Work Experience Organisers
Put your skills to the test by looking at a selection of Work Experience Scenarios. Here you will find a variety of typical situations that you might encounter as a Work Experience Organiser and the appropriate course of action for you to take.
Take a look at the following work experience scenarios and see if you can correctly assess the appropriate course of action for you to take as a work experience organiser.
Our student has been at her placement in a café for 2 days when her provider contacts you. He complains that although she has been asked to come dressed in a longer skirt, she has failed to do so. He says that her dress is distracting to other employees and gives the wrong impression to clients. When contacted, your student says that she only has that one skirt and that her employer will not allow her to wear trousers.
What should you do? Answer
Whilst on work experience in a local office, one of your students trips over a photocopier lead and falls heavily. He fractures a bone in his arm. The office manager sympathises, but says it was the student's own responsibility to take care of his personal safety, and that in any case, the company is not to blame as he was not a paid employee.
Is she right? Answer
Martin has been offered work experience by his uncle, Mr. Latey, who is a builder. When you contact him to ask him for a risk assessment he laughs it off, saying that Martin will be well looked after and that "it's all in the family". You nonetheless get him to agree to let you visit the site on which Martin will be working. On inspection the site seems reasonably safe, despite a couple of minor matters which Mr. Latey himself points out and says he is seeing to. However, while you are standing, chatting, one of the carpenters who is sticking plastic skirting board to the walls of the house you are in staggers out of a room into the open air. He has a cut to his hand and complains that he feels faint and can't see properly. Mr. Latey tells him to "get off home", and as he is seeing you to your car he mutters that the man must have a hangover.
You are left wondering if he is right, or if you would be putting Martin in danger by letting him do work experience here. Answer
One of your students has a placement in a nursing home for the elderly. You have seen the risk assessment, which was satisfactory and seemed to tally with the conditions that you saw when you visited the home. All seems to be going well until, 3 days into the placement, the girl's mother rings you to say that she is worried about her daughter who is extremely tired and being 'leaned on' by the manager. When you call to talk to your student she is cagey, but finally reveals that the manager has promised her a part-time job when she leaves school if she will work extra hours during the placement and skip her breaks as they are under-staffed at present. You arrange to see the manager.
What should you say? Answer
One of your students has asked if you can find her a placement in a hairdresser’s salon. You foresee no major problems until you receive a copy of their risk assessment. You are amazed at the number of hazards listed. Even though you see that they provide gloves for use with certain chemicals and are aware of the hazards caused by slippery floors and sterilizers, you feel nervous about letting your student attend such a potentially dangerous workplace.
Should you decline the placement? Answer
As the work experience organiser you have received a tearful phone call from a student working in a large factory. This student is diabetic and needs to inject insulin regularly. Although the manager you spoke to about the placement was informed of this he did not let the supervisor know and consequently the student had to ask to go for breaks and explain in front of the other workers that he had to inject regularly. The student was acutely embarrassed as the other workers were calling him "a druggie" and he left the premises and didn't want to return. The student is blaming the school organiser for causing him this distress.
What do you do? Answer
You, the organiser, have been to visit your student who is working at a Call Centre using a VDU and telephone. During your visit to check on the student's progress you realise that she is sitting in front of the screen for long periods without breaks, sitting in an unsuitable chair and seems to have been placed in a corner with poor lighting. The student is generally very happy with her placement and doesn't want to jeopardise her position, especially with her co-workers, by complaining. However she has mentioned to you that she has a problem with headaches and backache. You are concerned for her health but are uncertain about the regulations concerning VDUs. You were assured on your initial visit that the company would comply with health and safety regulations.
What can you do? Answer
A student has made it very clear that she wants to do her work placement at the newly opened store of a national supermarket chain since she is extremely interested in retail management. However, she has been offered a placement at her local store. Her parents have told her that the reputation of the company is very important and that the local store will not offer her the same experience. Although the manager of the national supermarket has agreed to your student attending work experience under his supervision, the last minute nature of the placement does not give you enough time to organise an initial visit before she is due to start. You have had students placed in other branches in previous years and the standard of Health and Safety guidance for the students has always been very good.
Should you allow the placement to go ahead? Answer
Having received feedback from three students who did their placements in a biscuit factory, it has become clear that their health and safety briefing during the placement was unsatisfactory. For example, one of the students was not made aware that he should have been wearing earplugs in some areas of the factory. Although the provider has a very good track record, they have recently appointed a new supervisor to oversee all placements.
What should you do? Answer
A student is halfway through a placement in a factory that distributes medical goods. He is enjoying the experience and his supervisor is extremely happy with his progress. You have an excellent relationship with the company, and despite a few minor reported accidents (e.g. paper cuts) there have never been any health and safety issues. Unfortunately, the mother of your student is concerned that he will be working around forklift trucks and has decided that she does not want her son to continue with the placement.
What should you do? Answer