Work Experience is key to bridging the gap between education and the world of work.
At its broadest and best, work experience can open young people’s eyes to jobs they have never thought of, help inform career decisions, offer a chance to prove themselves to an employer and help instil the attitudes and behaviours expected at work.
All students (aged below 19 on the 31st of August during enrolment) must complete an element of Work Experience as a part of their Study Programme. This is a directive from the Department for Education, and one Northampton College believes enhances our students’ learning and prepares them for future employment.
Below are some frequently asked questions about work experience placements:
Why is Work Experience important for students?
Your Work Experience placement may be your first time in the world of work, and an invaluable opportunity to improve your employability skills. This is key to finding employment in the future. Work Experience is the best way to get a real taste of your chosen industry and check it is definitely something you wish to pursue in the future.
Many employers ask for previous experience when advertising for jobs, and if students have not had a job, they will look to see the work experience they have undertaken.
When do students go on work experience?
Work Experience placements take place during the academic year, usually during predetermined periods. You will be given plenty of notice before attending a placement. Students on Level 1 courses will conduct their placements internally. Level 2 students will complete 10 hours of internal Work Experience during their first term, followed by 30 hours of external Work Experience. If Level 2 students are resitting GCSE English and/or GCSE Maths, they will undertake only 15 hours work experience. Level 3 students will complete 10 hours of internal Work Experience during their first term, followed by 20 hours of external Work Experience.*
Where will my placement be, and how is it organised?
Work experience placements can be organised in one of three ways:
- Our Work Experience team can support you and help to find you a placement.
- Students on creative courses such Art & Design may be commissioned to complete external project work on behalf on an organisation.
- If you wish, you can find your own placement.
Ideally, work experience placements should be with an organisation closely matching your full-time course. Although we strive to gain as many vocationally relevant opportunities as possible for our students, this is not always possible.
Students taking the UCAS route in their second year Level 3 Qualification are not obligated to undertake a Work Experience placement, however, if they wish to, they are more than welcome to seek their own and the Work Experience Team can organise the placement.
Work Experience Placements can only take place once the Work Experience Team have done all necessary pre-placement preparation.
Who can I speak to about work experience placements?