Standard External Work Placement Book L3
1 Work Placement Booklet for Salford City College Academic Year 14/15
Eccles sixth form college
Name Stuart Preston
WRA Code W14E-GCD-ED3-SO3-02
Teacher Damon Bramwell
Signature of Work
For Internal Use Only
Curriculum cross check
Total number of Hours
WHY DOES WORK EXPERIENCE MATTER?
Young people are among the most disadvantaged groups in the labour market because they
lack the experience of the workplace and the job-specific skills that employers ask for. Work
experience is something employers value, alongside attitude, almost more than
Over the last generation there have been unprecedented changes with traditional jobs and
industries disappearing and being replaced by a more varied landscape in an increasingly
global economy. Also, with the increase in the cost of higher education, the financial
penalties for making the wrong career decisions are higher than ever before. The problem
can be exacerbated by a lack of careers information in schools, particularly in schools in
disadvantaged areas which may not have access to parental and alumni networks.
Work experience can help to challenge employer perceptions of young people’s skills and
attitudes, give young people access to networks and help them to make more informed
career choices. Research by the Education and Employers Taskforce, It’s Who You Meet
(2012), shows that the more contact young people have with employers, the better
their chances of finding themselves in employment.
WORK EXPERIENCE PLACEMENTS: WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW
Before introducing a work experience placement scheme, it’s important to be aware of the
So, what is work experience placement? Work experience may be defined
as: a placement on employer’s premises in which a student carries out a
particular task or duty, or a range of tasks or duties, more or less as would
an employee, but with the emphasis on the learning aspects of the
The date(s) for my work experience days or week is/are:
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Struggling to find a work placement? Friends and family contacts are a good starting point
but check out the appendix at the back for tips, websites and ideas. (pg 17)
1. BEFORE YOUR PLACEMENT: WHAT DO I WANT TO DO/LEARN/BE?
Choosing the right career can be difficult, but having a defined career direction will help you
with getting a job. But with a little hard work, some planning, and some serious self-reflection,
you can set yourself on a path towards a fruitful, fulfilling career that can provide
for you and your family.
Consider Your Interests
A. Consider your dream career. There is an old saying that if you’re trying to choose a
career, you should think about what you would do if you didn’t have to work. If you
had a million dollars and you could do anything, what would you do? Your answer to
that question, while maybe not literally the best career choice for you, may give you
insight into what you should do.
What areas/industries are I interested in and would enjoy working in?
Where I can program games for a big strategy company
ICT Repair Shops
B. Consider your hobbies. It is very easy to turn your hobbies or something you love doing
into a future career. Many hobbies correspond to real world needs and positions. Consider
what you like to do and how that might fit into a career.
For example, if you like playing video games, consider becoming a video
3 Work Placement Booklet for Salford City College Academic Year 14/15
game designer, programmer, or QA specialist.
If you like drawing or art, consider becoming a graphic designer or an
Or into careers you haven’t thought of or know exist at this point. Use some
time to research careers and jobs you think you might find exciting.
What are my hobbies
Playing Computer games
C. Consider what you enjoy or enjoyed in school/college. Academic subjects translate
well into future careers but may require more schooling than other types of careers.
Your favorite class in high school could very well launch you into your future career but
you have to be willing to work for it. Think about the subjects you excelled in in school.
Though it may not be your favorite thing to do, choosing a career based on something
you are skilled at can help you excel and provide yourself a secure future.
What were/ are my favourite subjects?
D. Consider what skills you excel in? If you are particularly good at certain skills, such as
fixing things or making things, this can provide you with a great future career. Schooling may
or may not be necessary, but skilled labor is often in demand and you will find it fairly easy
to find work.
What skills do I excel in?
Can use various software like
E. Consider your interpersonal skills? If your skills lie more in helping and communicating
with other people, there are jobs for you as well. People who communicate and interact
with others well can easily get careers as social workers or in marketing and similar business
What are my interpersonal skills like?
4 Work Placement Booklet for Salford City College Academic Year 14/15
F. Consider your future job stability.
It is also important to consider a future career’s stability. Job markets fluctuate as society
needs different things at different times. Certain jobs are also always in demand or
frequently unstable. You will need to consider if the career you choose is stable enough for
you and your desires for the future.
