Year 10 work experience takes place each May and is a week long. Some students will go out on traditional placements, unaided. They will be asked where their interests lie and then we try and find a suitable placement. Previous placements have included an allotment, a café, a law firm in London, a school kitchen, etc. They will go for an informal ‘interview’ before commencing their week of work experience. This gives both the students and employers the opportunity to meet each other and ask any questions. Whilst on placement students will be visited by a Pinewood member of staff who will check they are ok, talk to their manager and take photo’s so as to gather evidence for their diary. The work experience diary forms part of the City & Guilds qualification.
For those who, for various reasons, are unable to participate in a traditional work placement we run the Experience of Work group. This group of students are based at school and go on different site visits each day for the week. They are supported by Pinewood staff. Previous visits have included GSK, Dogs Trust, Pizza Express, Hazard Alley, etc. Students are given a tour of the workplace and, where appropriate, a hands on experience too. They have the same diaries to complete that are part of the same City & Guilds qualification as the students who are out on placement.
Work experience week is a great opportunity to find out strengths, weaknesses, likes and dislikes. Previously, students on external placements have revisited the employer they were with, a couple have been offered jobs, and one was offered an apprenticeship. The students in the Experience of Work group have grown in confidence in their own abilities. They have tried new things and all should be proud of their achievements.