Gaining work experience
Improving your skills and getting some work experience will help you to make some better decisions about whether a job or career is right for you. It will also boost your chances of getting a job, look great on your CV and may provide you with some people to help you get a part time job or an apprenticeship.
Getting some work experience offers you the chance to:
- Improve your employability skills.
- Shows you have the right attitude.
- Gives you experience of working with others.
Your school or college may offer work experience either as an optional extra or something that you need to do as part of your course. They will have people to help you search and apply for vacancies.
Work experience is not usually paid, but you might get help with any expenses or travel costs.
However, you can also use your initiative and find a placement on your own, perhaps to do in the school or college holidays or after school.
- Try asking friends or neighbours.
- Contact local employers.
- Follow companies on Social media and look out for any work experience opportunities.
For extra tips and advice visit work experience advice on National Careers Website.
You can also gain experience by volunteering, a part- time job, helping friends or family with a business, entering enterprise competitions or skills challenges.
If you are being paid and you are still at school, you are only allowed to work in some types of roles and for certain hours. The employer must get a work permit from the Local Authority.
Virtual work experience or work inspiration
Virtual work experience is a growing area. It is also referred to as online, remote or e-experience. Sometimes it can give you the opportunity to complete work experience from home and or it can give you a taster of what it might be like to work in that company or career.
The online nature allows you to work with organisations across the country, even the globe. Opportunities range from medicine, law, engineering, teaching, journalism, gaming, banking – the list is endless.
For more information on virtual work opportunities:
Ask your school or college’s career department.
Look at these sites for current opportunities:
What's an internship?
An internship is a fixed period of work experience with an organisation which offers experience of a particular industry in a working environment.
Internships are a popular choice for students and undergraduates to get experience of the field they are studying. They can last from a few weeks in the summer holidays, up to a year as part of a higher education course or graduate internship.
Internships should be paid but this will depend on whether or not you are classed as a 'worker'.
For information on the difference between paid and unpaid internships and advice on your rights, read this guidance from Gov.Uk: Making internships work, an intern's guide.
A Supported Internship is a specific scheme for young people with additional needs. For more information on this look at our SEND 16+ Transitions Guide.
For workshops, work experience opportunities and discounts on brands, check out the Youth Card App