My son's school expects parents to arrange their child's work experience for straight after they finish GCSEs in year 11. My son doesn't turn 16 until the day WE finishes, and so far we've drawn a complete blank on finding anything for him.
No firms in the field he would like to work in (engineering) has appropriate insurance for having 15 yr olds on site. Our friend who owns a huntin', shootin' and fishin' online warehouse thing also can't afford to have him on site until he's 16. Local supermarkets don't employ people under 16, and don't seem to have the right insurance.
And so on...
When I worked in state school, they all went off in year 10 to do their work experience, so definitely still 15, or even 14 in some cases- have rules changed on this since 2002?
Well my DDs were both 14 when they did their work experience at the end of year 10 (2006 and 2008). My eldest worked in a country house hotel and my second DD worked in DH's office. School sorted out one and we did the other. Lots of their friends worked in shops but because they were under 16 they weren't allowed to use the tills.
Its difficult to organise something yourself unless its someone you know - DD1 wasn't 16 till the end of july so it was a problem finding paid work in the summer holiday after GCSEs but as work experience was unpaid it wasn't a problem.
All 3 of my DD's were under 16 when they did their work experiance. DD1 was only just 15. We couldn't get her work in a vets which she wanted to do because of insuance. But the local hawking centre took her.
Assume you're talking about next year? We were asked to start looking a year in advance. DD is year 10 and has just done hers. School had a database of willing companies but she organised her own by emailing local companies she found online.
In hindsight, she should have done one week at two different companies. Got rather taken advantage of but at least she's ruled out one career on her long list!
My DDs (15 and 17) are doing a week's work experience this summer and are already doing one hour per week Duke of Edinburgh service at our local National Trust property. NT are used to taking on volunteers so the paperwork, insurance, etc. are routine for them. They are giving the girls plenty of variety - restaurant (clearing tables, as they can't touch the food/operate machinery or tills), shop, visitor reception, gardens, house. The only complaint from DDs so far has been "Has everyone there known us since we were babies?" (And yes, they have.) Might be worth a try if you have NT/English Heritage/local museums who recruit volunteers.
Volunteer work is always great work experience and looks great on the old CV - at Send a Cow we are always grateful of people willing to volunteer. There's loads more info here if that's a help. Best of luck with everything xxx