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Improving Work Experience


I am interested to learn what members offer Work Experience students at their place of work as I want to improve the 2 weeks they are with us to give them a more relevant placement.

3 Responses

  1. what is relevant?


    Sorry to be obvious but the question has to be what are they here for and what is "relevant"?

    For example;

    My son went for a work experience at a retail art gallery; he is an art history student.

    His boss gave him a feather duster and told him to dust all the bronzes and pictures, it was suggested that if he did this carefully it would take him about two and a half hours.  Though his first thought was "Oh, god, they are going to use me as an unpaid cleaner!" he got on and did it.

    When he finished the boss asked him to describe, compare and comment on different works….from memory!

    Then the boss showed him how to operate the till and the alarms and left him to man the shop for a day, though the boss remained on site

    Then he was asked to critique the presentation of the artwork, verbally in a "walk-round".  His critique was challenged and discussed, this included a discussion of the "best" way to display art and to create an exhibition of work that was similar or complementary.

    Then they left him to man the shop for another day, alone

    Then he was asked to select enough art to set up an exhibition in a space of a given size.

    This was critiqued, challenged and discussed……..then he actually set up a new exhibition!

    Boy, that was a hell of a relevant work experience!


    Not everyone can do that and it probably doesn’t prepare a student for the possible tedium of everyday life!

    I hope this helps


  2. Students and Placements

    — QED Training


    We have abolished the terms such as volunteers, placements and internships etc


    We call our temporary workers SHADOW WORKERS -and a to z, entry to exit – treat them like staff recognising the clear points of convergence and divergence between paid and unpaid staff in terms of legalities,ethics and other boundaries.So far so good





  3. Relevant work experience

    Previous comments about relevance are important, but just as important are the softer skills of working in an office or whatever environment.  There is also likely to be an element of observation as it is not always possible to involve someone on a practical level who is only around for 2 weeks – and make them feel that their contribution is valued.  Observation of a team meeting or similar can provide food for thought and reflection with the superviser afterwards.

    When I have supervised students on placement I have tried to build in reflection time as they often have to complete a diary.  I also have the possibility of placing them in different sections of our organisation depending on what their interests/course requirements are.

    Hope this helps

    Linda Walker

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