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Yr 10work experience - how to organise it

(32 Posts)
Kikithecat Sat 23-Mar-13 11:45:16

Can anyone offer advice as to how to get a work experience placement at a company of your child's choice? My ds would love to work at a particular company when his time comes next year and I was wondering if any of you had success writing to a company to ask for a work experience placement for your child?
Were you successful? Any tips for persuading them?

Grateful for any advice.

noblegiraffe Sat 23-Mar-13 11:48:24

I would strongly advise that you do not write to a company to organise work experience for your child but that your child does it instead.

Kikithecat Sat 23-Mar-13 11:54:17

OK good point. Anything else. e.g. tips for what to say?

noblegiraffe Sat 23-Mar-13 11:56:27

Sorry, that was a bit short, but your DS should approach it like a job application, say why he wants to work for the company, what his interests and skills are that mean he'd be useful etc.

Kikithecat Sat 23-Mar-13 11:59:26

Thanks, and have you had success this way - or are you an employer?

creamteas Sat 23-Mar-13 12:00:07

I would suggest your DS finds out first if the organization usually has placements, this information will be known to the school/service who overseas work experience. If it is useful to offer this, there will be standard way of applying.

If they have not offered work experience before, I would suggest your DS contacts them by phone to find out the name of the person who could facilitate this. In some organizations it will be HR, in others it will be the area that the work experience student will be based. Then contact that that person directly.

Many companies will no longer offer anything to under 16s, so I would suggest drawing up a list rather than hoping for a particular company.

Kikithecat Sat 23-Mar-13 12:07:30

Thanks both of you, will take your advice on board.

bruffin Sat 23-Mar-13 12:27:04

DS emailed the company he wanted to work at and asked about placement. He told them a little bit about himself and his interest in their product.
They wrote back and said he was the first to apply so he could have a place, so get in there early.

Kikithecat Sat 23-Mar-13 13:24:47

That's what I like to hear bruffin!

MTSgroupie Sat 23-Mar-13 19:30:43

In our case our (private) school makes a point of developing a relationship with parents who can help. In some case the parent is the decision maker. In others they can lobby the decision makers on the schools.behalf. Either way, a company will be more receptive if there is an involved parent working there.

aliasPrickleandJones Sat 23-Mar-13 19:44:16

Creamteas is right that many companies do not accept under 16s. Rather than pinning your hopes on one company, its best to have fallback options. I think it really helps if there is a personal contact at the company.

Sparklingbrook Sat 23-Mar-13 19:48:50

I will be doing this next year with DS1. I thought he could go to my brother's company but it has to be within the County the school is in. sad

EduCated Sat 23-Mar-13 19:52:46

It's 7 a few years ago now, but I wrote letters to anywhere and everywhere, like others have said, get DS to write himself, almost as though it were a covering letter for a job:

- Why is he interested in them?
- Why should they be interested in him/what has he got to offer?
- What does he hope to gain out of it?

Good luck smile I did mine at the Town Hall and got to go into council meetings and all sorts, it was great and has actually been useful ever since.

Kez100 Sat 23-Mar-13 21:57:06

I once had a work experience application written by a Mum! She told me how her son really wanted to have a career in my line and that he was in all top sets.

Made me wonder why, if he was so clever and focussed on a particular career, he couldn't pen (or word process) a letter himself.

When my son was looking we checked the websites of companies he was interested in for ages they accepted. Many were over 18! We found one that didn't specify an age but took WE and another which didn't mention it. Then, my son took over and wrote to both. The latter gave him a place. It's very local so he has also been around to drop off the paperwork and collect it again. He has been invited it and shown the sort of work he will be doing and met the owner, who also offered him help on his GCSE course if he needed it.

It's far better that the youngsters take control. Who knows what will come of it.

creamteas Sun 24-Mar-13 12:53:10

My DCs school have now stopped WE in year 10, because there were so few places offering anything worthwhile. They decided that as DC have to be in education now till 18, that it was more appropriate to move this into the sixth form.

This is, of course, fine for the ones who stay on, but not so good for those who could have done with WE to try out roles or talk about when applying for apprenticeships.

