What are is work experience like?
As you’ll likely only be on a short placement, you’ll be given some duties and responsibilities other members of the team usually do, but you’ll have a lot more support. Whether you’re on the workshop floor, behind a desk in reception or in the office, you’ll be assisting the team with their day-to-day tasks. You could spend part of your work week shadowing someone in the business, working closely with someone in a role you could see yourself in!
Can I do work experience?
Anybody can do work experience, anywhere! You can get in touch with local employers and ask them if they have any current opportunities. But we do recommend looking at programmes ran alongside a training provider or overseen by an organisation such as Movement to Work. For work placements by Movement to Work, you need to be 18 – 30 years-old, currently unemployed, and registered with Job Centre Plus.
Why should I do a placement?
There are many reasons why you should do a placement, but here are just a few:
- Clarify your career goals for the future
- Learn what you do (and don’t) like about different jobs
- Give you an insight into the way organisations operate and the challenges they face
- Increase your skills and knowledge
- Provide you with networking opportunities
- Help you to understand a particular job or industry
What kind of work experience can I do?
You can do work experience in almost any job you can think of! There are no limits on opportunities, but some jobs are slightly more restricted than others. An organisation might process confidential information, require specialist training or work with children, which may cause problems or require you to get a DBS check. However, typically if you’re under 16 a DBS check this isn’t required or if it’s a longer placement the employer will help you with the relevant checks. The workplace you work at will tell you what you need!
How long is work experience?
Work experience can last anything from a few weeks to a few months, depending on the employer and the work experience programme that you apply for.
Does it cost me money to do work experience?
Work experience is a free opportunity. Employers offer you the experience to help you get on the career ladder, you don't have to pay for this. However, it’s important to be aware of some costs that may come with the opportunity, whether that is cost of travel or even making sure you can pay for lunch while you are there. Some work experience placements do offer basic expenses such as food and travel.
Can I apply for lots of work experience placements?
You can apply for as many work experience placements as you like, the more the merrier. However, you can only do one opportunity at a time. Applying for lots of opportunities will give you more to choose from!
What does an employer look for in my application?
An employer will be looking for your passion in the industry and the reason why you want the job. If you have ambitions to have a career in marketing and you’re applying for a marketing work placement that will put you ahead of the curve. Make sure you spend some time researching the company and industry to support your interest and prove you know your stuff!
What support do I get?
When you do work experience, you‘ll have a supervisor or manager at the employer you are working at. Some work experience programmes also give you a mentor or buddy to support you finding a job and with other aspects you may need help with.
Do I get paid?
Some work placements will pay you for your work, however, most often you won’t get paid. Many employers will offer you subsidised travel, travel cards or lunches.
How does this help in the future?
As well as all the experience you will gain from the placement, you will also get more practical help. You’ll get a supervisor or even a mentor who might be able to act as a referee for you in future job applications!