Traineeships and Work Experience Placements

Here you can find out more about offering work experience opportunities, traineeships and industry placements to students.


Work Experience

Work experience is an invaluable opportunity for students at school, college and as they enter adulthood. It helps young people transition from education to working life by giving them:

• work place experience and an insight into jobs, sectors and career progression opportunities

• increased confidence and employability skills

• experience to build their CVs

• an understanding of recruitment processes

• understanding of how their skills and knowledge translate to the workplace.

For employers, benefits of offering work experience placements include:

recruitment opportunities and building talent pipelines: work experience placements enable employers to access a wider range of talent and insight into young people.

• fresh ideas: young people offer new ideas and ways of thinking, reflecting the interests and needs of the next generation of customers and consumers.

staff development: offering work experience placements can provide opportunities for existing staff to supervise and mentor a young person, therefore helping to develop their management and other professional and personal skills.

• a more engaged workforce: providing work experience sends a positive message to the wider workforce about the values of the organisation.

• engagement with the local community helps boost local economic development and can also lead to increased brand loyalty and profile.

In the following video Werner Hartholt, Resort Development Chef at Butlin's Minehead, talks about his passion for training the next generation of chefs and catering staff and the positive impact it has on his employees, the business and the wider community.


Placement types

As an employer you could offer four types of work experience placements – traditional short-term placements for those of school age, 2-8 week work placements for 18-24year olds, industry placements for college students (duration varies), and longer placements (up to 6 months) for 16-23year olds (traineeships).

Short-term work experience for school-aged students

If you are interested in offering work experience placements for local school-aged students, please contact us. We will put you in touch with local schools or colleges and advertise your opportunity via our website and social media pages (if appropriate).

We know some employers are unsure of the legalities of hosting school-aged pupils in the workplace. Read our Employer Guide: Hosting young people at your workplace – Health & Safety, Safeguarding and Insurance for more information.

2-8 week work experience placements

Work experience through Jobcentre Plus enables young, unemployed people to volunteer for placements lasting between 2-8 weeks, or longer (up to 3 months) for some. Volunteers, who are matched with suitable host employers and complete a light touch selection process, are eligible if:

  • aged 18 to 24 years old
  • aged 25 and over who don’t have recent work history

Jobcentre Plus continues to pay participants’ benefits, in addition to travel and childcare costs if necessary. Employers do not pay participants as doing so might affect their benefit entitlement.

Click here to view the GOV.UK Work Experience: Employer Guide


Industry placements for college students

All colleges in Somerset offer further education courses, some of which require students to complete an industry placement. Placements vary in duration depending on the course. For example, Level 3 BTECs often require the student to complete 150 hours, whereas T-Levels require 300 hours.

If you are interested in offering industry placements for local college students, please contact us. We will put you in touch with local colleges and advertise your opportunity via our website and social media pages (if appropriate).



Traineeships are targeted at unemployed 16-23 year olds. Young people up to the age of 25 with learning difficulties in academic assessments can also complete a Traineeship.

Traineeships can last up to 6 months and aim to provide young people who may not be quite ready for permanent employment or an Apprenticeship an opportunity to become work-ready, gain skills and experience.

All training costs are met by government funding. There are no costs involved for the employer of a trainee, apart from time. Employers are not expected to pay traineeships, but are encouraged to help cover expenses such as travel and meals.

Visit GOV.UK. for more information on traineeships >

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