Work experience for school children - advice needed

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Hi Folks

Yesterday my twins who are in year 11 in school, came home from school with letters informing them that parents need to organize one week's work experience for them during summer next year.

However, I haven't a clue on how to go about doing this! Is it just a matter of asking my children what subjects they enjoy then contact local employers who deal with that type of work or can you advice a more better method of going about organising the work experience?

Thanks in advance for your responses.
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  • missbiggles1
    missbiggles1 Posts: 17,481 Forumite
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    The most useful thing would be for the students themselves to arrange this, with some help from parents and/or teachers.

    In either case the subject they enjoy most is going to be irrelevant for most people, much better to look at the sort of work they're considering in the future if at all possible.
  • sooty&sweep
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    Hi

    If they're in year 11 won't they be doing GCSEs or even have left school by then ?

    Otherwise it's a case of contact local businesses.

    Jen
  • onomatopoeia99
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    When this came about for me in the 1980s to happen in the dead time between the O level exams and the summer holiday, my mum (who was an audio / copy typist) asked the head of the accounts department at the same company, whom she knew from having worked for him years before, if they would tek me on and they set me up with two weeks in the accounts department. I think a lot of people at my school ended up with two weeks "work" where their parents worked.

    Mine lead to a (paid) holiday job and ultimately to a year working there full time before university.
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  • onlyroz
    onlyroz Posts: 17,661 Forumite
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    In year 11 I spent a week in the local council offices - this was a placement organised by the school. At the same time one of my friends spent the whole week scraping gum off the carpark floor at the local ice rink. In year 12 I spent a week with a vet, which my mum helped to organise by doing some ringing around.

    Last year at work (we are software engineers), my team was asked to take on the year 11 son of somebody in another team for a week's work experience.

    You basically have to find out what sort of things they want to do and then ask around either the people you know, or ring around local businesses, to see if they will take them.
  • Money_maker
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    Some businesses cannot take them due to insurance issues.
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  • .Gigolo_Aunt
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    Some parents who are working are able to use their contacts or pull various strings in order to get their child a work placement. However, by no means all parents are in a position to be able to do this.

    OP does the school stipulate what sort of work environment would count as acceptable work experience? Many children of that age are already working part-time in shops or fast food places, for example.
  • newgirly
    newgirly Posts: 8,972 Forumite
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    Hi, my twins did their work experience in year 10, plus we own a business which provides work experience to kids aged 14-18.

    Firstly the schools don't really have many back up work placements anyomore, there are very few and far between. Finding something at all can be a task in itself let along finding a placement in a field they may be interested in.

    Many business don't want to take them due to having to be registered with the local authority to take them plus they need visits from the school to check for adequate safety, insurance etc. Then to be honest it can be quite time consuming having them.

    Sorry if thats negative but it may explain why it's so hard to find willing businesses nowadays, I know many banks/ investment type firms no longer allow family work experience placements as well which adds to the shortage.

    One of my twins worked in our local library, the other really didn't mind where he work (as long as it was not at our factory!) we spent months emailing and ringing dozens of local businesses, one shop arranged to have him and then stopped replying to emails a couple of weeks before the start date, he ended up having to come to work with us which clearly doesn't have the same benefit.

    I would start looking very early, maybe speak to the school to see if they do have partnerships already in place, do you have any friends and family that may have contacts? I wouldn't worry so much about what type of work it as, if it's a monotonous job they don't enjoy that will still be a good life lesson - to work hard to do a job you do enjoy :D
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  • Spendless
    Spendless Posts: 24,177 Forumite
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    edited 24 September 2016 at 3:22PM
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    My kid's school they do work experience in yr10. You'll have more places open to you in yr11 as some places ask for children to be 16. This was the case when we looked into DS doing his with the NHS.

    My son did his work placement at a council run centre that provided day-care facilities for disabled people. My daughter hopes to do hers at her drama school. The kids school organises this though, if you can't find a placement herself. At my neice's and nephew's school the parents had to find somewhere, my sister couldn't find anything and if she had she was then required to pay £25-£35 for school to do a H&S check on it. As she has twins this would have cost her £50-£70.

    Unless the children are staying on at the same school for sixth form and it's a requirement of gaining a place, I'm not sure the school can insist on it though. The children will have finished their exams at some point in June and many won't be returning as they will be studying at a different school, going to college or getting apprenticeships.
  • Loanranger
    Loanranger Posts: 2,439 Forumite
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    This is a good project for the kids to organise for themselves with you giving them some ideas and guidance.
    Think about their travel to work area, what businesses are there within a bus ride of home? Have a brainstorm with them. Ask them to look out for businesses when they are out and about and make a note of them. Put them in rank order of industry so that the ones the kids are most interested in are top.
    Use google to get addresses, email preferably, of those businesses.
    Get the kids to start constructing their CVs.
    Don't do all this for them, let them own the project but supervise to keep them on track and motivated.
  • missbiggles1
    missbiggles1 Posts: 17,481 Forumite
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    newgirly wrote: »
    Hi, my twins did their work experience in year 10, plus we own a business which provides work experience to kids aged 14-18.

    Firstly the schools don't really have many back up work placements anyomore, there are very few and far between. Finding something at all can be a task in itself let along finding a placement in a field they may be interested in.

    Many business don't want to take them due to having to be registered with the local authority to take them plus they need visits from the school to check for adequate safety, insurance etc. Then to be honest it can be quite time consuming having them.

    Sorry if thats negative but it may explain why it's so hard to find willing businesses nowadays, I know many banks/ investment type firms no longer allow family work experience placements as well which adds to the shortage.

    One of my twins worked in our local library, the other really didn't mind where he work (as long as it was not at our factory!) we spent months emailing and ringing dozens of local businesses, one shop arranged to have him and then stopped replying to emails a couple of weeks before the start date, he ended up having to come to work with us which clearly doesn't have the same benefit.

    I would start looking very early, maybe speak to the school to see if they do have partnerships already in place, do you have any friends and family that may have contacts? I wouldn't worry so much about what type of work it as, if it's a monotonous job they don't enjoy that will still be a good life lesson - to work hard to do a job you do enjoy :D

    I think that's a really important point. Some people seem to think that work experience is only valuable if it's enjoyable but a negative experience can be just as useful, either for the reason you give or by putting someone off a work sector they might have been considering previously.
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