The purpose of work experience
The purpose of work experience is to introduce pupils to gain knowledge of the world of work, whilst developing self awareness and skills that are valuable to employers. You will develop many skills, including communication, problem solving, teamwork, business awareness and an understanding of the use of technology. You may learn data systems whilst you learn self management skills.
Work experience enables you to think ahead for possible future career options, be in a different environment. Your work placement should be meaningful and have a purpose. The work experience placement should enable you to carry out a variety of tasks, as it enables you to understand responsibility and most importantly help you to learn about expectations of the workplace, become better observers, enquirers, thinkers and become more reflective.
Below is a better understanding of what you can gain from attending work experience:
- Look’s great on your CV.
- Enables you to gain knowledge of how an organisation operates and functions.
- Enables you to make decisions about your future career aspirations.
- You understand the importance of time management.
- You will gain communication skills.
- Can improve your networking skills.
- You will find out if the job is how you imagined it.
- Work Experience can help you set some career goals .
- You may find out how certain jobs relate to subjects that you learn whilst in sixth form.
- You will have examples to talk about when you attend potential future interviews.
- When experience placement’s work out well, you could potentially gain a reference for future roles you apply for.
Things you may want to consider?
- Don’t worry if you are not sure about what your chosen career aspiration is.
- Before you start to consider what kind of work experience you would like, consider which subjects you enjoy most.
- Consider your strengths.
- You may want to consider which subjects you struggle with.
- Think about what your hobbies and interests are outside of school.
- Think about what jobs other people you know are doing?
- Could you see yourself in that line of work?
- Take into consideration whether you enjoy teamwork or like to work on your own.
- Think about whether you prefer an office environment or like a variety.
Finding the right work placement?
- You need to think about where you would like to work.
- Although your Academy may help you find a placement, and want you to gain experience in an industry that interests you most, it is your responsibility to find a placement.
- You may prefer to find your own work placement through a family member, or family friends.
- Be prepared to do some research about the organisations that interest you most.
- You need to enquire by preparing an email, contacting the organisation by phone or by drafting a letter.
- Keep an open mind.
- Click here to help you find the right resources
- Consider the location of your placement, as you may find it difficult to access public transport, or find it difficult to get there.
- Find out if the company of interest offers work experience. You can do this by searching the company name followed by the words, “work experience”.
- Many large organisations such as Barclays work in partnership with other organisations and offer their own work experience programme.
- Certain sectors such as retail, hospitality, catering and banks offer their own work experience programmes.
- You may want to consider approaching public sector businesses, local charities and local private limited companies to find out about work experience opportunities.
What are employers looking for
- You do not need previous industry experience, as employers will take your age into consideration.
- Employers will be interested in you if you show your enthusiasm and would expect to see general skills and qualities.
- Your ability to get on with people and communicate well with others.
- Employers like to see you show your initiative.
- Show your enthusiasm (e.g. willingness and ability to learn new skills).
- Show your loyalty, (e.g turning up on time and being interested in working there in the future after the work experience period has finished).
- And a positive attitude and keenness to learn are highly recognised in the world of work.