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The World of Work

"Sheffield Work experience is an essential part of a young person's career exploration" - Sheffield City Council's Lifelong Learning, Skills and Employment team

We are delighted to reintroduce work experience back into our students’ school experience in Year 10 this year and all subsequent years.  This will take place from Monday 8th July to Friday 12th July, and over the coming weeks will be sharing more information with parents, carers and the students themselves. Students have until 17th May to find their placements, and we will be sharing lots of information with the students and their families over the coming weeks to support this.

Work experience is a student’s opportunity to spend a period of time outside the classroom and learn about a particular job or area of work. It can help students decide on their options for after Year 11 and beyond and will also give them the chance to develop and show evidence of vital skills such as self-confidence, communication, independence. As the team at Sheffield City Council's Lifelong Learning, Skills and Employment team has told us,

"Sheffield Work experience is an essential part of a young person's career exploration, and development of their understanding of the skills needed for the world of work.  As part of our 'See It Be It' campaign, we encourage all schools and young people to take part in workplace experiences, as research tells us that this can significantly help to improve a young person’s life chances and career choices. As an organisation, we also host work experience in a range of departments and love to see the confidence of the young people grow over their time with us and we really value having their input, perspective and skills.  Young people are 20% of our population and 100% of our future."

At school, our initial advice to students is to consider the wider career industry, instead of focusing on one specific job role. For example, it may not be possible to shadow an anaesthetist, but students could explore other roles in the healthcare industry, like working in a dental practice, nursing home, or GP clinic. They could also think about the transferable skills that are relevant across industries to help them find a placement. For instance, it’s unlikely that they’ll be able to find work experience as an air steward, but they could reach out to customer services departments as the staff will use very similar skills in their day-to-day jobs.

For ideas on work placements specific to each industry, we will be enrolling students onto the Unifrog platform. Details of this will be sent home and shared with students by the end of March. This will allow them to take a look at our Get on the ladder series of Know-how guides, such as Get on the ladder: scienceGet on the ladder: writing, editing, and publishing, and Get on the ladder: financial services.

Whatever role students choose, many employers are clear on the benefits to engaging in work experience, as these quotations from Department for Education ( illustrate:

“My partner and I started working here as apprentices before rising to become management and eventually buying the business. It’s important that we give young people the opportunities we had.” (legal firm).

“With many of the colleges we work with, the experiences are marketed to the young people as apprenticeship trials. We find it really difficult to find people with the right skills to do what we do, so recruiting an apprentice is really important to the long-term health of the business” (construction industry).

“Offering work experience [placements] provides [us] with an opportunity to show young people that we offer a career-path not just temporary jobs. Few will take this option but it is still worth it to us… Where a young person shows themselves to be a good worker we sometimes offer them summer jobs” (hospitality business).

We look forward to helping our students engaging with this exciting opportunity.

Karen Carter

Assistant Headteacher