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16yr old Grandaughter awful work experience

(93 Posts)
Leosnewmummy Tue 14-Jan-20 09:35:19

Need advice what to do for the best. My 16 yr old DGD started a week long work experience yesterday in a salon due to it being part of her college work. She had to find the work experience herself and due to most salons not taking anyone or already booked this shop was the only one. She spoke to the manager who said come in at 10 till five, Monday to Friday. On arrival no manager was there only 6 staff who were all polish and didn't know why she was there. They called the manager who said GDG was there to sweep up and make coffee. This was disheartening for her to hear as she was looking forward to learning beauty procedures.
No one spoke to her and they all chatted together in Polish, she felt very unwelcome. Afrer lunch one of 2 men who work there said to my GDG he would curl her hair, which was a nice thing to do. When curling her hair he and the other guy were talking in Polish and she thought they were talking about her. Then one said to the other "get her to suck yr cock" pointing at my DGD.
Obviously she was mortified, she's 16 and a very young 16 I might add, very girly and a bit geeky. Then the guy curling her hair see her screen saver on her phone which is a photo of GDG and her boyfriend. He said "how old are you" she replied 16.
He said is that yr boyfriend she said yes. "Have you fucked him" no, " why not yr old enough you should fuck him".
She was so upset and scared but didn't know what to do. Sat on her own until 5pm then went to one women to get her booked signed. She told the woman what had been said to her and the woman said "oh he was only joking don't worry he's not in Wednesday you will have a better day. Needless to say my DGD went straight to my Dd place if work, crying and shaking begging her mum not to make her go back today. Well my Dd is fuming she's going to the salon today to confront them, then to the college to report it. My DGD is worried the college will now fail her because she's not completing her work experience. What would you do? I think the police should also be told. Her first taste of adult working life and this happens, how awful for her. And the 2 men are gay so may think its OK to speak like this to any females, I don't know.

Mrsjayy Tue 14-Jan-20 09:38:51

She should go back to her college and report back to them and not go back.

bookmum08 Tue 14-Jan-20 09:41:10

Tell her not to go back and tell the college the reasons why so they can warn other students from going to this place.

Clappingforjoy Tue 14-Jan-20 09:43:10

That is bloody disgraceful and I would be putting a complaint into that salon and would expect the college to do the same.
Totally unacceptable scummy creeps.

lifecouldbeadream Tue 14-Jan-20 09:44:15

If the college fail her for not putting herself back in that situation then they have some VERY serious safeguarding questions to answer. I’m really sorry she’s had that experience.

peachescariad Tue 14-Jan-20 09:44:27

Contact college immediately and absolutely she should not go back.
The college didn't find the placement so there is pretty much little they can do, but they will definitely not fail her because of this. This is a safeguarding issue so their priority should be their students.
However, as a parent of a 17 year old DD I would most certainly make an appointment or call the salon manager, plus I would definitely log this with the Police.
What vile, disgusting men.

bank100 Tue 14-Jan-20 09:45:14

She certainly shouldn't go back and her parent should have a conversation with the college about what's happened and how to move forward with finding work experience. It often will be sweeping up & making tea though, that's often what this kind of work experience entails.
Might have more luck shadowing an individual beauty professional, like a freelancer / own small business. Might get to 'do' more.

thecatfromjapan Tue 14-Jan-20 09:46:58

Surely there are safeguarding guidelines?

I know that a lot of places won't do work experience placements because there are (many) forms to fill out.

It all needs to be reported.

You all need to make it the college's problem rather than your granddaughter's.

'This happened - it is unacceptable - what are you going to do to fix it?'

RB68 Tue 14-Jan-20 09:48:35

Under 18s are classed in law as vulnerable people and are due more protection from any situation int he workplace and that includes sexual harrassment which is what this was. She should not have been unsupervised, there should be a risk assessment in place for having her attend and arrangements to protect her from people like this.

It is clear that is how he always is and from what has been said it would appear that he "rents space" in the salon.

Having said that what to expect - that they be black listed from further placements - they clearly have no idea how to handle things

Report them to HSE rather than the police to be honest. Although the Police might be interested as there is a possible link to grooming etc

If they are part of a chain then also report into that.

For the college to take the situation into account and allow her to find another week of work placement somewhere - she may have to go further a field.

Teach her to deal with the situation - in the first instance tell them that they are disgusting and if they wouldn't say it to their Mother or grandmother they shouldn't be saying it to her. If they continue she will be reporting them to her college and if they advise further action the police.

Mrsjayy Tue 14-Jan-20 09:48:48

The sweeping up and making coffee is probably the norm for students on work experience maybe a bit of hairwashing ,

Hepsibar Tue 14-Jan-20 09:49:35

She should go to the college and report and say she is taking legal advice ... (even if she is not). A trip to the Citizen's advice bureau wouldnt go amiss maybe you could go with her. (

The College has an absolute duty of care to "vet" the places and also to stop any other students being placed here. Where has that been in this case? If anything, it should go in your daughter's favour she is dealing with the situation in terms of safe guarding, sexual harrassement, dealing with authority. Also to ask the college what plan they had agreed with tasks etc ... quite often junior staff seem to be lumbered with tea making and brushing hair and occasionally hair washing.

Get your daughter to note times, dates, events. I would suggest she doesnt "confront" but lets them know she is in discussions with college and will come back to them when she knows more. Perhaps a phone call, keeping calm.

