There may be some good reasons why an employer feels that they can't offer a work placement, but there are also a lot of misconceptions about the process that we hope can be corrected.
“Work experience is too time-consuming”
It doesn’t need to be. We work closely with employers to ascertain the right level of commitment dependent upon the resources of each company and consequently, each placement is bespoke, with employers offering anything from a few days, through to once or twice a week over a period of a year.
“There will be a lot of paper-work”
We do visit each employer who is offering work experience for the first time and regard this as an important part of the process, but apart from confirming the insurance details, all the required paperwork is supplied by us and followed up with an email. Each student will have a form which requires a signature from the employer but again, the key note here is one of simplicity.
“There is little support available”
When we visit an employer, we discuss all aspects such as health and safety, child protection and key skills. In addition, we are available throughout the process to assist with any on-going queries or issues which might arise. We value the employers that we work with highly and take great pride in the relationships which have been forged, in some cases, over many years.
“Under 16s cannot work in industry or some occupational sectors”
A placement in an area such as construction or engineering may require a more detailed risk assessment, but the fact that students are supervised at all times, means that there are very few occupational areas where they cannot be placed. We will always discuss with an employer any potential restrictions and of course ensure compliance with all relevant legislation, but students successfully and safely undertake work experience in a huge variety of settings, including joinery workshops, factories, garages, and building sites.
“All staff must undertake a criminal record check”
The Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) provides access to criminal record information through its Disclosure Service. However , in the vast majority of placements, since the employer / employees involved will not have regular unsupervised access to young people at work - there is no need for DBS checks to take place. Across the country, around 550,000 work experience placements take place each year and it is estimated that DBS checks take place for just 1% of these.