Work Experience is a minimum of 30 hours, on-the-job placement for students looking to gain real-world experience in the workplace, undertaken as a central part of their course. The content of a work experience placement varies from employer to employer, and is ultimately entirely dependent on the student’s level and what can be offered by the employer. A Work Experience placement usually takes place over a working week, but the hours are flexible and can be negotiated to be mutually agreeable for both the student and the employer.
Industry Placements are being introduced by the Department for Education to give learners on Level 3 Technical education courses the chance to put into practice the knowledge and technical skills they have learnt. Placements provide employers with additional support from a learner studying an industry relevant course. They will involve a 45-60 day placement in a relevant role with a host employer.
Taking on a Work Experience/Industry Placement student has many benefits for both you and the student:
In a survey of over 1000 teenagers carried out by the Career Colleges Trust, more than two thirds (67%) of those asked believe work experience is beneficial for finding employment. By providing a student the opportunity to gain valuable Work Experience you would be helping to improve their employability, a valuable quality in some skilled technical areas that are seeing a drop in the number of suitable candidates coming out of education.
Not only would you be helping these students to find work in the future, you would also gain this student for 30, or 315 hours where you as an employer could see if they would be a suitable fit for your company, either as an apprentice or as a full-time member of staff. Think of it like an extended job interview. It is very common for students who have done Work Experience with a company to return to that company for more Work Experience, and then later go on to be employed with that company.
Providing that the employer has Employer’s Liability Insurance (ELI), there are no additional financial costs to taking on a Work Experience student. It is a necessity that all employers who wish to take on a Work Experience student have ELI. If an employer doesn’t have ELI then they must speak to their insurance company about getting it before they can take on a Work Experience student. ELI can range from anywhere between free and upwards of £300, this varies depending on insurance provider, existing insurance, and job area.
Other than providing students with sufficient opportunities to develop their skills in the workplace, it is an employer’s responsibility to ensure the student’s safety for the duration of their Work Experience Placement. This includes ensuring they are properly informed of their responsibilities and always adequately supervised. We will run through Health & Safety responsibilities with employers directly prior to the start of all placements. We will not allow a placement to begin until we are happy that you are happy, and fully understand your H&S responsibilities.
We ask that you are able to provide a placement that has relevant vocational context and links to the student’s course and development needs. We will work with you and the student to ensure this happens and that both you and the student are getting the most out of the Work Experience placement. Also, we ask you to identify a contact for the students within your company who is their point of contact and who oversees their placement.
Bridgwater & Taunton College are developing a world class approach to Work Experience that bridges the gap from education to business. By accepting a Work Experience student from us you will have best prepared yourself to take on a student long term. As the largest provider of Apprenticeships in the South West, Bridgwater & Taunton College is best situated to take any Work Experience student on to an apprenticeship should you be interested in doing so.
Part of the benefit of Work Experience is that it is the student’s job to seek out the employer and approach them as they would if they were looking for a job. This is key experience for students in taking the initiative and making a positive first impression.
If you haven’t been approached by a student but would like to take on a work experience student, contact the Work Experience team and we will promote your opportunity to our students and provide you with a shortlist of interested students.
To discuss any aspect of Work Experience delivery through Bridgwater & Taunton College, please contact the dedicated Work Experience team:
Office number: 01278 441237