When can you observe an operation at a veterinary practice, help in a primary school, or work in a busy doctor’s practice? Work experience is a chance to get a taster for jobs you may be interested in doing in the future.
Although the students are not necessarily doing a job that might be their chosen career, there are many benefits to be had; from renewing learning and motivation in the classroom, to teaching life skills and attributes that can be adapted and used in any future chosen training or profession. Work Experience is an important curriculum dimension that can really help students understand and acclimatise to the world of work not to mention the important social and cultural aspects. For some students, Work Experience will be the first time they have come into contact with adults other than family members or teachers. It’s not just social skills that are picked up; students are able to apply subject knowledge and expertise, both of which are an excellent way of raising self-esteem, confidence and independence – virtues that can be as important as academic qualifications. They are able to make more informed career choices without long term commitment and after all, it may help decide what not to do as well as enthuse and inspire them in their chosen career area.
A successful period of Work Experience and a good reference can be a valuable asset for a student, giving them a competitive edge at either a job or university interview. A stressed job market and high university fees means that a period of informal employment or internship might be crucial if our young people are to succeed and establish themselves. The Work Experience programme and its importance should not be under-estimated and for students who embrace the initiative, the rewards are high. It could even lead to some paid part-time work or an apprenticeship.
You can download a copy of the self-canvassing form below: