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Work Experience

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Work Experience

Fair Train Gold StandardThe Who, What, Why, When, Where & How of Work Experience

WHO

All students on Study Programmes (aged below 19 at the start of the course in September) must complete an element of work experience as a part of their course of study. This is a directive from the Department of Education. Details on work experience are subject to audit by Ofsted.

WHAT

Work experience should be purposeful, substantial, offer challenge and be relevant to the young persons’ study programme and career aspirations. It should have a structured plan for the duration of the placement, focus on the skills required for that area and be followed up by some form of reference/feedback from the employer based on the young person’s performance.

Students will not be Managing Director on their placement! They will often be given tasks that they think are not relevant however all opportunities are a chance to learn. Students are required to complete a log book when on placement as many skills learned during the placement can be put onto a CV for future use in looking for a job/apprenticeship. It is worth remembering that people of all ages make the tea – this is not a reflection on a student’s age or ability.

WHEN

Placements can take place at any time during the academic year depending on the course of study. There may be set times during the year where you are on placement or it could be fitted around the day’s students attend college. It is worth noting placements are not always 9:00am-5:00pm. They could and often do involve weekend work (hairdressers, retail) or even unsocial hours (theatre, leisure centres).

WHERE

Ideally, placements should be with a business closely matching what is being studied but some areas of work are difficult to find placements in due to health and safety. In these instances, the college will look to find a ‘close match’. For example, it is difficult to place a 16-year-old on a construction site so a placement with a builder’s merchant would be acceptable.

WHY

Work experience is a taster of the world of work. For many students, this will be their first experience of working. Know what you want to do? It’s the best way to get a real sense of your chosen industry and check it is definitely something you want to pursue. Don’t know what you want to do it? It’s a great way to test a job that you think you might like to do out without committing. Doing work experience also shows passion and interest to future employers. It proves that you are motivated to get into a chosen career and that you’ve done your homework.

What is work experience all about?

Work experience is a taster of the world of work. For many students, this will be the first opportunity to work in a real environment with adults.

Students will not be Managing Director on their placement!  They will often be given tasks that they think is not relevant however all opportunities are a chance to learn. Students are required to complete a log book when on placement as many skills learned during the placement can be put onto a CV for future use in looking for a job/apprenticeship. It is worth remembering that people of all ages make the tea – this is not a reflection on a student’s age or ability.

The Enterprise & Work Placement Team can answer your questions on work experience and can be contacted on 01708 462802 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Contact the Enterprise & Work Placement Team on 01708 462802 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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Ofsted 2016 Report

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