Form there may be opportunities for students to use regular slots on their timetable, or opportunities outside of term time, to go out to work at an establishment relevant to their study or future career path. Work experience activities are in the form of work placement visits; work experience (1-2 weeks minimum), job shadowing, career-related volunteering and social action.
The earlier that students can arrange and begin work experience, the more relevant and appealing it will be in their UCAS, apprenticeship and job applications (part-time and full-time). All placements need to be discussed and agreed with their Progress Tutors within their individual progress meetings. Of course, any work experience undertaken at any time during the course will be fantastic – it doesn’t have to be in term time.