Work experience for school children - advice needed

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    Hi Folks

    Yesterday my twins who are in year 11 in school, came home from school with letters informing them that parents need to organize one week's work experience for them during summer next year.

    However, I haven't a clue on how to go about doing this! Is it just a matter of asking my children what subjects they enjoy then contact local employers who deal with that type of work or can you advice a more better method of going about organising the work experience?

    Thanks in advance for your responses.
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    I just did my work experience. What we did was we discussed the possible career then looked for businesses to accept us. We just made a phone call to the business asking whether places were available. There were then insurance forms to be signed by the business but that's no problem. Then that's it organised. You just turn up and they'll tell you what to do.
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    yeah tbh their options are limited because of their age and in many fields they won't want work experience students, a lot of people do high school work experience in retail/catering type stuff or sit in offices for a week doing photocopying

    best to get started early though if they want something interesting - it's also better for them to contact places themselves as it will make them look more independent and mature (you can always help them write the letter so it reads well and sells their skills/interests)
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    Yeah it is quite limited. I was 15 when I did mine and a lot of places declined me but I went to a primary school and I was amazing. Primary schools are good because they give you so many jobs
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    Thanks Folks
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    We were never told we 'needed' to do this - although there was the option to make use of your own contacts, especially if that gave the opportunity to go somewhere that was outside the local area. The school had a large bank of possible placements.

    One of my sons organised his entirely through school. At that stage he was interested in computing so applied for a placement which offered this but in the end it was more general (the HQ of a national organisation which very oddly happens to be little more than the end of our road) However, as the school pointed out, it is at least as much 'experience of work' in a more general sense - the hours, the people, sometimes the dress code (they were blessed to attend a school where the students are treated like students rather than aspiring double glazing salespeople)

    My other son we did organise it ourselves because he has significant levels of SEND and he was always going to be difficult to place in something really meaningful. We asked someone we knew who had had experience with our son, so knew what the issues would be. He did split shifts for that, so as to avoid the busiest times but still do proper work.
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    Thanks dirtmother
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    Is going to Uni a possibility. If so then I would certainly try to gear the work experience to whatever degree they intend doing. The more experience they can get now the better their personal statement will look when they apply to go to Uni.

    If they are not going to Uni then go for something that will be fun for them. My son's first work experience was in a recording studio and as he was in a band he loved it. His latest work experience was with an IT company as he wants to do computing at Uni. Both times we phoned local smaller companies and they were pleased to accommodate.

    I know others who ended up in shops doing their work experience. Not recommended. Carrying boxes around and putting clothes on hangers was not fun for them.

    If you can't find anything to suit either their personal or academic needs maybe consider something worthwhile like a charity.
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    We finally managed to get WE organised in yr 12. School provided a database of local companies which would provide it, and a bunch of forms to give to the employer about insurance etc. We did try to sort something in yr 11 but school were less than helpful about what to do. Or possibly they had been helpful and my son had paid no attention and not passed messages on... anyway at that stage he wrote several letters with my help but never got any reply.
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    Not sure if it's for them but looking at the Williams F1 website they offer a weeks experience for school age kids


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    I think it's very un-inclusive of school just to tell parents that children need to do work experience, and leave it up to them. It boils down to whether your parents are with-it enough to arrange something, and in many cases will limit children to the circles their parents move in, i.e. whether they know/work with someone who'll take the kid on as a favour. So if your dad's a plumber or your mum works in the civil service, your path is decided. I wonder how many kids with unemployed parents get decent inspiring work experience.
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    (Original post by jonathanemptage)
    Not sure if it's for them but looking at the Williams F1 website they offer a weeks experience for school age kids


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    Also CERN has a shadowing scheme for 16-18 year olds.
    https://jobs.web.cern.ch/faq/career/students



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    Thanks for all your responses. Much appreciated.

    Any further advice would also be greatly appreciated.

    Thank You.
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    They should really be taking on the responsibility themselves or at least partly. In year 10 (so I was 15) I organised work experience on a hospital ward, since then I've done many hospital and care home placements (I wasn't born into medicine so it wasn't all handed to me). I also started actual work when I turned 16. Best thing to do is use contacts, even if that's putting it on Facebook with some idea of what they are looking for wether that be a law firm, nursing, labouring etc. Also email around local businesses/firms/schools/hospitals etc You'd be surprised how helpful people will be and how many friends of friends will offer to help sort some.


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    Thanks failingstudent98
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    (Original post by geek84)
    Thanks failingstudent98
    Your welcome, just remember all experience is useful- when it comes to writing personal statements later on its what they learnt and gained from the experience that's used. Not just what the experience was. Working with vulnerable people is always a good one to have as it shows you can work with people


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