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Stuart Avis

DP World London Gateway

Learning and Development Officer

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Work expereince programmes


Does anyone have experience in running work expereinces programmes for 14-18 year olds?

I work for a large charity and we are reviewing our work experience programme.

My brief (which is broad and very open) is to research what we could do with our work experience programme based on the following question:

"If we were to run a work experience programme, how would we go about doing it?"

I am looking for any ideas or best practice from other organisations on how you manage work experience.

We do occasionally offer one-week work experience placements to young people aged 14 to 18 as one way that we can provide a meaningful opportunity for young people to be actively involved in the work that we do.

Through this placement for young people we aim to:

  • Raise awareness about the work that we do
  • Give an insight into the ‘world of work’ and the charity sector
  • Help young people develop as individuals, and improve their employability by developing interests and skills
  • Show young people the value of their contribution to society.

The programme is in need of a review and I am open to new thoughts and ideas about how we make our programme a great experience for both sides.

I look forward to hearing from you.


2 Responses

  1. Work Placements

    Employers are always very quick to criticise schools and colleges that the young people they churn out are not work ready. However, if employers (in any sector) are not ready to offer quality work placements, what can they expect?

    A work placement needs to be offered which is well supervised, offers real work practice and is long enough to give a young person the chance to use some of the many skills they do have to offer – including their IT skills for example, and really improve their confidence in themselves. Does no employer ever remember their first few weeks in work and how they had to learn on the job the hard way, often learning faster through the mistakes they made and tellings off they received!

    Giving young people a job for which they take responsibility is a good way to do this. How about interviewing your prospective work place trainees before giving them a work placement, just the same as if you were interviewing them for a job? This is the experience they need before leaving school or college. The work placement needs to be well structured, monitored, and provide an insight to the requirements of the workplace. A young person should leave their work placement believing that they can do the job they have been trained to do, and can on their CV state exactly how their theoretical skills learned in school or college have been tested in the work place.

  2. My input to this would be to

    My input to this would be to give the young person as broad an experience as possible.  We generally have one or two young people spend a week with us and typically they are exposed to :







    Supply Chain

    We have very good feedback from schools/parents.

    Good luck with developing your programme.


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Stuart Avis

Learning and Development Officer

Read more from Stuart Avis

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