Work Experience(17 Posts)
Interested in the different experiences your children have had of work experience in state and independent schools and colleges. How far did the school organise a placement or was it left to your child? What checks were done? Was it useful? Any sort of evaluation? TIA
I am a business ambassador for my local education business partnership (EBP). In my area there are six state secondary schools and a massive range in what happens from absolutely nothing happens, to careers conferences ( instead of work experience), to work experience which is pre checked by the EBP, requires pre-placement interview with employer, school staff visit and then employer writes report. Where there is work experience the EBP has a pool of placements, but students can also make their own arrangements.
From what I see the priority of work experience is directly related to what school encourages post-16. The schools that end at 16 and so all pupils leave to go on elsewhere have excellent work experience programs. Whereas the schools that expect all children to stay with them and do A-levels do not offer any form of work experience.
This may change as in September 2017 there will not be enough sixth form places in our area for all pupils coming up from year 11.
My DS's school (state) stopped work experience this year - no reason was given. Personally I think WE is a good thing and we arranged for my DS to do WE at a local business during half term (initially he wasn't very pleased with the idea but did say afterwards that it had been very useful).
I appreciate that it's not always easy to arrange WE - you need lots of self confidence and local contacts help.
At work I have always taken on WE students, although many colleagues wouldn't bother, I think it is an excellent idea for young people.
My DS didn't do work experience, partly because it was very confusingly organised, so he did an alternative activity instead (which was a pity with hindsight).
DD did a week in a shop which was really just ticking the box, but okay. Sh has just done a week in a gym and that has been really really positive and valuable.
I think it can be highly variable. And it's better if it really relates to something they are interested in. It would be more valuable if it wasn't restricted to one set week when other local schools are doing it, and if more time was focussed in school on seeking placements etc.
Dds school doesn't do work experience but she has organised a week shadowing a physio in the summer holidays
In my previous job (childrens activity providor) I was often asked if I could provide a work experience placement but we didn't operate standard hours & often the WE week co-included with a time when There was nothing to do.
If the students had been allowed to do a week in the summer holidays during our summer school we would have been able to offer a good all round experience.
DD's school does WE in Autumn Term of y11. They had a website with info of places that have signed up to take WE pupils. And she had a form to fill in. She chose the local paper (as she's interested in writing), the library and a local shop (on the basis that it would give her experience for a part time job if one for her career interest wasn't available).
Well, she was too young for the paper, the library had already accepted someone else and they told her she was 'too good' to go and work in the shop.
So we've had to arrange it ourselves and after thinking about the places in the local area that would be good for someone who is interested in writing/books for a future career path, she emailed the special residential library in the next town. They were happy to accept her and she's now going to have a week in the residential library that's in the next town and she will be working with their marketing manager promoting the library. V exciting and appropriate for what she'd like to do in the future, but we had to sort it out ourselves.
All schools below end at yr11, btw.
DS (state school 1): they allowed last 2 days of yr10 as WE days. Nothing else was communicated about it (DS did not do any WE).
DD (state school 2): only yr9 now... she thinks that she is ONLY supposed to do WE in the 2nd full last week of July in yr10. Doing any WE any other time, like in school holidays won't count (& something has to count as WE). Says that school will arrange something if we do nothing. Also, reckons she MUST get her form in by Feb of yr10. This would exclude her from doing the WE she most liked (July places not distributed until May). I hope DD has misinformation. Nothing official said, yet.
Friend (state school 3) talks a lot about her son's experience which is very different again (school very heavily involved, & 2 full weeks allocated, but not in July iirc).
They chose which type of WE they wanted and the school arranged everything. I had to co sign his choices and good behavior declaration's. He had to keep a diary of everything he did and have it signed off by one person, can't remember the term they used. He had a great experience and received a lovely letter from the WE.
Academy school (different)
Utter confusion from start to finish. Had to organise it himself. Unsure if any checks, no forms, no diary, no feedback. However, he had a great time and everyone was helpful and kind.
At our son's school, the school has a list of local firms/organisations who have agreed to take on a WE placement, but it's up to the pupils to make contact and "win" their own place by means of their cv, impression at interview etc, so it's a kind of real-life application process which is probably more useful than the WE itself in terms of "job hunting".
