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Y10 work experience! Where to start?

(42 Posts)
Ormirian Wed 05-Oct-11 12:45:13

Got a letter from school telling us that DS1 would be doing a weeks' work experience at the end of the year. We had to arrange it (with guidance from school) but they would run CRB checks etc if needed. Oh yes, and it had to be done by the end of this term.

How? Where? What? <panic>

I have no idea at all what he should do. He wants to work in the music shop for a week but I don't know if that's a worthwhile idea.

He was oringially thinking of doing engineering via an apprenticeship but all the places that would offer the sort of thing he is interested in are miles away and would be difficult to arrange transport to. Meanwhile he has decided he wants to teach music although he seems a bit hazy on the details hmm

How important is this week? Is it going to be looked at by future employers as evidence of anything? If so, of what? Do we have to get it right or will a week doing anything work-based do?

I am a bit lost....

gramercy Wed 05-Oct-11 13:04:29

Watching with interest.

We have zero useful contacts.

I'm often reading on MN and hearing in real life about Tom/Dick/Harry/Jane going to work at Goldman Sachs, or the British Museum, or trailing round after Mr X the eminent heart surgeon. One girl I know got to work on the local newspaper - quite coincidentally the Editor is her uncle.

It seems to me that a large volume of the kids end up helping out in the local schools. Dd had 3 work experience kids in her Year 4 class the other week.

mumsneedwine Wed 05-Oct-11 13:04:58

Don't panic ! Work experience is 5 days of his life and no one expects him to even know what he wants to do at his age. The idea is to open the kids eyes to the working world and to be treated like an adult for a week. If he likes music, working in a shop will be great - skills he will learn there will be transferable to any job (professional attitude, time keeping, enthusiasm) and he may even get some part time work from it. What he does is not nearly as important as his attitude towards it, so it's best to do something he will enjoy. Do look into apprenticships for the future though as some of them so recruit very early.

circular Wed 05-Oct-11 13:06:14

If he really does want to teach music, can he shadow a music teacher?
That's what DD1 intends to do for hers - unless the work experience is scrapped which we keep hearing threats about.

As for it really needing to be related to what they want to do, it can only be if they have a good idea. Seems to important for Medicine, Veterinary etc. but how many DCs 'really' know at 14?

A friends DD, was convinced she wanted to be a Vet since she was small. Did the relevant work experience in year 10 and hated it. now does not hae a clue what to do.

wordfactory Wed 05-Oct-11 13:31:34

Year 10?

Good grief, what on earth do they expect anyone to achieve in year 10? All they will be doing is getting in the way.

MrsRobertDuvall Wed 05-Oct-11 13:52:43

We were told in July that dd will be doing 2 weeks work experience in March and needed it in place by October half term.
Don't worry about contacts and old boys network...I told dd it was up to her to sort it out. She applied for a number of placements in stores, was accepted by 6 and chose her favourite. She is also doing a week with her singing/piano teacher as that will be fun.
It's very much to give them a flavour of the working world ie getting there on time, interacting with adults. The girls were told that if you applied to be at a vet's , there would be a lot of watching, as you would not be allowed to do anything eg perform major surgery wink.

dd has chosen somewhere where they have a training programme in place for them, and so she will actually be learning something.

Ormirian Wed 05-Oct-11 14:55:17

Thanks so much.

Have calmed down a bit now grin

We were well on the way to finding a apprenticeship last year - all keyed up and ready to go! And then he started to waver a bit .....but as wordfactory said, Y10 is ridiculously early to be setting his future in stone.

Merrylegs Wed 05-Oct-11 15:03:02

No. It will not be used in evidence against him!

DS did his at the local garage, even though he has no aptitude or interest in mechanics or car maintenance. But it was easy to get to, friendly and taught him a lesson about the world of work, time keeping and fitting in with a team.

(In contrast, his two cousins shadowed Tamara Mellon (Jimmy Choo) and the Archbishop of Canterbury respectively. They are not now shoe designers or indeed, ordained.)

Theas18 Wed 05-Oct-11 15:05:16

Any work experience is work experience. It doesn't really need to be particularly relevent to where they want to be in the future. Lots of areas indeed aren't able to have kids experiencing them.

Move fast as all the kids do it at about the same time and its a scum!

Must push DS to get on with it!

gramercy Wed 05-Oct-11 15:10:42

Lordy! Shadowing Tamara Mellon and the Archbishop of Canterbury!

Ormirian Wed 05-Oct-11 15:13:08

Love the idea of 'shadowing' as a profession that anyone can gain experiences in grin Have visions of people being paid to follow VIPs round dressed in black tip-toeing in a pantomime fashion.

Merrylegs Wed 05-Oct-11 15:16:20

I know! (Think they missed a trick, actually. They should have teamed up - introduced Rowan to a kick-ass pair of Jimmy Choos. Make a change from the sandals.)

cricketballs Wed 05-Oct-11 17:06:39

it is there in order to give students a taste of what it is like in the working world and what they will expect rather than a specific career. The experience can be used in personal statements/application forms etc in terms of skills and experience gained rather than the actual job they did.

In a previous school it actually had a very positive effect on my students as they only had low aspirations and after spending a week in an hairdressers/nursery etc they decided that child care and beauty etc was not for them and they decided to buckle down at school so they could go to college and aim for higher

let him go to somewhere that he has any interest in (even if it means a journey to get there) so he can see the realities of work etc

CroissantNeuf Wed 05-Oct-11 17:17:37

At the DCs primary school they often have ex-pupils back to do work experience -maybe your DS could go back to his old school and work with the teacher who is responsible for the music side of things?

Also consider local charities.

