A Successful Work Experience Placement
Work experience placements should be enjoyable and meaningful experiences for young people and the unemployed alike. It is an opportunity for them to see what it’s like to do a particular role and getter an appreciation of working within the construction sector. It also gives both parties the opportunity to “try” before any commitment has been made.
In order for a work experience placement to be effective it needs to be planned. If the placement student turns up on the Monday morning and you haven’t told your team they’re coming or identified who they will be with and what they’ll be doing neither you nor the student will benefit. They will also not have a very good view of your company. Just making the tea, photocopying & filing is not an effective work experience placement!
Planning a Work Experience Placement
- Check you have Employers & Public Liability Insurance in place.
- Undertake a Young Persons Risk Assessment if they are under 18.
- Identify & speak to the person/persons that will be supervising them to ensure they understand their responsibilities.
- Develop a Work Experience Programme which details what they will be doing when & with whom. Think about their skills e.g. IT & how you can utilise them. Are there projects they could get involved with?
- Identify who will conduct their induction.
- Invite the student into the workplace beforehand to discuss the placement and what they will be doing. Areas that should be covered include:
- Dress code
- Hours of work
- Break/ lunch arrangements
- The Company’s expectations of them
- Their contact details & any particular needs e.g. health conditions or learning difficulties
- Who their Supervisor/mentor will be
- Who to contact if they are unable to attend
Starting the Placement
Undertake an induction to include a site tour, emergency & first aid procedures, health & safety, working hours, breaks, welfare facilities, PPE, introduction to supervisors, overview of programme.
The student undertakes supervised work experience as planned in their Work Experience Programme.
Their Supervisor reviews how they have got on at the end of each day, what they have learnt, what they enjoyed & the student records it in their diary (if applicable).
You liaise with the Placement Organiser (college, school etc) as appropriate.
End of Placement
- Provide constructive feedback to the student on their progress.
- Ask the student for feedback on their placement & suggestions for improvement.
- Discuss with the student whether it’s an area they would like to work in and advise on potential career routes/ways of applying as appropriate.
- Provide a written reference to the student.
- Thank your staff involved for their time.
Did you know that you can get your Work Experience Programme accredited? Fairtrain run a bronze, silver, gold accreditation programme. http://www.fairtrain.org/home
If you are concerned about having young people on site, you can still run a programme that exposes them to the world of work without the risk & enables then to develop key skills such as teamwork, problem solving & communication. An example is shown below:
|Company Induction/familiarisation||Overview of bidding & the roles within it||Overview of project roles||Overview of support functions: finance, H&S etc||Presentation skills & practice|
|Office & Site Tour|
Introduction to the project
|Project work & research within group||Overview of commercial roles|
|Project work||Project presentation|
If you would like further information/advice on setting up work experience placements or would value Strive Development developing a Work Experience Workbook & Programme for you, please click here.
Our next blog will look at Apprenticeships.