Policy Report

Making work experience work: top tips for employers

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Making work experience work - top tips for employers

Published February 2014

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753 KB

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This booklet includes practical advice for employers on the benefits of work experience. It also highlights good recruitment and selection practices and information on supporting and providing feedback to a young person during their placement. It draws on a range case studies and insight from employers, and shares top tips from employers on how to set-up and run a high-quality and successful work experience programme. 

Work experience is an important way for young people to gain insight into the working world. Time spent with an employer can broaden young people’s knowledge of industries and sectors, helps inform and shape their career decisions, and offers a way in which to explore the workplace in a risk-free environment. Our Learning to Work programme works closely with employers to highlight the value of work experience placements to not only the young people who benefit from the contact with the workplace, but for employers and the wider workforce. Offering work experience opportunities to young people enables employers to access a wider range of talents, benefit from the unique skills and insights young people bring, and provide opportunities for existing staff to supervise and mentor a young person, helping to develop their management and other professional and personal skills.

Contents of the report 

  • The benefits of work experience 
  • Why does work experience matter? 
  • Work experience placements: What you need to know
  • Selection of candidates: how to get the best young people from a variety of background
  • Induction: How to introduce the young person to your workplace 
  • Devising tasks and creating a work plan 
  • Supporting the young person: supervision and mentoring 
  • At the end of the placement: reference, feedback and mock interviews 
  • What more can you do? 
  • Other sources of support 

  • Find out more about the Learning to Work programme

Our more detailed guide Work experience placements that work, produced with Jobcentre Plus, looks at the benefits of work experience for young people, employers as well as the wider economy and society. The guide reflects on the importance of high-quality work experience for young people and aims to encourage more employers to deliver the kind of high-quality placements that many already offer. It includes a 'quality charter' which sets out what employers should put in and what participants should expect to get out of work experience placements.