Work experience and work placements
Published: March 2017
Report on the current provision of work experience and work-related activities at schools and colleges in England.
A report is available to download from the Department for Education's website.
A key output was that schools and colleges identified a range of approaches that were felt to support the delivery of effective work-related activities, illustrated below.
- Schools and colleges offered a range of work-related activities, from careers events/ fairs to mock interviews and work experience placements.
- The majority of schools and colleges, 63%, also made provision for students with Special Educational Needs and/ or Disabilities (SEND).
Organisation and set-up
- Students’ career ambitions were the primarily consideration when matching students to work experience placements.
- Most schools and colleges, 83%, used a centralised system for organising/ administering activities. Many also had a work experience coordinator/ coordinating team to help arrange work-related activities. However this was more common for schools than for colleges, where teaching staff had a bigger role in making arrangements.
- The most important challenges were identified as lack of employers in certain industries/ areas, 20%; lack of staff time, 16%; and lack of employers offering certain roles, 14%.
- Most schools and colleges undertook post-placement activities with students and employers; 86% of work experience coordinators said they assessed students’ performance, while 94% reported undertaking follow-up activities with employers.
- Overall levels of satisfaction with work-related activities were high among schools, colleges, employers and students; most work experience coordinators, 87%, saw their institution’s offer as ‘very’ or ‘quite effective’.
- Schools and colleges identified multiple benefits of work-related activities, with soft employability skills – ‘communication and interpersonal skills’, 97% and ‘increased confidence’, 95% – the most frequently mentioned.
A mixed method approach was used, combining a survey of work experience coordinators/ leads with school and college case studies.