The only other experience I've heard of is when my god-daughter was trying to find something -she ended up going to an animal rescue centre.

bruffin Wed 05-Oct-11 17:46:53

This was my thread last year

DS had a brilliant time. I recently spoke to the old owner. He said that they hadn't taken work placements for a while because there were too many who just weren't interested when they got there. But this year they triend again and they were really pleased with all the applicants. they were all a credit to their parents.

I would go with what he is interested in, but get in early as lots of places limit the number of students they take through the year.

roisin Wed 05-Oct-11 18:11:08

Crikey? Round her the schools organise everything.

One popular option is for kids to do something that will lead to an offer of a Saturday job, rather than something that will help their career. ie working in Tescos or Asda, Boots or another local shop.

ds1 (yr10) is currently sometimes so sullen and unco-operative and lazy, that I think I will be encouraging him to do work experience somewhere that he is extremely unlikely to ever want to pursue when it comes to real work! As I don't think he's ready for the real world, and will not make a good impression.

sillybillies Wed 05-Oct-11 20:42:11

Doesn't really matter too much, its just an experience of the world of work. I'd avoid any job where they won't be able to get involved. For example, I had a student who got work experience with a lawyer but because all the files were confidential she couldn't do any work apart from make cups of tea! She was pretty bored after a few days but did get to see the courts.
Working in a music shop sounds a good option.

Ormirian Fri 07-Oct-11 10:20:45

Well I take it all back! The LEA has a web-site with all available placements on it along with details, classified by type and area of interest. Most impressed. We just need to get the letter template downloaded, complete it and DS has to take it into school. Sorted grin Assuming no-one else has already applied of course.

strictlovingmum Fri 07-Oct-11 13:05:15

Last year DS did it, and loved it, school arrange the whole thing and helped him with applications.
He ended up doing two weeks with local branch of Barclays bank, he was supposed to do only one week with them and another week with a local building company, but at the end of the first week staff at the bank asked him via school if he wanted to stay for one more week with them, he was given all sort of responsibilities and duties, which he enjoyed immensely.
He was kept very busy, doing a full day work, at the end of it, they have written comprehensive and detailed reference which in their words can come very "handy in the future", so yes work experience has it's place IMO.
If your DS wants to do music shop I would definitely encourage it, it is his first experience with grown up working world, I think it's important your DS enjoys it, good lucksmile

GnomeDePlume Fri 07-Oct-11 16:24:17

DD did two weeks last year working for my old employer. It was great experience for her and she really enjoyed it. In the past she has said that she couldnt ever possibly work in an office. Getting some real experience of an office helped her see that an office is just a place to work.

At this stage it doesnt really matter what the work itself is. One week or two having to get on with new people, turning up on time and generally being as helpful if you can without getting in the way is all good experience.

ibbydibby Mon 10-Oct-11 09:56:49

Am very envious of the help and support that some of you seem to be receiving from your DCs schools on obtaining work experience placements.

We have received a letter from the school, which merely states that we help our child find a "...self-generated" placement. It does say we can ask our own work place, but DH and I both home-based, so little scope there, and no relatives near by to ask. So we are assuming that we are to assist DS1 in finding something.

DS1 wrote to 2 places in July 2011 (for 2 week placement in July 2012) - no reply from either. I followed up one of them 3 weeks later, but the person I needed to speak to was unavailable, and would call me later in the day. She didn't. Left it until after our summer hol (in the hope a letter would arrive - it didn't), then DS1 called at end of Aug. Was given a verbal "yes" on phone, but only for a week. Promise of a confirmatory letter to follow. No letter. I called office again in mid September, spoke to someone else who said that if as a verbal "yes" had been given, he would follow it up with a confirmatory email which arrived later that day. I also explained to the person concerned that I needed to send in a form for completion, and return to DS1's school. I sent this in in mid September, and have still not had it back. Rang today, and confirmed that it has been received, but person I spoke to unsure of what has happened to it, so will leave work expereince lady a message for her to call me back.

But that is only the first week of the 2 week block, so DS1 has also written elsewhere, and again no reply from letter sent mid September. Rang that office and again the person I need to speak to is unavailable. (though encouragingly tied up with a work expereince person) I have spent so much time on this.

Not sure why I am posting, but just venting as I feel unsupported by the school over this. I clearly remember going to a parents' forum at the school 2 years ago, and this lack of support over work experience was brought up then. Don't think much has changed.

GnomeDePlume Mon 10-Oct-11 15:26:20

ibbydibby if it's any comfort, my DD's work experience wasnt actually confirmed for July 2011 until January 2011 (applied much, much earlier). The company had a process which they followed no matter what the school's process was.

If you have had some sort of confirmation then I would just live with that. Explain the situation to the school. This certainly worked for DD.

HallowEve Mon 17-Oct-11 12:56:52

Hello
Another panic-stricken Mum of a Year 10 here!
Is there any chance that you could please mention the LEA website that you have used? Even if it's not my area (Surbiton/Kingston/Wimbledon), I'm sure it will provide some useful tips.
Many thanks

HallowEve Mon 17-Oct-11 12:58:25

My previous message was directed towards Ormirian!
Or indeed anyone that can help me!
Thank you.

ibbydibby Tue 18-Oct-11 08:35:04

Thanks for reassurance Gnome (love your name). Am still v worried though, as have had all "no, sorry" responses this week, and still no confirmatory form back from the place who have offered DS one week out of the 2.

Am sufficiently concerned to have emailed (last Thursday) the teacher with responsibility for work experience. Awaiting a reply.

Orm am shock at your reference to downloading a letter template. Nothing like that here. No advice over how to contact firms either - had started off with letter writing, but no response from that, so have resorted to phoning or emailing.

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