FE Work Experience Policy 2023/24
This policy will be reviewed in full annually.
The policy was last reviewed and agreed by Terry Patterson Quality Manager on 31st August 2023.
It is due for review in September 2024.
Aim of Policy
This policy is in response to our vision to provide a world-class technical and creative education to inspire, nurture and train the next generation of jewellers. Introducing learners to the world of work helps them to understand the work environment, choose future careers or prepare for employment.
Work placement is defined as a placement on employers’ premises in which a learner carries out a particular task or duty, or range of tasks or duties, like an employee would do, but with the emphasis on the learning aspects of the experience.
Work placement is an expected part of every 16-18 learner’s study programme. During their study programme the requirement is that all 16-18 learners undertake a minimum of 30 hours contact in a meaningful work placement.
The procedures for work placement are intended to ensure that work placement is delivered to a high standard, so that learners are safe. Placements need to be meaningful to achieve good learning outcomes, ensuring learners enjoy their time in the workplace. It is expected that everyone involved in organising, supporting and delivering work placements should adhere to these procedures.
Learners are encouraged to find their own placement where possible, as this develops their skills in readiness for preparation for employment. It shows initiative and gives the employer a good first impression, showcasing the learner’s employability skills and personal attributes. If successful, this may in turn lead to good references, employment and apprenticeship or useful networking opportunities for the future.
This policy and associated procedures apply to all 16-18 learners enrolled on a College programme, of any duration, and are informed by:
- Health and Safety at Work Act 1974
- Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999
- Education Act 2002
- Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act 2006
- Working Together to Safeguard Children 2015
- Keeping Children Safe in Education 2018
- Ofsted Safeguarding children & young people and young vulnerable adults’ policy 2015
- Every Child Matters Framework 2008
- Quality Standard for Work Placement (DCSF) 2009
Health and Safety
The employer has primary responsibility for the health and safety of the learner and should be managing any significant risks. The Academy must take reasonable steps to satisfy themselves that they are doing this. The Academy must talk through with the employer what the learner will do and any relevant precautions and make a note of the conversation.
Once learners are on a work placement, they are regarded as employees. This means that the employer has the same duty of care towards them as any other member of their staff. Equally learners have the same responsibilities as any other employee, including compliance with the employer’s health and safety rules.
The Academy should rely on past experience within the local authority area and not repeat health and safety visits where the employer is known to the organisation, has a good track record and the learner’s needs are no different to those on past placements.
The Academy will work with parents to ensure employers know in advance about learners who might be at greater risk, for example due to health conditions or learning difficulties, so they can take these properly into account.
For a low-risk environment, such as an office or shop, with everyday risks that will mostly be familiar to the student, simply speaking with any new employer to confirm this should be enough. This can be part of the wider conversation on placement arrangements.
Review of the suitability of a workplace is a critical element of the work placement procedures. An appropriate Risk Assessment needs to be completed for each work placement. Action on any point of concern should be timely and appropriate and written records should be kept. Following completion of the ‘Health and Safety At Work’ checklist in the ‘Work Experience Journal’ and appropriate health and safety briefings, the learner can start their work placement.
Support for Learners
16-18 learners at the Academy are asked to attend a ‘Work Experience’ induction session at the beginning of their studies, to inform them of the requirements of work experience, and the process of researching and obtaining a work placement.
In December, all learners are expected to have contacted at least 3 potential work experience providers to enquire about the possibility of a placement.
Work experience placements must be secured by February, and completed before the end of the Academic year.
Students will be supported to find a suitable work experience placement, and in the instance that they are not able to secure one independently, the Academy will help to source one.
Students are given a Work Experience Journal to complete prior to, and whilst undertaking their work experience. This must be signed by both the student and work experience provider at the end of the placement.
Guidance for work placement providers:
Under health and safety law, work experience students are your employees. You treat them no differently to other young people you employ. Your existing employers’ liability insurance policy will cover work placements provided your insurer is a member of the Association of British Insurers, or Lloyds, so there is no need for you to obtain any additional employer’s liability insurance if you take on work experience students. The ABI website confirms this.
If you have fewer than five employees you are not required to have a written risk assessment, simply use your existing arrangements for assessments and management of risks to young people
If you do not currently employ a young person, have not done so in the last few years or are taking on a work experience student for the first time, or one with particular needs, review your risk assessment before they start
Discuss the placement in advance with The Academy and take account of what they and the parents or carers tell you of the student’s physical and psychological capacity and of any particular needs, for example due to any health conditions or learning difficulties.
When you induct students, explain the risks and how they are controlled, checking that they understand what they have been told and that they know how to raise health and safety concerns.
Please ensure that the ‘Health and Safety AT Work’ checklist in the Work Experience Journal is completed by you and the learner to ensure health and safety aspects are discussed and understood.