Recent reviews also recognise the importance of high-quality work experience and encounters at different education stages.
We believe every student should have first-hand experiences of the workplace through work visits, work shadowing and/or work experience to help their exploration of career opportunities, and expand their networks.
Year 8 students undertake a day work shadowing which gives them the opportunity to have a meaningful encounter with an employer. They find out about a wide range of jobs and understand how the subjects they learn at school connect to their future.
Year 10 students during their one week work experience will carry out a range of tasks similar to those of an employee, but with a focus on the learning aspect of the experience. They will work alongside people who have chosen a career in a specific area and complete a work place diary during their time with the employer. These placements have also led to offers of part-time holiday work in the shorter term, which may, of course, be of interest to some students.
Recent statistics from High Flyers Research reveal that over half the recruiters in The Times Top 100 Graduate Employers said that students ‘who have had no previous work experience at all are unlikely to be successful during the selection process and have little or no chance of receiving a job offer for their organisations’.
With so much competition for university places and then jobs, it can be difficult for students to make their CV and personal statement for applications stand out from the crowd. Gaining work relevant/ industry related work experience adds a valuable ‘extra string to a student’s bow’, with many benefits they can talk about in their university, job or degree apprenticeship applications.
In year 12 students carry out 4 days of Work shadowing with an employer linked to their initial pathway plans.
All resources to aid our students with the work experience/shadowing process and parent/carer information and documents can all be accessed via our school website.
For all of our students we ensure that preparation for work experience is carried out in school, largely as part of the Life skills program, so that students will feel confident when they embark upon their experiences. YC Hertfordshire also support pre preparations and post evaluations of students experiences. This supports us in making more informed plans for future years.
Extended work experience
These are placements usually arranged for our students in year 11/12/13 for one or two days per week over an extended period of time (a term/terms or over an academic year).These opportunities are specific to a student’s interests and career plans.
YC Hertfordshire support us in providing additional one-to-one to assist our students to reach their full potential. Through personalised students have raised aspirations, improved educational attainment, greater awareness of and motivation towards a career pathway. The mentoring relationship is focused on assisting our students to achieve specified and agreed goals.
The employer mentoring programme is a voluntary programme so our students are offered the opportunity to meet with a mentor in school on a regular basis (generally once a fortnight) over a 6 month period.
Mentors undergo a robust recruitment procedure which includes a personal interview and an enhanced DBS check. Once accepted on to the programme mentors undertake a 2 day training programme. Training covers topics such as the role of a mentor, the stages of mentoring, safeguarding, professional boundaries, confidentiality, information sharing and equality and diversity.