There are many work related opportunities available to students throughout their time in school. However, work experience is not currently part of the National Curriculum so at Notre Dame there aren’t designated weeks where a whole year group is out of school. That does not mean it is not important and there are lots of reasons why it is valued. Work experience placements, even if they only last for a day or two or are summer work experience schemes, are basically a great way for students to open their eyes to a world of professional work. Work experience placements are usually available for students from Y10 upwards.
The more work experience a student has, the more awareness they will have of what is required to work as a professional. They will be more aware and more skilful than someone with no practical work experience, putting them at a huge advantage when it comes to applying for school leaver programmes.
Additionally, they will be able to add this work experience onto a CV, making it more likely that they will attract the eye of recruiters when it comes to looking for jobs, apprenticeships or university courses. Qualification requirements are the entry level, for oversubscribed courses or apprenticeships with a high number of applicants work experience and extra-curricular activities will be what makes a student stand out from the crowd.
How to find work experience
The best way to find a work experience placement is to make use of personal contacts. Do parents or friends work at a company that might be of interest? Is there a local business that may be able to offer a week placement or regular weekend work? Volunteering will also count.
Many large organisations offer work experience such as the NHS, South Yorkshire Police, BAE, etc. Many of these are not highly advertised so you may need to use the internet to see what is available. These sort of schemes start their application process months in advance of actual work experience dates so you do need to start looking early. Any opportunities that the school hears of we will of course pass onto students.
If a student has exhausted the above and still wants to find a placement they can contact Mrs Allison or Mrs Paine in school and we will do our best to help but we cannot make any guarantees. As we use a third party to look for placements there may be a charge.
When can a student go on work experience?
Work experience should be taken up at weekends, in school holidays or after GCSE exams for Y11. However, some organisations set aside specific weeks. If a student is offered one of these placements and it is in term time then you should contact the relevant Head of Year as absence from school will be granted on an individual basis taking into account the nature of the programme, the time of year, attendance, etc.
Health and Safety
The employer is responsible for the Health and Safety of young people on work placements and will have procedures in place to accommodate them. As a parent you should be asked to sign the application and give information about any specific needs of your child that will need to be accommodated. The law requires the vast majority of organisations to have Employers’ Liability Insurance which will specifically detail provision for under 18’s or under 16’s. However, some small employers may be exempt from this. If not already available to you please ask for details of the Health and Safety policy from the employer.
If you are unsure the school can arrange for Health and Safety checks to be carried out. As this is done by a third party a charge will be made. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com if you require this to be done.
Young People and Part-time Work in Sheffield
We know that many of our students take on paper rounds and other part time work, particularly as they get older. As a parent you may want to know what the legislation in this area is.
In order to ensure that employers are working within the law (maximum number of hours and H&S rules), in Sheffield the employer is required to hold a work permit which states the terms under which the child will be employed. The work permit is evidence that the right permission has been sought and obtained.
The work permit means that the employee will be covered by the employer's liability insurance and is entitled to the same level of care and consideration as other employees in the company.
Please ask to see this if your child has a part-time job in Sheffield.
See www.sheffield.gov.uk/education/information-for-parentscarers/care-support/child-employment.html for more information.