A recent survey showed two thirds of employers look for graduates with relevant work experience because it helps them prepare for work and develop general business awareness. Most of us are only to happy to share what we love about our job with others - ask any adult about the best/worst part of their job and you will get a world of advice!
Even better, start organising work experience in areas that interest you. This will enable you to see for yourself what a job is like. Ask friends and family if they would let you join them at work for a few days. Write to firms that interest you and ask if they would be happy to have you along. Get your CV and Covering Letter ready, then ring round places of interest and find out who to send them to. Always follow up a mailing by phone to check that your information has been received.
If you want work experience in a large firm, be prepared to apply 6-12 months ahead of the placement. Some work experience schemes are heavily oversubscribed, so choose a mixture of large and small firms to apply to.
For more information about work experience go to: https://www.ucas.com/connect/blogs/work-experience-important
This guide to work experience contains helpful advice for students, parents and also the organisations offering the placement:
In addition to finding out about opportunities on a company's own website, there are a number of sites that list opportunities amongst internships, sandwich year placements etc. You'll probably need to spend time hunting through the options to find something that suits you, but it's worth the time!
www.ratemyplacement.co.uk lists a wide range of opportunities and includes comments from others who have been on the schemes
Young Professionals UK has a downloadable app, updated daily with apprenticeships and work experience opportunities from companies across the UK
www.allaboutcareers.com allows you to search for work experience and internships and gives details of pay. They are part of the AllAbout Group and also run separate websites for law (www.allaboutlaw.co.uk) and finance (www.allaboutfinancecareers.co.uk)
If you are happy to pay someone else to find work experience for you, there are options such as Oxbright (https://www.oxbright.org/online-internships/work-experience-internships/) who may be able to help.
For those interested in work experience opportunities abroad www.internsinasia.com offers support to find internships across the globe, from 2 months to a year in length. They have partnerships with many large organizations in the world, as well as small and medium-sized businesses and entrepreneurial startups, across all industry sectors.
There are a huge range of online work experience programmes on offer. Many are free, some have a cost. Some excellent options are linked below:
Excellent longer work experience courses (free) run by large organisations. Wide range of industries covered incl finance, engineering, business, law, politics, marketing, vet, fashion, graphic design, charity etc. If you choose to complete a work experience programme for a named firm, that firm may prioritise your application if you then write to them to apply for a placement, apprenticeship etc.
Free online pre-employment programmes, workshops and webinars. Some aimed at parents only. Lots of big organisations represented.
Excellent free online resources with credits earned towards mentoring sessions and other products such as headphones, football shirts etc
Online employability skills programme (free), with certificates for completed activities.
Fantastic resource full of courses from leading organisations. Mostly aimed at undergraduates, but you can sign up as a student by typing in 'high school' when prompted.
The following firms also have some excellent programs which you can sign up to; some have intakes at set times, others are open ended and you can join in whenever you have time:
Vodafone have run various events this year...Code like a Girl and Innovators. Check out their website for the latest opportunities.
CapGemini (one of the largest technology, consulting and digital transformation businesses) run1 hour webinars for year 11 students.
Samsung's "Not a School" is an alternative educational experience that explores some of the most important social issues and how technology can help solve them. The self-led courses are open for anyone to join on FutureLearn. Sign up for free today at:
Free courses and live sessions from one of the largest professional services firms
Wide range of resources for school students as well as families. Learn digital skills, improve your CV, learn about finances etc
Volunteering can be a good way to get work experience and build your confidence in dealing with different people. You may know of organisations in your community that need help, or search online.
www.scouts.org.uk - the Scouts organisation is always looking for volunteers and you don't need to have been a scout as full training is provided
Cadet Schemes are run by a number of public service sectors to help school-age people learn more about work and provide volunteering opportunities:
St John's Ambulance run a cadets schemes for 7-10 and 11-17 year olds and also have volunteer opportunities for university students. These schemes are a great way for anyone considering a career in the Healthcare sector to get hands-on experience. Find out more here: https://www.sja.org.uk/get-involved/young-people/cadets-ages-10-17/
Another way to get experience is to take part in a Citizen Science project. One of the best websites to search for live projects is: www.zooniverse.org