For example, many people recently went into law school and racked up often
5 Work Placement Booklet for Salford City College Academic Year 14/15
in excess of £100,000 in school debt because they thought they’d be making
a very high wage in the future. However, law positions are not in demand as
much the last few years and now those people have huge debts and no way
to pay them.
Another example is working as a writer or any career based on freelance
work. You may sometimes have plenty of work but there may be years when
you have almost nothing. Working in this way requires a certain level of
determination and discipline and is not for everybody.
Need further help? Look on line at the National Careers Service who can give you some
really helpful advice or talk to one of our Career Advisors in Services for Learners.
2. ABOUT YOU: MY CV
34 finch ave Farnworth Bolton
I am currently studying Games design at Salford College so that I can become a games
programmer and specialize in artificial intelligence of strategy and tactical based games
June 2012 GCSE Grades
GCSE Mathematics - (E)
GCSE English - (D)
BTEC Science - (Merit)
OCR ICT Distinction
GCSE R.E (C)
GCSE Geography (D)
June 2013 BTEC Grades
Media Course Level 2 (Pass)
Functional English (Pass)
June 2014 BTEC Grades
Games Design Level 2
A CV is your chance to show an employer that you've got the skills and experience that they
need. In today’s competitive jobs market, it’s more important than ever to make a good first
impression. This can often be your CV, so it needs to be putting across the right messages,
with the right presentation, and no mistakes.
The most important thing is to take your time over your CV – make sure it’s the best it can
be. You might want to leave it for a couple of days and then come back to it with a fresh pair
of eyes. Get it checked over by several people to see if they can spot anything you can’t.
When you’ve been working on something for a long time it can be difficult to see ways in
which it can be improved. But with CVs, it’s easy to make the mistake, but very difficult to
correct the damage done….
Employers who receive a lot of CVs have to make quick judgements to create a shortlist for
interviews. Read on for some of the most common reasons for not being shortlisted.
A. Typing errors, and poor spelling and grammar
Not all of us are perfect with spelling and grammar. But even if it’s not a strong point of
yours, your CV isn’t the place to allow mistakes to slip through. It’s the first impression an
employer gets of you, and a CV with these mistakes in it can make it s eem like you haven’t
put the time in, or you don’t think details are important.
A tidy, mistake-free CV creates the impression that you are professional, thorough and care
how you come across. So the advice is – get it checked by someone whose English is good,
even if yours is good too. Don’t rely on spell-checkers – they can miss lots of things, such as
words that sound the same but are spelt differently. A stakeholder isn’t the same as a steak-holder
but they would both pass the spell checker….
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B. Listing duties instead of achievements
Putting in phrases like ‘responsible for ordering stock’ can make your CV read like a job
description, when it should be selling your achievements as an individual. Try to re-phrase it
describing exactly what you did, and what the positive outcome was. For example, ‘using
specialist software, closely monitored sales trends and stock levels, and ordered stock
appropriately. This reduced out of stock instances by 21% in 2014’.
To make your CV sound more dynamic, use active language instead of passive. An example
is changing ‘involved in the promotion of the company at industry events…’ into ‘promoted
the company at industry events…’ This has the effect of making you sound like a ‘doer’,
rather than someone who was merely ‘involved’ in something that a lot of people did.
C. Not tailoring your CV
When you’re sending out speculative applications it can be tempting to go for quantity over
quality, and send out the same CV to hundreds of employers. Unfortunately, employers can
usually recognise a mass mailshot, as they can sound general and unfocussed.
In addition to this, you are missing the opportunity to sell your most relevant skills. Consider
what the main skills are that the employer might be looking for and make sure you highlight
your relevant experience. If you’ve got experience in both retail and care work, and you are
sending your CV to a shop, make sure your retail experience is prominent in your CV
D. Visually unappealing and difficult to read
In an effort to include as much information in as possible, some candidates’ CVs can look
cluttered, with long paragraphs of dense text and very little white space. This can make the
CV very hard to read. Use bullet pointed lists and short sentences to make it easier for
recruiters to scan for key points.