The pupils are also free to try to organise WE outside the school's list, but that's not really too successful because the school insist on a lot of form/box ticking and need copies of employment policies, etc from each employer, which is all fine if it's a larger employer with all the paperwork in place and a HR department who can do the copying/form filling, but there's talk of lots of smaller employers (one man bands etc) who've not been allowed by the school to take on a WE because they can't tick the right boxes, which is a shame, but the school are really quite heavy-handed in terms of their paperwork requirements.
DS did WE in Yr10.
There was a list of firms which offered places. Students could also find their own placements but had to provide the school with details. Everyone had to fill in application forms and go to interviews.
In general I think it was a very mixed experience. Several students turned up for their placements, only to discover that there wasn't anything for them to actually do. After speaking to the employers, the teachers actually withdrew those students from the WE placement and found them jobs to do at school instead.
Some students ended up shadowing their parents at work. It was probably useful in terms of learning about the actual job, but I'm not sure it gave them any real sense of independence. Others did WE at their parents' place off work but in a different department.
Others really enjoyed their placements and it gave them a better idea of what they would like to do.
Everyone was visited by a teacher and everyone had to fill in an evaluation form. The most positive reports were where the employer had a specific WE programme (larger companies) or where they had real work for the student to do.
State school, 2 dc have both done it at end of Yr10 - 2 different schools. ds did for 2 weeks dd did for 1 week.
For my dc it was a bit of a waste of time, IMVHO - they are dc who are involved in lots of things and who are used to working alongside adults in their hobbies, and used to getting themselves to and from places, and who all understand there's a lot of mundane tasks to be got through for any big project to come off.
However for a lot of dc, I think there can be a value in that - not the actual job / experience itself, but the whole getting themselves there / understanding that someone has to do the boring or unpleasant jobs / understanding the hierarchy of work / getting on with people they work with, people of different ages etc.
dc had to organise their own placements. Not aware of a lot of checks in advance (although both went to named work placements you'd recognise, not 'Dave's Plumbing' type set ups). Both had a teacher visit while they were there. My niece was stopped from going to a great placement that a relation had set up for her (marketing, no renowned for H&S accidents) as the school didn't have time to assess it first.
Oh - they both walked away with references from their placements, and dd was offered a Saturday job from hers.
Ds did WE in the summer term of Year10 (six years ago). He did two weeks in a local independent sports shop. It was a really good two weeks where they showed him all aspects of the business from delivering large items such as table tennis tables to private houses, stock room, shop floor, planning and arranging the shop window display, processing orders for kit from local schools and restringing tennis racquets. He was offered a Saturday job at the end of it. He has just graduated with a science degree so I doubt he will look for a career in retail but it was certainly a very good experience for him.
DC1 is about to do their WE over the next 2 weeks. School had a huge database of previously used placements. DC1 had to contact the ones they were interested in and make all of their own arrangements for how they were expected to apply. There were then forms to complete by us and the employer, including seeing details of risk assessments & safeguarding.
DC1 got in quick and nailed two separate weeks in really interesting places. Friends who were less proactive have got duller placements or ones which are not related at all to the careers that interest them.
I'm a primary teacher. We've got 4 of them coming next week. None of them are actually interested in teaching. We're always the "Oh heck. What's left?" option.
DS has done WE in years 10 and 12, one locaL and another in London (via the old mates network). He has learned a lot from both. He now knows
he needs a degree doesn't want to work in retail or catering, and that he doesn't plan to be everyone's gofer. This summer, he's working for himself as a contractor, at £6 ph. His (mainly elderly) customers are pleased to have their heavy gardening jobs done, and he makes more than minimum wage.
Work experience in year 10 can be difficult as alot of potential professions are unavailable to them. Our hospital has a minimum age policy of age 16 and post gcse exams for any work experience. As a HOD I get hundreds of letters from students that I have to turn down as they are too young.
Join the discussion
Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.Register now
Already registered with Mumsnet? Log in to leave your comment or alternatively, sign in with Facebook or Google.
Please login first.