Advice for Work Experience Organisers
For a work experience to be successful, no-one can afford to be complacent or assume that someone else is taking the responsibility for it.
Information must flow freely to and from all key players.
Parents or Guardians must tell the work experience organiser anything important about their child's physical and mental health. For example:
- has asthma
- is slightly deaf in the left ear
- is recovering from a sprained wrist
- is light-sensitive
- is upset about the death of a grandparent
- has a phobia about water
- dislikes loud noise
All of these could have implications in the workplace setting.
Where schools organise their own placements, the senior management team must support the work experience organiser. Time must be given for the WEO to achieve competence through training and time must be given for potential placement sites to be visited and vetted.
Any information given by the parents/guardians must be passed on to the WEO who must ensure that the potential employer also has this information in order that they may do a proper assessment of the risks to this particular young person.
Where information is of a more confidential nature, it should be given on a "needs to know" basis.
School Governors must also ensure that there is adequate insurance cover for work experience placements.
Schools within a consortium may like to consult each other about work experience placements and share their findings and observations.
See It happened to me... case studies to read about other young people's experiences of life at work. Use the case studies and comments to point out good and bad practices and to talk about what could have been done to improve the experiences they had.
- All students should be prepared for work experience before they are sent on the placement.
- All students should be given support for the duration of their work placement.
- All students should receive effective debriefing as soon as possible after their work experience.