Trying to make your CV stand out is a good idea, but another pitfall is trying a little too hard,
such as printing it on bright green paper or over a picture. If you’re going for a daring visual
approach, make sure it is tasteful, and probably only use it for creative jobs. And don’t be
tempted to mix up your fonts in an effort to create variety and interest – it can look messy
E. Too long or too short
Another delicate balancing act this one. The rule of thumb is that a CV should be no more
than two pages long. But if you’ve got a lot of relevant experience at a high level, you might
not want to cut out this important information to squeeze it into two pages. Likewise, if
you’re just starting out in your career and you haven’t really got two pages of information,
don’t try to pad it out with irrelevant info – one succinct page would be fine.
7 Work Placement Booklet for Salford City College Academic Year 14/15
If you are going to have a detailed CV that goes back a long way into your work history,
make sure the information is relevant to the job you’re applying for. Think carefully about
whether that Saturday job you had 20 years ago is still relevant….
You can read more CV hints and tips in our section on CVs and covering letters. You can
create a CV from scratch with our CV Builder, get advice on what to put in each section, and
look at the different CV formats to find the right one for you.
My CV is now complete Date and Signature
My on-line profile on Linkedin is complete
with my CV attached
3. RESEARCH: IDENTIFYING THE DETAILS ABOUT WHERE YOU WILL BE PLACED.
Whether joining a large organisation or an SME (small medium enterprise), a young person
entering the world of work will have several questions so it is important to think about the
organisation you are looking joining before you start.
8 Work Placement Booklet for Salford City College Academic Year 14/15
How long has it been in
How large is the
Number of employees
Does it deal with
What does the
Why are you interested
in this company?
What do you think are
some of the issues that
might find challenging at
What are you most
looking forward to
4. INDUCTION: INTRODUCING A YOUNG PERSON TO THE WORKPLACE
Young people on work experience should receive an induction to the workplace that will
help them to integrate quickly and learn about working life. These answers should be
discussed with your WRA tutor and personal tutor.
A. The induction is an
9 Work Placement Booklet for Salford City College Academic Year 14/15
What will I say about myself Comments/
• get to know the young
(Is there anything in
particular I should tell my
work related activity link
• understand their
(What have I done before
that could be relevant?)
• talk about the
expectations on each side
(What do you want from
this work placement?)
(what do you think they
are likely to expect/want
• establish the young
(Short term and long
• provide space for the
young person to ask
(what do you want to
know about this
B. A good induction should
10 Work Placement Booklet for Salford City College Academic Year 14/15
The answer(s) to this question is/are
• an introduction to the
(including how the company
is structured, and the key
people who the individual on
work experience will have
• a tour of the facilities
(including where to get food
from inside or outside your
building, where the nearest
toilets are, first aid facilities
and where the fire exits are
situated (and any evacuation
procedures) as well as health
and safety information they
need to know (this is a legal
Location (desk or work space/area)
Fire Exits/ Health and Safety concerns:
• a clear outline of what
they will be doing during
their time with you
(this should also include
room to add in the skills or
experiences you are keen to
What I will be doing:
Start times and routes to work/ passcodes for entry to the
11 Work Placement Booklet for Salford City College Academic Year 14/15
Dress code and any equipment required:
• a plan or schedule for the
individual’s time at an
(clearly outlining what they
are doing each day (for
example, where they will be
in the building and who to
meet, and so on).
5. SET LEARNING OBJECTIVES FOR YOURSELF
What you would like to gain or achieve through your work experience? Now that you have
prioritised some areas for development in your ILP you can set yourself some learning
For example learning objectives could include:
To develop my leadership skills in group work situations
To increase my confidence to contribute to meetings
To gain a better understanding of a sales working environment and whether I would enjoy a
career in sales
To develop my ability to work with a range of different client groups
To gain a better understanding of the work involved in accountancy
Remember! When you are setting your learning objectives don’t make them too easy – the
purpose of them is to challenge and push you beyond your current limits!
If you need some ideas have a look at the list on the next page entitled Learning and
Development Areas for work placement.
My learning objectives are: (please discuss with your teacher and Personal tutor)
Possible learning and development areas for work placement.
12 Work Placement Booklet for Salford City College Academic Year 14/15
Transferable skills are generic skills you need to
develop whatever career you go into. This includes
things like: team working, presentation skills, time
management, conflict resolution and organisational
Career specific skills
Career specific skills are skills you need to develop to
work within a particular occupation such as
classroom skills in teaching, recruitment skills in
human resources, and research and writing skills for
Attributes or Skills
Personal attributes are softer qualities which impact
on your ability to achieve what you want to in the
world of work.
