Enable students to understand what it means to be part of the world of work and learn the culture of a company first-hand with work experience.

What is Work Experience?

Work experience encompasses young people’s experience of work tasks in work environments on time-limited placements, alongside their education. However, despite work experience being an entitlement across the UK, many young people do not have access at all. In a 2019 report we commissioned into work experience, our research indicated that half of young people aged 14- to 25-years-old have not participated in work experience. With poverty, minority ethnic status, gender, special educational need and disabilities, and subject choice all having an impact on access to high-quality work experience and reduced pupils’ likelihood of participating.

We want to help you overcome these barriers so that no child is left behind.

With our partner WorkFinder, and their free to use app that lets young people find meaningful work experience opportunities in their local area, and guides them through the application process, we can enable you to support your students so they can:

LEARN about different companies, industries and the roles that are available

DO by trying out different job roles for themselves

GROW by developing soft skills and improving their employability

Meanwhile, you can track progress through your Educator Dashboard on the F4S platform.

What is the impact of Work Experience?

It offers a range of benefits for young people, such as providing:

  • Insight into the world of work that improved their ability to make decisions about the future,
  • Helps them to understand workplace ‘norms’ and behaviours, and different sorts of workplaces;
  • Career-relevant skills valued by employers including communication, teamwork, resilience and confidence, and;
  • If done right, offers improved long-term careers outcomes, including wage-premiums, employability, and a reduced likelihood of becoming NEET (Not in Education, Employment or Training).

The CBI found nearly one-third of employers rank work experience among their top three factors when recruiting school and college leavers, alongside broader skills like resilience, communication and time management. In their opinion, work experience not only shapes a young person’s decision about their future career, but also prepares them for the modern world.

This encounter will help and support you to meet the following Gatsby Benchmarks:

Benchmark 1: A stable careers programme

Our digital platform enables time-poor educators to create a structured careers programme quickly and simply. We provide educators with clear guidance on the types of events they can book and, using smart algorithms, make recommendations on which speakers and volunteers will have the most impact.

Benchmark 3: Addressing the needs of each pupil

With our advanced filtering system, we put control of the student-employer encounter firmly in the hands of the educator, ensuring they can select speakers and workplace visits which are best suited to inspire their students. Educators can filter by industry, gender, race, company revenue and growth.

Benchmark 5: Encounters with employers and employees

Our service connects children and young people directly with business leaders from their local communities. Our digital platform recommends a varied programme of careers encounters including career talks, speed mentoring, enterprise activities and workplace visits, all of which can be booked instantly through our platform.

Benchmark 6: Experiences of workplaces

We provide you with the tools to be able to book workplace visits quickly and safely, enabling students to experience and immerse themselves into different sectors. Students gain first hand understanding and insights into different workplaces and the pathways of getting there.

Useful research & resources

In 2019 we commissioned research looking at how educators and policymakers could make Work Experience Fit for Purpose. This report was accompanied by further research into understanding the most appropriate interventions for young people throughout their educational journey.

From our research we found that this encounter type is most appropriate for the development of young people from ideally 16 and up as they are approaching decisions about post-16 or post-18 education future.

Read both reports to get more information and context.

We understand that your time as an educator is limited, which is why we have made our service as quick and easy as possible.

Simply download the Student Guide above and hand out to the young people you think would benefit from work experience. They need to download the app to get started.

Once they have signed up you can track progress on your educator dashboard.

It’s as simple as that!