Many employers offer work experience and placements usually last between 1-4 weeks. Work experience can be a great way to get a flavour for a particular job or industry that you may be interested in pursuing. Some larger employers may have information about the work experience opportunities they offer on their website however, in the majority of cases, you will need to contact the employer directly to discuss whether or not they are able to offer you a placement.
Young people participating in full time further education (also known as a 16-19 study programme) will be expected to undertake work experience as part of their programme.
If you're 16-24 and currently receiving Jobseeker's Allowance, Jobcentre Plus can help you to get a work experience placement. These can last between 2 and 8 weeks and you'll generally be expected to work between 25-30 hours per week. It may also be possible to get help from Jobcentre Plus for costs related to work experience, e.g. travel or childcare.
Some young people with SEND may require additional support to carry out their work experience placement. If this is the case then employers may be able to make reasonable adjustments or put in place extra support, for example a mentor, in order to help the young person to carry out their placement. If you have identified a work experience placement that you would like to pursue then talk to the employer to find out what level of support they may be able to offer.
Benefits of work experience:
- Great addition to your CV
- Get first hand experience of the work place
- Opportunity to build new skills
- Build confidence
- Opportunity to network with employers
Another good way to gain experience is by volunteering. For more information, please visit the volunteering page.