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Extended Work Experience – What is it?

June 7, 2012

We’ve noticed a trend lately for more schools asking for extended work experience for their students.  We thought it might be helpful ifextended work experience we explained what extended work experience is and how employers can be involved.

As you probaly know, regular work experience is 2 weeks long and aims to give young people first hand experience of life in the workplace to help them prepare for the transition from education to work.

Extended work experience is usually 1 or 2 days a week over an extended period (12 weeks or more) and can serve a number of different purposes:

  • As part of a vocational course – ie for a BTEC in Health and Social Care students combine 1 day a week on a care sector work placement with their studies on other days
  • As part of a programme to help students who are at risk of dropping out of school.  A programme combining school with work experience for one or more days a week often helps to motivate the young person and help to keep them in education
  • To help students with special needs build up their confidence in a different setting from school or home, and hopefully develop some employability skills along the way.  They (or the employer) might not be able to cope with a 2 week work placement, but half or one day a week over an extended period of time can help them build up their confidence as they learn to integrate.  We have hosted many of these students over the years and we can vouch for the fact that it is also a great learning experience for the staff of the host company.

In all of these situations tutors and teachers will keep in touch with the employer to monitor how the placement is going.  With  special needs students who require a lot of support, a teaching assistant will actually accompany them while they are in the workplace.

As always, with all of these placements

  • students don’t get paid as it’s part of their education
  •  you can interview the students beforehand to see whether they are suitable
  • if the placement isn’t working out for any reason you aren’t obliged to continue with it

If you’d be interested in offering extended work experience for one of these groups of students perhaps just on a trial basis for one week or so please let us know – email info@enfield-workex.org.uk or call 020 8443 4252.

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