Work Experience - Student Guidance

The Developing the Young Workforce (DYW) initiative gives work-related learning a high priority and looks to broaden your learning options. The Highland Council, Schools, Colleges and DYW Regional Groups are working in partnership to develop and increase work-related learning opportunities for you with the support, expertise and goodwill of our employers.

Remember work-related learning includes activities such as work placements, sector talks, mentoring, mock interviews, workplace visits, and enterprise activities at school, to name a few. All work-related learning will develop your transferable and employability skills and will allow you to put your existing skills into practice, or observe others using theirs. It should ultimately provide you with the skills and knowledge to support your future career choices and will also direct your ambitions.

With feedback from employers and schools a new process has now been developed for work-related learning where all opportunities are advertised through the hi-hope website. It allows you to apply for these opportunities and also allows employers to gauge your interest and suitability for each opportunity. Employers can also consider how best to support your future career choices.

If you wish to undertake some work-related learning, speak to your Guidance or Subject Teacher first to ensure it fits in with your current timetable and workload. Then follow the new process detailed below. Your school will issue you with a username and password.

  1. Consider your skills, strengths & aspirations in relation to learning about work. Consider the skills you would like to learn, develop or improve and link this to your placement. If there isn’t an exact match for your aspirations, remember you can pick up key employability skills, such as communication, teamwork and problem-solving in any workplace, even if it doesn’t directly relate to your preferred career area.
  2. Search through the work experience opportunities on hi-hope. You can search opportunities by tag word, sector, school, area, age or opportunity. Opportunities relating to your choices will be listed by job title, employer name and location. If you are not ready for a placement in the workplace you should consider other work-related learning options such as a visit to the workplace, talks from employers, mock interviews, work shadowing, careers fayres, enterprise activities etc.
  3. Discuss the best option for you with your teacher. Some placements are only available at certain times of the year. This will be noted in the entry, so make sure that this fits in with your availability. For choices other than work placements the teacher will take this forward.
  4. If you decide on a work placement complete the application form online via the hi-hope website ‘Apply for this position’ green button. Make sure that you detail why you are interested in the placement and link it to your future plans and also note any skills that you have gained through school or activities outwith school. Email the completed form to your Link Teacher - making sure their email address is correct. A word version of the application form is available to enable you to work off-line and to keep a copy for future applications. Your teacher will provide you with this.
  5. Your teacher will check your application form and has the option to add a reference, before sending it to the employer. You may need to make some changes or add some further information before the form is ready to send to the employer. Your teacher will advise you.
  6. The employer will then consider your application and will contact you for an interview or chat or will let you know if they can't offer you a placement at that time and why. Reasons could include availability of staff to support you on your placement, busy or quiet times in the workplace, dates already offered to others, or suitability of your current skills or career aspirations. If you or your teacher haven’t heard anything from the employer within 10 days, your teacher may contact the employer to chase this up.
  7. If the work placement is a popular choice employers may have to consider more than one application. They will decide who is the most appropriate person for the placement either by interview or a chat, just like being short-listed for a job. The successful candidate will be notified and feedback will be given via the school to the other candidates.
  8. The successful candidate will be given a letter or email detailing the placement or experience. Once signed off by the school, parent/carer and student the placement will start.

You will be offered an induction by the employer to ensure you are aware of how to work safely and to understand more about the business.

If you have any questions please speak to your school in the first instance.



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