EduCated Sun 24-Mar-13 13:57:19

Get creative with where you ask as well. I did the Town Hall, a friend worked at the Cathedral, another at a local museum. Also don't worry if its not directly relevant to future career plans; one friend did his in a cafe and is now qualifying as a doctor, but the WE helped him get part-time jobs during college!

bruffin Sun 24-Mar-13 14:11:36

That's happened in dcs school as well creamteas.
Meant DS in yr12 is supposed to do it twice.
DS did have a brilliant time but he has had a lot of real life work experience including the industry he wants to work in. He is also on a headstart cover in the 3 week period they are talking about so not encouraging him to do it.

lainiekazan Sun 24-Mar-13 14:40:09

Ds has had to arrange his WE for this September (year 10). It was a bloody nightmare. Nearly every company has closed the door citing health & safety, data protection, age restrictions, you name it.

It's also some kids' first brush with nepotism - so I suppose that's a lesson - albeit an unfortunate one - in the ways of the world. Ds's cousin tailed a high court judge and worked at the local newspaper. The judge was her uncle and the editor of the paper her aunt. Grrrrrr!!

Ds wrote about 25 letters and received hardly any replies. I was so cross: how long does it take to write a one-line e-mail saying no thanks?

Most schools round here have now ended the scheme because it's just too difficult to find places for all the kids.

petal2008 Sun 24-Mar-13 16:39:00

My DS was looking for WE,year 12. Wrote 30 odd letters to companies in the field he was interested in - got 3 replies. Absolutely disgusting.What sort of message does this send to the youth of today?

He eventually got week but he is doing it in the 6 weeks holiday as they couldn't accommodate the week the school allocated.

bigbluebus Sun 24-Mar-13 17:23:36

It is very difficult to get W E places when you are only 15, and it is mostly a case of "who you know". DSs school almost scrapped it last year due to difficulty in geting places (rural area but then changed there minds and decided to go ahead woth it - meaning that all the other schools had got in 1st.
DS e-mailed/wrote to a number of companies that were of interest to him, but only got one reply. Thankfully, they offered him a place (think they were sympathetic as they said their own daughter had done WE the year before!) but the downside was, it was in the middle of nowhere, so no public transport meant that I had to ferry DS there and back every day. He did really enjoy it though and it was definitely beneficial to him.
OP, as others have said, your DS shouldn't pin all his hopes on one company. If you can find someone who knows someone who works there and can put in a good word, then he may be in with a better chance!

aliasPrickleandJones Sun 24-Mar-13 20:36:48

Given that its so hard to find placements, I wouldn't be really specific about the type of work/industry. I don't think it's important that it's the type of work that the dc wants to make a career of.

My dd had a really worthwhile and enjoyable time. She learned loads, not so much about the work per se but things like being on time, commuting, doing things that was a bit out of her comfort zone and not losing it. She is shy and I think it really boosted her confidence. Most of these are general work skills that applies to all types of work.

Kikithecat Mon 25-Mar-13 08:45:41

Thanks for all the replies - this has been a real eye-opener for me.

Ragwort Mon 25-Mar-13 08:55:10

My DCs school have now stopped WE in year 10, because there were so few places offering anything worthwhile - I think that is a real shame, as alias says, its so much more than just being about the actual 'work' you are doing, - showing comittment, getting on with other people, workling as a team, developing people skills etc etc.

I get fed up hearing parents say 'my child was only sweeping the floor/stacking shelves' - that is what work is like for many people; young people (and their parents grin) need to get over themselves and just get off their backsides for eight hours a day. You can always tell when it's WE week in our town by the bored and aimless looking teenagers who can't even say 'good morning' when you enter a shop.

I speak as one of the few people in our company (some time ago now) who was actually prepared to take on WE pupils, but the attitude of some of them hmm - one wouldn't even answer the phone even after extensive coaching on what to say - when we had the de-brief when she left she told me she wanted to be a brain surgeon or a barrister grin.

W did have one WE student who was outstanding and we offered her a Saturday job straight away smile.

happygardening Mon 25-Mar-13 09:28:51

Dont know wwhere you live but Qinetiq do a fantastic week of work experience.

aliasPrickleandJones Mon 25-Mar-13 09:59:12

Ragwort smile

Sometimes I think that it's the parents not their dcs who want the high status WE placements so they can say 'my son is with a high court judge this week... (and not stacking shelves at Tesco) wink

For the dcs themselves, I think the jobs that could lead to possible Sat and other jobs are much more useful. And more incentivising.

Also when the WE involves jobs that are lower skilled eg stacking shelves, the dcs end up doing real work whereas in a more esoteric work environment they end up trailing after the high court judge and sitting in endless meetings that they don't understand...

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