Work experience placements, job shadowing opportunities and workplace visits provide students with the chance to be exposed to and learn about real workplaces. There is a lot of formative evidence to suggest that participating in a work experience placement is a ‘potentially effective’ activity for young people to undertake. It has been shown to have a positive impact on employability skills, motivation in education, career-decision making and knowledge of the world of work.
Impacts associated with participating in these activities have been found across six domains in total:
- Student Satisfaction
- Enjoyable experience
- Employability Skills
- Communication and interpersonal skills
- Confidence and maturity
- Team working
- Time management
- Problem solving skills
- Personal Effectiveness
- Motivation to do well at school
- Educational Outcomes
- Progression to further education
- Career Readiness
Work experience and workplace visits:
- Decide on potential career options
- Insight into world of work
- Career Outcomes
- Likelihood of being NEET
- Access to part-time work
- Wage returns
- Likelihood of being in employment
Research evidence is the basis for the plan to expose year 10 students to the world of work. Underpinning experience of work across Teesside Learning Trust are six key principles. They are:
- A commitment to high quality placements
We are committed to ensuring that students have access to a range of high-quality placement opportunities that effectively challenge class and gender stereotypes, and broaden young people’s career aspirations.
We will improve the range of opportunities we offer by using brokerage services to strengthen links with local employers, looking for or requesting skilled as opposed to unskilled placements, and training staff to challenge stereotyping in the allocation of placements.
- Timing and length
We will build flexibility in the timing and length of work experience that can help to gain the support of employers to provide placements.
We will match students to placements that are aligned with their career ambitions.
We understand the importance of preparing students for their experience of work as it contributes to positive outcomes for both students and employers. Employers can be dissatisfied and have negative experiences if young people are sent to them without any knowledge of what to expect or how to behave.
Students see placements to be of limited value if they are ‘low-status’ roles incorporating repetitive tasks with no scope for wider career exploration and skill development. We will consult with employers to ensure work placements have a clear and varied structure, and to identify meaningful activities that students can be involved in and learn from.
- Feedback and debriefing
Employers should provide feedback to students. Debriefing sessions should also be held following placements in order to encourage students to reflect on what they have learnt. Student feedback will be collected in order to support the continuous improvement of our programme.