Work Experience

What is a Work Experience Placement?

A Work Experience Placement is primarily an educational activity that gives students an insight into the world of work from Year 10 onwards.

How do students benefit from Work Experience Placements?

Following a period of Work Experience it is hoped that they may have developed:

  • More confidence
  • Improved self esteem
  • Ability to communicate with adults
  • Improved timekeeping
  • Additional practical work skills
  • Team working
  • Problem solving skills

There are a wide variety of placements available and there are very few occupational placements that are prohibited to a student. In some cases, legislation imposes restrictions on the type of activities which students can do on Work Experience.  These restrictions are designed to protect students from work unsuitable for them.  Due to a student’s inexperience and age some tasks may only be completed under strict supervision or may, in exceptional circumstances, be observed only. The emphasis, however, is always on trying to provide an interesting and well-balanced placement.

Students or the academy can contact employers to find a suitable placement.  The employers will be asked to complete a Work Experience risk assessment and insurance forms with a description of duties, times and days of working, which the student will be undertaking.

It is a good idea for students to:-

  • Spend time preparing for the placement through discussion and research in class and at home
  • Record their learning during their placement the work experience diary
  • Share their knowledge and experience with fellow students on returning to academy.
  • Ask for a reference from the Employer at the end of their placement.

The planning and organisation of Work Experience programmes are strictly determined by the Education (Work Experience) Act 1973/1996 Education Act, amended by the School Standards and Framework Act 1998.  In effect, students may take part in Work Placements from 1st July 2024. Students must not be paid whilst on Work Experience Placements as it is part of their education curriculum and payment may invalidate insurance arrangements.

It is recommended that students should not work for more than 5 days in any consecutive seven day period. The number of hours worked together with the pattern of work is normally a matter of agreement by the placement provider, academy and students. They should not work excessively long hours or unnecessarily unsocial hours and should not work more than 40 hours per week.  For guidance on the Working Time Directive please look at the website.

In the workplace the primary duties relating to the Health & Safety at Work Act (1974) rest with the employer.  The Health & Safety (Training for Employment) Regulations 1990 extended the meaning of the term ‘employee’ to include students on Work Experience Placements.  Students are required to comply with the safety regulations of the organisation where they are working.  It is their duty to take reasonable care for the Health & Safety of themselves and anyone else who may be affected by their actions or omissions.

In addition, the Management of Health & Safety at Work Regulations 1999, require the employer to undertake an assessment of the risks to students before they start the placement.  Information on this risk assessment and appropriate control measures will be made available to Parents/Carers prior to the commencement of the period of Work Experience.

Parents and Carers are reminded of the necessity to notify the school of any medical condition that might influence the type of placement that a student may choose.  Failure to do so could contribute to the injury of a student or other party at the workplace.  Information should be provided on the ‘Work Experience Parental Consent Form (available from the academy).  This practice further contributes to the safeguarding of students whilst they are on placement.

It is a requirement that all employers hold a current Employer Liability Insurance and that this insurance covers a student whilst on placement. It is also recommended that valid Public Liability Insurance is held by the employer.

Young people need to be motivated and determined if they are to benefit from the opportunities that a Work Experience Placement presents.

Parents/Carers should encourage their son/daughter to think of the type of placement that they believe they would like to have.  For example, they might picture themselves in different industries such as catering, engineering, agriculture/horticulture, community care, clerical administration or hairdressing.  Personal preferences might also be considered such as working for large or small companies, working indoors or outdoors, dealing with members of the public or being part of an office team, using equipment like computers, fax machines, photocopying machines or manufacturing equipment.

Students finding their own placement should ensure the following documents are completed by the employer and handed back to the academy:-

  • Work Experience Own Placement Request
  • Risk Assessment Form
  • Insurance Form
  • Principals of Working Form

Failure to provide the above documentation will result in the academy disapproving the placement.

Finally ……..

If you have any queries, please contact: Mrs K Naylor, Careers Co-Ordinator

  • By post: Ormiston Horizon Academy, Turnhurst Road, Tunstall, Stoke-on-Trent ST6 6JZ
  • Telephone: 01782 883333/883367
  • Email: [email protected]