Careers Web

Work Experience

Quotes from Work Experience placements 2018

“Work experience was actually really useful – I learnt a lot about the world of work and daily routines.”

“It has made me less stressed about the future.”

“NHS – I have learned you need to be thick-skinned.”

“It has been clarification for my future career.”

Work experience is extremely useful when applying for further education, apprenticeships or employment.

Year 12 have the opportunity to do a weeks' work experience in January.  The latest documentation you will need is at the bottom of this section.

Securing your work experience placement

Work experience is a great opportunity to try out different jobs and different types of workplaces to get an idea of what you might like to do when you finish education. Most employers are eager to help young people get a foot on the ladder.   

Where to start?

Start by thinking about what your interests are and what you think you might be good at. For example, if you love sport, you might want to see what it’s like to work in a gym or with a sports physiotherapist. If you know you want to be helping people you might want to try out a caring profession like healthcare or working with the elderly.

It’s a good idea to have lots of ideas first. You can do this with friends or family. Get everything down on paper to start. If you’re really not sure how your interests match up with different jobs, use ‘Careers Web’,  our Online Careers Resource Centre’.   It has got lots of profiles on different jobs. These will help you define what it is you’re keen to explore.

Who’s around?

Once you know you’re interested in a particular type of work, you need to see who does this in your area. You can search Google or look in the yellow pages.  It is always worth checking to see if they have a website so you can learn more about the company before approaching them. The website might provide details of who to contact about work experience or provide the name of the HR Manager if they have one. That is a good person to target.

Also, talk to your classmates, family and friends and ask around. That is called networking and it’s a really good way of finding out what is out there. Someone may be able to introduce you to someone who can provide a placement.

Next steps

Once you have identified a few ideas, done your research and have a contact, draft a letter that explains who you are, what you are interested in and why you are asking for work experience. Tell them the dates you are available. Hopefully they will respond, but if you don’t hear anything after two weeks, you can follow up with a phone call to check that your letter was received and see if they were able to offer you a placement.

If they do, let school know immediately by filling in the form (link below) so we can start the process of confirming and checking the placement. They may want to interview you, so let the school know about that, too.

Don’t be discouraged if they say no. Just keep trying new possibilities and keep the school posted on your progress.


Lots of employers tell us they really hate it when parents ring up and try to arrange placements for their children. While sometimes it is difficult for students to use the phone during the working day, employers would so much prefer to hear from students themselves.

If you are curious about a business but not sure you feel comfortable approaching them, why not go and have a look. You can always ask in person. If they cannot answer, ask for the name of the person they should write to. Be sure to look smart if you’re going to approach them directly.

Make sure you proof read your letter – or get someone else to. Showing that you are conscientious about spelling and punctuation is a good indication that you’ll be conscientious when you are on a placement.


You need to get agreement and return your form to school by the closing date.



Volunteering is one of the most rewarding things a person can do but it can also put you ahead of the game when applying for university, apprenticeships or employment. 

Why Volunteer?

People choose to volunteer for a variety of reasons. For some it offers the chance to give something back to the community or make a difference to the people around them. For others it provides an opportunity to develop new skills or build on existing experience and knowledge. Regardless of the motivation, what unites them all is that they find it both challenging and rewarding.

Below are some of the reasons people choose to volunteer. For some it provides an opportunity to:

  • Give something back to an organisation that has impacted on a person's life, either directly or indirectly
  • Make a difference to the lives of others
  • Help the environment
  • Help others less fortunate or without a voice
  • Feel valued and part of a team
  • Spend quality time away from work or a busy lifestyle
  • Gain confidence and self-esteem

For some, volunteering can be a route to employment, or a chance to try something new which may lead to a career change. From this perspective, volunteering can be a way of:

  • Gaining new skills, knowledge and experience
  • Developing existing skills and knowledge
  • Enhancing a CV
  • Improving employment prospects
  • Gaining an accreditation
  • Using one's professional skills and knowledge to benefit others (usually described as pro bono)

For others, volunteering appeals because of its social benefits. These include:

  • Meeting new people and making new friends
  • A chance to socialise
  • Getting to know the local community