Work experience will give you the opportunity to try out a career which interests you and learn more about the world of work. You will be given the chance to do work experience between the ages of 14 and 16 (Years 10 and 11) at school, and you can arrange your own at any time of life.
Getting a Placement
Work experience can be arranged in one of two ways, either your school will arrange it for you or they will encourage and support you in applying to companies yourself. If you are asked to find your own placement there are many ways you can go about it. First think about the type of work that would interest you, this could be anything from office work to working in a hospital. Next, ask your school if they have a list of any local companies who have offered work experience previously. If not, ask friends and family if they know of a company who could offer you a placement or just write to a company you have heard of.
Getting the most out of your placement
Keep a note of the things you have done on your placement, as this may come in handy when completing your CV or job application forms. You may find that after a few days the type of work you are doing is not for you. Even if this is the case, don’t get disheartened: continue to do your best during your placement as any skills you learn, such as teamwork and communication, will come in useful whatever you end up doing in life. You may find you love the work you are being given: if this is the case, use the opportunity to learn from others already in that line of work. Their knowledge will help you to find out what qualifications you need to do that type work and may help you to decide if university or an apprenticeship is the right thing for you.
Whether you enjoy your work experience or not, take time to think about the experience you have had and think of the positives you can take out of it. Speak to parents, carers, teachers and careers advisors to see how you can relate your experience to your future career.