Year 12 Work Experience
Work experience is extremely useful when applying for further education, apprenticeships or employment. We give our Year 12 students a one week block to attend a placement of their choice to gain the relevant experience for their future career choice. This takes place during July.
To ensure that all of the placements are in accordance with the DfE Standards for Work Experience and that they meet all of the Health and Safety Guidelines which keep our pupils safe, we will be working with Tony Crowe Safety Consultants, to facilitate the placements.
What do students need to do?
1. Pick up a copy of the ‘Self Placement Form‘ and begin to approach employers to find a suitable placement. Hints and tips on how to do this can be found below (see ‘Securing your own work experience placement’)
2. Hand in the completed form (NB: It MUST be signed by the employer and a parent) to Mrs. Barber in the Careers Office.
3. If students fail to secure their own placement, they will be supported in school to consider options but students need to be proactive.
What do parents need to do?
1. Assist your son/daughter to find a suitable placement that will enhance their future skills and prospects.
• Use any contacts that you have to give them a head-start. We find that the best placements are often found when the student or parent knows someone within an organisation.
• Help your son/daughter to contact employers by letter, e-mail and telephone by finding contacts and checking communications, but please ensure that they make the contact with the employer themselves rather than you doing it on their behalf. Employers prefer this and it is an important skill to develop.
• Ensure your son/daughter follows up any contact that they make with telephone calls. Employers are busy people and do not always respond to e-mails or letters from students first, second or even third time. A follow-up telephone call direct to the organisation can often result in a quicker response.
2. Ensure that the Self Placement Form is fully completed and signed. Where possible, the employer must provide a copy of their Liability Insurance which should be attached to the sheet. They will be required to evidence this to our Health and Safety team at a later stage. The form must also be signed by the employer and signed by parents to acknowledge that the placement has been agreed. Failure to complete any part of the form or if the employer does not hold liability insurance will mean that the placement cannot be processed and the placement will not go ahead.
3. Ensure that your son/daughter hands in the Self Placement Form to Mrs. Barber in the Careers Office by the end of December.
Help and advice for students – Securing your own work experience placement
Work experience is a great opportunity to try out different jobs and different types of workplaces to get an idea of what you might like to do when you finish education. Most employers are eager to help young people get a foot on the ladder.
Where to start?
Start by thinking about what your interests are and what you think you might be good at. For example, if you love sport, you might want to see what it is like to work in a gym or with a sports physiotherapist. If you know you want to be helping people you might want to try out a caring profession like healthcare or working with the elderly.
It is a good idea to brainstorm lots of ideas first. You can do this with friends or family. Get everything down on paper to start.
Check out who does what you are interested in.
If you are really not sure how your interests match up with different jobs, use sites such as the National Careers Service website to explore job profiles. These will help you define what it is you are keen to explore. You could also book an appointment to see our careers adviser, by calling in to see Mrs. Barber or emailing BarberL@bourneacademy.org
Once you know you are interested in a particular type of work, you need to see who does this in your area. You can search Google or look on LinkedIn. Once you find a suitable company, it is always worth checking to see if they have a website so you can learn more about the company before approaching them. The website might provide details of who to contact about work experience or provide the name of the HR Manager if they have one. That is a good person to target.
Also, talk to your classmates, family and friends and ask around. That is called networking and it is a really good way of finding out what’s out there. Someone may be able to introduce you to someone who can provide a placement.
Do not assume that the big companies will not offer you a place. Many are willing to offer work placements if you send a polite, well-written letter.
Once you have identified a few ideas, done your research and have a contact, draft a letter and/or e-mail that explains who you are, what you are interested in and why you are asking for work experience. Tell them the dates that you are looking for. Hopefully they will respond, but if you do not hear anything after two weeks, you can follow up with a phone call to check that your letter or e-mail was received and see if they were able to offer you a placement. You must follow up yourself – do not assume that they will contact you. Companies, especially large ones, are very busy and people may often forget to reply but may still be able to offer you something. Be proactive!
If they do, let school know immediately so we can start the process of confirming and checking the placement. They may want to interview you, so let the school know about that, too.
Do not be discouraged if they say no. Just keep trying new possibilities and keep the school posted on your progress.
Lots of employers tell us they prefer when students ring up and not their parents to try and arrange placements. Students can make calls from school during the working day, employers would so much prefer to hear from students themselves.
If you are curious about a business but not sure you feel comfortable approaching them, why not go and have a look. You can always ask in person. If they cannot answer, ask for the name of the person they should write to. Be sure to look smart if you are going to approach them directly.
Make sure you proof read your letter/e-mail – or get someone else to. Showing that you are conscientious about spelling and punctuation is a good indication that you will be conscientious when you are on a placement.
Make sure your placement is confirmed and returned to Mrs. Barber by the end of December.