Work experience and work placements are an integral part of all full time study programmes at the College. Many local, national and international employers already offer our students experience in real industry environments, which helps them to develop the skills they need for their future careers.
Work Experience FAQs
What is work experience?
Work Experience covers a range of activities which students can get involved in, which supports their college learning and develops industry and employability skills. Ranging from attending a work placement with a local employer, to working on community projects, we even have students who have completed work placements and projects in Greece, France, Italy and the USA.
How is work experience arranged?
Students are encouraged to source their own placements in industry, this means they know they can get there, and it is a good way to practice job search and interview skills. Work Experience Co-ordinators find placements, the apprenticeship team generate opportunities and curriculum staff arrange group projects, so there are many ways that placements become available.
We always make sure the placement is checked to ensure the health, safety and wellbeing of students, and discuss the learning opportunities with the employer so that students are practising real life skills – and yes, it can involve sweeping up and making tea, but it’s all part of the experience.
What support is available?
The campus based co-ordinators will visit tutorial groups, and meet with students who need additional help in finding or preparing for a placement. Students are all individuals, and we will try and find the most appropriate work experience opportunities for every student. We work with employers, students and sometimes parents, to make sure any needs are met, and adjustments put in place if necessary, and will monitor placements to make sure things run smoothly.
What do I need to do?
Trying to find your own placement is the first step. This is valuable practice for when you need to find paid employment in the future. We offer advice and guidance on where to look, and can help with making calls and contacting the employer, we appreciate that it can be difficult for some students to take that first step, so we can take the time to support this.
When you start your placement, you will need to complete your workbook (or project record if a group activity). It is vital that you have this record, as it shows what you have learned. You will have learned skills which you can add to your CV or UCAS application, and it is always well regarded by employers to see that a student has completed work experience.
Why do work experience?
- Experience working in a real industry environment
- Good opportunity to network and you might get an apprenticeship or paid employment as a result
- Gain confidence in your existing skills, and learn new ones
- Demonstrates to future employers that you are willing to learn and are work ready
- It can help you with your course work â€“ you can use real examples from your work experience or placement
- Can help you decide on your study and career path â€“ you might choose to do additional study to have better prospects once you have worked in the industry on work experience
What employers do we work with?
We work with small local companies as well as national and international organisations. Here are just a few companies that have offered work experience to our students: Siemens, NHS, Porsche, Boeing, The Blue Cross Society, Bristol Zoo, BUPA Care Homes, MOD / Army, National Trust, British Airways, Wiltshire Police, NatWest, Badminton Horse Trials
What sort of experience will I get?
Every placement or project is different, the most important aspect is that a student enjoys the experience and learns from it. Every course has different opportunities, here a just a few examples of work experience which students have completed: Whale watching, Lambing, Creating 3D models and simulators, Motor racing, Football coaching, Police riot training, Working in local radio, Spa therapy, Making apple juice and Theatrical make up. There are so many careers available, and work experience can give you a taste of some of the great opportunities that are there for you if you give it a try.
Where can I get more information or support?
You can get further information and support in the following ways:
- Speak to your course tutor
- Speak to your campus Work Experience Co-ordinator
- Email firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions
- Contact your Careers Advisor for help with writing your CV, interview skills and general careers advice