For example having the confidence to interact with
different people and contribute to discussions; or
having the objectivity to reflect on situations
rationality and being able to take constructive
Sector or industry knowledge During a work experience placement you can also
develop your knowledge of particular sectors or
industries. This can help you function more
successfully within your chosen area and/or highlight
to you whether it is the kind of environment you
want to work in longer term.
For example you may develop your understanding of
the sales sector and what it is like to work in a
Organisational culture & Organisational culture can be simply defined as the
processes principles that direct how people work within the
13 Work Placement Booklet for Salford City College Academic Year 14/15
organisation. These are not necessarily written down
or explicit and will vary greatly between
Similarly organisational processes can be explicit or
implicit, from finance processes, to decision making
and line management protocol.
Having a good understanding of an organisation’s
culture and processes will enable you to function
more successfully in the work place; and whilst
organisations do vary, experience in one organisation
can be transferred to and support your position in
future work environments.
6. WORK PLACEMENT LOG -RECORDING AND REFLECTING ON YOUR WORK EXPERIENCE:
Many people assume simply by doing a work experience placement they will automatically
learn a range of new skills and develop without putting much thought into how it will
Just by being a placement you are bound to pick up new insights and experiences by
exposing yourself to new environments. However, the extent to which you learn from those
insights and experiences and whether you apply that learning in future contexts, is greatly
enhanced if you make a conscious effort to plan, record and reflect on the learning process.
What were your main activities during your work experience placement?
Why did you select this placement and did it meet up to your expectations?
What did you learn about the organisation you were working for?
Do you think it is the type of organisation you would like to work for in the future and
What aspect of your work experience did you find most satisfying and why?
What aspect of your work experience did you find least satisfying and why?
14 Work Placement Booklet for Salford City College Academic Year 14/15
What was the greatest challenge you encountered during your work experience, how did
you overcome it and how might you approach a similar situation differently in the future?
Describe a situation from your work experience when you used your initiative; what did
you do and why, and what was the outcome?
15 Work Placement Booklet for Salford City College Academic Year 14/15
What is the most significant thing you have learnt through your work experience and how
do you think it will help you in the future?
Looking back at what you have enjoyed and disliked about this work experience, how will
what you have learnt about yourself influence the type of work experience or
employment you will look for in the future?
7. REVISIT YOUR LEARNING OBJECTIVES: Have you successfully completed your objectives
to a good standard? Talk this through with your teacher.
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Progress made Barriers to
learning & how
to resolve them
WRA Sign off
17 Work Placement Booklet for Salford City College Academic Year 14/15
Student Sign and Date Teacher Sign and Date
On Line CV and Linkedin
WRA placement complete
(record total number of
WRA reflective log complete
Guest speakers seen
Guest speakers seen
How to find
There are three main ways to gain work experience:
1. by responding to adverts for work experience vacancies.
2. by creating your own opportunities by speculatively approaching organisations.
3. by talking to existing contacts and family members you know who could help get you
into an organisation.
The route you adopt will depend on the type of work experience you are looking for.
Companies working in engineering, IT, finance and business management are more
likely to advertise vacancies than organisations in the public, voluntary and community
sectors, and competitive industries such as media, marketing and journalism.
If you are looking for work experience in less well advertised fields, you will need to
spend more time finding out about organisations in the field and making speculative
approaches to them.
Work experience career directories
Some, particularly larger, companies advertise work experience opportunities through
career directories including GET, TARGET and Prospects.
Finding out about organisations for speculative applications
Practitioner journals/magazines in the relevant field often advertise vacancies.
They won’t necessarily be work experience positions, but they can inform you
about what organisations are out there and their contact details. Also look in
local and national newspapers.
Professional bodies and their websites often provide details of organisations
working in a particular field/sector.
18 Work Placement Booklet for Salford City College Academic Year 14/15
Lecturers and other contacts may be able to give advice and contact details of
companies and individuals.
Internet search engines provide a quick and easy way to find out about
Websites advertising work experience
www.Placement-uk.com – under opportunities search for placement opportunities.
www.work-experience.org - National Council for Work Experience including a
database of work experience opportunities in the UK.
www.step.org.uk – matches employers and students with work experience across
www.changeagents.org.uk/ - provides volunteering opportunities for students on
19 Work Placement Booklet for Salford City College Academic Year 14/15
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