Every student should have the opportunity to gain work experience as part of their school education. It helps prepare them for the transition from leaving school and joining the workplace.
In the old days, this was all organised by the schools – parents had little say in their child’s work placement. But nowadays, parents can arrange their child’s work experience placement – they could even go to work with you. Although, some schools may require pupils or parents to complete a “self-found placement application form” when organising their own placement. Each school will have slight differences in how they sort their work experience programme, so be sure to check before making any moves.
The freedom to pick your own placement gives young people an inside look at a career or industry they desire to enter later in life, and helps build a more solid CV should they choose to apply for a similar job when they leave school
In the UK, Year 10, 11, or 12 (S4 Scotland) are the most common years for students to participate in work experience. But how do parents go about identifying and eventually securing the ideal placement for their child?
Make a Game Plan
Your school should inform you well in advance of your work experience term. Make sure you begin your search for placements well in advance of the dates that have been set. Generally, you should begin planning three months in advance and start the application process at least two months in advance.
There will be a lot of competition for securing work placements within local businesses around your child’s school or home area, so if you want to land one, you should submit your application as soon as possible. Remember, it’s not just schools that are reaching out to land these work placements, it’s parents, too.
If you’re the parent of a child who does not know what they want to do as a career when they leave school, then this is a great opportunity to sit down and introduce them to all kinds of surprising opportunities that may spark an interest in a particular job. Complete a list of different job industry ideals.
Experience is the primary goal of any work experience. Just because you sign up for a particular placement doesn’t imply your child has to pursue a career in that field.
Thus, don’t let your child stress if they haven’t decided what they want to do just yet. As long as you go into a job with a want to learn and an open mind, you’ll get a lot out of it. At this point, it’s most crucial to settle on a path that takes advantage of your strengths and interests while still presenting you with sufficient difficulty and room for development.
Questions to Ask Your Child
If you’re a parent of a child undecided about the kind of work experience they are seeking, ask them the following questions:
- What do I find most interesting in school, what are your favourite classes?
- What kinds of jobs have you heard of that sound interesting?
- What hobbies do you have that you could make a living off?
Find out what kinds of jobs your loved ones and educators think you’d excel in by asking for their input. Those in need of further motivation are encouraged to take the UCAS Careers Test.
See What Preexisting Placement Your School Has
Many schools have established long-standing connections with local businesses in the area to offer apprenticeships and other forms of work experience to their students. Talk to the career services office or persons to see if there are any placement or volunteer opportunities available that align with your interests.
Contacting A Business About Work Experience
In the event that your desired company does not have a formal relationship with your child’s school, you are free to contact any business independently.
Start by searching for “work experience” followed by the name of the company on Google. This will take you to the correct page if you are part of a preexisting scheme. There is typically a clear procedure to follow in order to get accepted for the work experience programmes at many large companies.
Most small and local businesses don’t have formal apprenticeships or work experience programmes. If you find a business that your child seems interested in you or your child will need to either send them an email, phone them, or go into the business to speak to a member of management. Explain to them that you’re from [school name] and you’re looking for any voluntary work experience opportunities for two weeks.
Keep in mind that you are not required to restrict yourself to the “normal” business world. There are a lot of opportunities to get work experience at non-profits and government agencies.
Make sure to submit your application to the company or organisation in accordance with their guidelines and in plenty of time before the school deadline.
There is a lot of competition for work experience assignments, and some companies, no matter how much you’d like to work for them, just do not have the resources to host interns. As a result, it is recommended that multiple positions be sought. This will ensure you end up with something that will be advantageous to you.
Don’t worry about ending up with numerous offers and having to turn one or more down. This happens all the time in the realm of work and is typical.