At King’s Oak Academy we offer students the opportunity to take part in work experience and work related learning as part of our careers education programme. Work experience contributes to a young person’s achievements, engagement, skills and progression. Successful Work Experience significantly increases motivation, self-esteem and attendance; it also develops employability skills and helps learning to be applied in wider contexts outside school. All our Year 10 students take part in one week of work experience in the summer term.
Applying for Work Experience Placements
Finding the work experience placement you want often requires a lot of effort and persistence. There are a lot of schools in the area whose students will also be applying for places for similar dates and places do go fast! Some companies will get lots and lots of applications and will only have one or two spaces or maybe, due to difficult times in the economy, none at all.
You need to be prepared to write to many companies and try not to feel downhearted or give up if they respond saying ‘not this time’ or maybe if you get no response at all. If you have sent a letter or email and have not heard back after two weeks, follow up this with a telephone call to make sure that the company has received the application and enquire if they may have a placement for you.
To start with, think about the type of work experience placement you might like to do and start to make a list of companies you would like to work for. There is a database available to view on the school network which shows a list of approved placements. This can be found in Student Resources/Careers/WEX2017 Database. These are companies who have been visited by the Health & Safety Team and have been approved for placements. All companies will need this check in place prior to work experience taking place. Looking through these lists may help to give you some ideas of the different types of work experience and where you could write to enquire if they have placements this year. It is also acceptable to apply to organisations which do not appear on the list and which you have found out about through an internet search or by other means. Many students have had success using contacts through friends and family.
Rules about work experience placements
1. All organisations offering work experience MUST have Employers Liability Insurance which is valid at the time of the placement.
2. The placement must be somewhere you can get to and from. The school does not provided transport for work experience. Be prepared to travel as the placement that might suit you best might not be on the doorstep!
3. Placements CAN be outside of the local area, in other towns and cities or even overseas, BUT we must know about these early so that we can arrange the checks needed.
4. All organisations will have a health and safety check prior to the work experience week. These visits need to be arranged with Health & Safety officers. As this takes considerable time to carry out, all placements must be confirmed before the end of Term 4. The sooner we have the placement paperwork back the better, to guarantee the visit is booked in time. Without an approved health & safety check the placement cannot go ahead.
Once you have found your placement
Once you have found your placement, you need to see Mrs Palmer at Student Reception to collect a WEX1 form. This form needs all relevant parts to be completed and needs to be signed by the Employer, the Parent/Carer and the Student. Once returned, the health & safety checking process can begin.
Mrs Palmer at Student Reception or Ms Sroka, Phase 2 Leader can help with advice and guidance.