The College of West Anglia

Work experience

We pride ourselves on making our students work-ready through our links with employers in the region. Work experience is an essential taster of the world of work. For many of our students, this will be their first opportunity to work in a real environment with adults.

You can see some of the employers we work with to offer work experience placements for our childcare and health and social care students here, and for our landbased students here.

We are always looking for employers who can offer work experience placements for our students so if you think you could offer a placement, please contact us on 01553 761144.

What’s in it for me?

Whilst CWA can’t offer financial incentives for taking on work experience placements, there are many benefits for your business such as:

  • Offering your current staff professional development opportunities, by allowing them to mentor a student on placement
  • ‘Try before you buy’ – many employers use work experience placements  as an opportunity to ‘try out’ a student before offering them employment or an apprenticeship
  • Employers we work with can be featured on our website, promoting your business and showcasing your commitment to helping future generations to the wider community

What are my commitments?

As with anything, there will be some paperwork to be completed, but we will keep it to a minimum. If you have not offered work experience before we will:

  • Undertake a workplace risk assessment to ensure our students are placed in a safe environment
  • Copy your Employers Liability Insurance (this is a mandatory requirement)
  • Talk to you about the process of work experience, talking about what our students will expect, what you can expect from them, and gaining details of what work the student will be doing on placement
  • Ask you to provide feedback on the student

Placements can last for different amounts of time, depending on the programme the student is studying and the employer; some work experience placements last a few days, whilst some are up to two weeks. Some of our study programmes are designed for the student to attend a placement for one day a week for a few months.

Students should be treated as one of your employees during the placement; however it is important to remember that some of our students are as young as 16 years old and may require reassurance and greater supervision. If any student has informed us that they have medical issues we will discuss this with you prior to the placement.

What can a student do on placement?

We want our students to enjoy a high quality placement that is valuable in helping them gain experience in their chosen career area, however, we appreciate there is a limit to what they may be able to do in some environments, such as construction, engineering and electrical workplaces. In such cases, students may watch and learn, rather than partaking in work.

We make sure our students have realistic expectations for their placement; we know they will often be given tasks that they think might not be relevant. Students are required to complete a log book when on placement, so that they can log the skills and experiences they have had for future use on a CV. We always remind our students that employees of all ages and abilities make tea and that this is not a reflection on them!

Interested in offering a work experience placement?

Please contact us on 01553 761144 we will get back to you with more information.