Academic: Work Experience Year 10 - 2017

Updated: Tue 17 Jan 2017   Share: Share on facebookShare on TwitterShare on MySpaceShare by Email



“Any Work Experience is invaluable.  I look at a CV and the first thing I see is Work Experience.  I will take someone on if they have had no experience in a kitchen, if they can prove they have got off their backside stacking shelves or being a paper boy.  It’s a simple life skill even if it’s not your first choice of a job.”

Michael Roux, Michelin Chef, ‘This Week’ Feb 2012 BBC1


When can you observe an operation at a veterinary practice, work in a fire station, or commute each day to a leading city banking firm? The answer is, by participating in the school’s annual Work Experience; these are just some of the occupations that current Year 11’s carried out during the Work Experience programme in June 2016.

As usual, the students rose to the challenge by going out into the work place and experiencing life outside the comfortable environment of school which can be both a revealing and rewarding experience.  Although the students are not necessarily doing a job that might be their chosen career, there are many benefits to be had; from renewing learning and motivation in the classroom, to teaching life skills and attributes that can be adapted and used in any future chosen training or profession.  Work Experience is no longer seen as CV fodder; this important curriculum dimension can really help students understand and acclimatise to the world of work not to mention the important social and cultural aspects.  For some students, Work Experience will be the first time they have come into contact with adults other than family members or teachers.  It’s not just social skills that are picked up; students are able to apply subject knowledge and expertise, both of which are an excellent way of raising self-esteem, confidence and independence - virtues that can be as important as academic qualifications.  They are able to make more informed career choices without long term commitment and after all, it may help decide what not to do as well as enthuse and inspire them in their chosen career area.

A successful period of Work Experience and a good reference can be a valuable asset for a student, giving them a competitive edge at either a job or university interview.   A stressed job market and high university fees means that a period of informal employment or internship might be crucial if our young people are to succeed and establish themselves.  The Work Experience programme and its importance should not be under-estimated and for students who embrace the initiative, the rewards are high.  It could even lead to some paid part-time work or an apprenticeship – there have been at least two students who have successfully turned their placement into an apprenticeship. Many of our intrepid Duke of Edinburgh explorers who undertook their bronze qualifying trip instead of Work Experience, recognise its importance and have asked for help with informal, summer, voluntary work.  This shows a very mature and forward thinking attitude and prospective employers can easily recognise motivation and interest in a student.

I am always looking to expand the Work Experience database so if you can help with placements in any way, please do get in touch

Claire Jonas
Careers Advisor
Years 7-11