She needs your support and example here ... you need to be forensic and professional to show them up as utterly unprofessional and irresponsible. Learn from this experience for the future.

Could you daughter become an ambassador for the college in future placements and how they should run. I guess the truth is the college was desperate for placements and stuck people anywhere and they may say things like would you prefer not to have any placement ... ? If they do, ask: "Are they supporting sexual harrassement, lack of safeguarding and duty of care and professionalism?"

Good luck both.

Hepsibar Tue 14-Jan-20 09:52:13

I agree that you should strongly consider telling the police or say to the college, will they be telling the police? This really is very serious.

lanthanum Tue 14-Jan-20 09:52:30

She should not go back. She should inform the college, who will be on her side and will take things forward. Unfortunately, if they're short of placements anyway, they may not be able to help find another placement for this week - maybe they will be able to assist in finding her an alternative for half-term or the Easter holidays.

74NewStreet Tue 14-Jan-20 09:54:05

God, that’s dreadful, poor kid. Report to college.

Stefoscope Tue 14-Jan-20 09:54:37

I can see why a salon probably isn't able to allow work experience students to perform treatments etc as their insurance may not cover them. The rest is completely out of order though and agree she definitely shouldn't go back and needs to speak to college asap. If I were your daughter, I'd also speak to the manager and let them know how unprofessionally her staff are behaving when they aren't there!

PersephoneandHades Tue 14-Jan-20 09:57:28

Definitely report it to the school, they will not fail your DGD because of this and they need to know so that in future they know to not let any students use that place for their work experience.

Aside from that it should also be reported to the police, it's sexual harassment by adults to someone who is legally still a child (even if past the age of consent) and the salon in general need to be reprimanded and understand that this behaviour from their staff is not appropriate or acceptable.

Also, it doesn't change anything that the perpetrators are both gay, it's still inappropriate.

BlueJava Tue 14-Jan-20 09:57:35

I think both you and she have unrealistic expectations of what she'd be doing (I wouldn't expect learning at the moment having just started but I would expect making coffees for customers, sweeping up etc).

However it was obviously completely awful to be spoken to like that. I'd go back to the college with her and complain and get them to assist in finding another place.

Dyrne Tue 14-Jan-20 09:58:31

The sweeping and making coffee, unfortunately in most work placements that’s all you can get work experience students to do because of training/insurance etc requirements.

The comments and her treatment are appalling and I would report those straight to the college. I wouldn’t go “confront” anybody until you have done that because if you cause a scene it will make it much more muddled if a police complaint needs to be made.

Comefromaway Tue 14-Jan-20 10:02:34

Absolutely do not go back to the salon but contact college straight away and ask to speak to whoever is in charge of safeguarding as well as her course leader.

It seems like the salon does not understand what wolrk eperience is. Students should not just be expected to seep up and make coffee but should be given the opportunity to observe and learn even if they can't do stuff themselves.

Even for Year 10 (age 14-15 years) the first thing work experience students have to do is go through a simple induction/health and safety procedures/policies etc (my son went to a small owner run music shop with mostly part time staff and even they managed that.

pinkyredrose Tue 14-Jan-20 10:04:10

Definitely report. Btw being gay doesn't mean you don't know how to not talk inappropriately to a teenage girl!

TamingToddler Tue 14-Jan-20 10:05:59

The college will be absolutely fine. 3 of us were doing placement in a nursery that was horrendous, and pulled all of us out and signed off our work experience. They'd much rather you be happy where you are.

FleaTrainerExtraordinaire Tue 14-Jan-20 10:10:58

Whilst I would understand why a WE student would not be allowed to participate in treatments, I would expect them to have some opportunity to shadow a technician whilst they did the treatment. For sure, you would expect to help with some of the easier tasks like sweeping floors but this should not be how you spend all your time.

I did mine at a vet's (way back when) and whilst about 50% was cleaning up pee, poo and sick, for the other 50% I was shadowing a vet or nurse. I was allowed to view two surgeries and the vet took time during it to explain what he was doing and why. I saw difficult calving and the vet talked to me in the car on the way back about what had happened and why. That kind of thing.

The lack of induction and the atmosphere are also wrong.

However, all of that pales in comparison to the comments/harassment. I totally understand why your DD wants to go down to the salon to let rip. It is illegal and the college would really struggle to defend failing a student because they were not prepared to be sexually harassed on a placement. I would expect the conversation with the college to be very simple and non-confrontational because, presumably, they will be as appalled as you and your family are that one of their students had to face the kind of siutation many adults would have been scared of.

myself2020 Tue 14-Jan-20 10:11:50

The work (making coffee, sweeping ) is normal - sexual harassment is not, and the college can’t fail her for not tolerating thus!

seltaeb Tue 14-Jan-20 10:12:08

DGD should not under any circumstances return to the salon. Any educational institution that sends students on work experience should check that appropriate insurances are in place and do a risk assessment. I wonder if this was done. What happened to your DGD is totally unacceptable and I would be making a strong written formal complaint to both the salon and the college. If you and your DD feel strongly enough you could report the incident to the police as sexual harrassment, but it may be that DGD would prefer to forget about it and move on.

BillHadersNewWife Tue 14-Jan-20 10:13:16

It's awful. The men are what you need to focus on...not the Polish staff or the sweeping and coffee. That's all normal...the staff ignoring her IS rude though but the main issue is the men! Not ok!

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