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Work experience is intended to give students an experience of working life and the key skills needed in the workplace rather than an chance to try out an occupation they may want to follow. Normally, companies where a student already has experience through a parent or a part-time job are not used. This makes sure that they are having a real extension of their experience. The preparation programme for students will ask them to look at equal opportunities and stereotyping prior to making choices. All students need real knowledge of the world of work.

Students eligible to take part in work experience

Students in the last two years of compulsory schooling (from the start of Y10) can take part in Work Experience.

What students should do while on work experience

As far as possible, students should undertake real tasks to give them an idea of the work carried out by the employer. They should learn how the company is organised. Some students may observe the more complicated parts of running a company and should gain an understanding of how enterprise, creativity and innovation help business growth. A programme should be organised for the student, and employers should monitor what the student has achieved. Every student should have a work experience logbook in which they can record progress. The employer can help by making sure the students completes it and by completing the employer assessment section for the student.

What you can do as a parent?

Parents can offer valuable support in finding placements. Their written consent is needed before a placement can begin. They will have information about the arrangements and will know how to contact the school if their child reports a problem to them about their placement. They will be asked to provide medical information which could affect the health, safety and welfare of their child while on work experience.

Limits on the jobs student can do

The Education Act 1996 and local bye-laws place limitations on the type of work which students can experience. The school's Work Experience Co-ordinator can give advice on this.

Hours of work

The Working Time Regulations 1998 apply to students on work experience. However, the number and pattern of hours worked is normally agreed by the provider, school and student. If possible, normal hours should be worked but students are not allowed to work outside any hours specified by legislation. If a company's hours are 8 am to 5 pm, it is not expected that students arrive at 9 am and leave at 4 pm.

Pay, tax and National Insurance

Students on work experience must not be paid and will not pay tax or N.I. contributions. Employers may help with travelling or lunch costs.

Length of work experience

There are no fixed requirements. Five to ten days on a ‘block’ is currently seen as the normal length of stay if work experience is to offer enough depth to be of use. Students on an ‘extended’ work experience need to work at least one day per week if the experience is to be of real value.

Who to contact at the school if there is a problem

Each school has a Work Experience Co-ordinator who can be contacted at any time during the work placement. Parents and employers should be given the name of the Work Experience Co-ordinator and their contact telephone number before a work placement starts.

A child employment application form is downloadable as a pdf.

A medical questionnaire for children taking part in performances and activities is downloadable as a pdf.

You will need to send the completed form to one of two addresses, depending on where in the county the work placement is. If you are unsure which district the placement is in, please call Customer Services on 0300 500 80 80.

Work taking place in the North of the county:

North Area Education Base
(Ashfield, Bassetlaw, Mansfield, Newark and Sherwood)
Inclusion Services North Base
Meadow House
Mansfield
NG18 2TA

Work taking place in the South of the county

Nottinghamshire County Council
South Area Education Base
(Broxtowe, Gedling and Rushcliffe)
Sir John Robinson Way
Arnold
Nottingham
NG5 6DA

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