Lewisham Council - Work experience

Work experience

Work experience is undertaken by all Key Stage 4 (14–16 year old) students in our secondary schools, Abbey Manor College – our Pupil Referral unit, and most special schools. Most school sixth forms make sure that work experience is a crucial element of a post–16 programme of study.

Students spend one or two weeks at an employer’s workplace learning about the challenges of working and getting familiar with the skills and attitudes needed by modern businesses. 

Every year, we arrange approximately 2,500 placements.

We assist schools with:

  • block style work experience for five or 10 days for students aged 14–18
  • extended placements for students who will be on assignment throughout the year
  • bespoke placements tailored for individual needs.

To ensure a safe environment for students we make sure that all employers undertake health and safety checks before the placement commences.

Sometimes we find placements for students through our business or school contacts. Sometimes students find their own placements through families and friends or by applying directly to businesses.

Each school has a work experience coordinator and students can contact them in school with any queries or problems, as well as contacting us.

Benefits of work experience

Work experience offers benefits and opportunities to everyone involved in the scheme.

  • For young people, it enhances their knowledge and understanding of the world of work, increases self-confidence and understanding of teamwork, and helps them to make better informed decisions about the future. Placements provide practical experience and help to increase motivation, self-confidence and interpersonal skills.
  • For the employer, it provides opportunities to contribute to local communities and to build links which will enhance the profile and reputation of their own organisation and sector.

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