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:
• an insight into jobs, sectors and career progression opportunities
• increased confidence and employability skills
• experience to build their CVs
• 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: offering workplace experiences enables 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, consumers and employees.
• staff development: offering workplace experiences 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 workplace experiences 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.
As an employer you could offer several types of work experience placements – traditional short-term placements for those of school age, industry placements for college students (duration varies) or 2 to 8 week work placements for people aged 18 to 24.
Short-term work experience for school-aged students
This might vary from an individual or group visit through to a placement for an individual. 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 and Safety, Safeguarding and Insurance for more information.
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, some require a minimum of 150 hours. 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).
Work Experience Placements for Job Seekers
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.