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Work experience

Getting experience in the workplace can fast-track your learning and boost your job prospects!

All of the 16-19 year study programmes we offer contain an element of work experience or work placement. The type of work experience or placement you do and the time it will take depends on what kind of course you are studying.

The expected minimum duration of work experience is 35 hours and may take the form of an external block placement or day release with an employer. Work experience will relate to one or more units within your main vocational qualification and may be assessed.

Some Level 3 courses require you to undertake an Industry Placement which last a minimum of 315 hours (45 days). Your placement employer will play a major role in supporting and assessing your progress.

What's in it for me?

Doing work experience as part of your course gives you:

  • Knowledge of the industry you’re hoping to work in, helping your career choices.
  • Skills that employers are looking for including initiative, problem-solving, teamwork and communication
  • Confidence of working in an industry environment
  • A chance to put your course learning into practice
  • Relevant experience to list on your CV
  • A broader, more varied student experience
  • A chance to make contacts – building a network gives you a better chance of finding an apprenticeship or employment in the future!

What do I need to do?

Employers like learners with initiative!

  • Make sure you understand the amount of work experience or work placement required on the course you choose.
  • Then start thinking about the types of company you’d like to do a placement with.
  • Use any links you might have through family and friends, or approach suitable companies yourself to find your opportunity.
  • Ask your course tutor to confirm your pattern of work experience (weekly, fortnightly, block placement).
  • Apply for your placement. Your course tutor or our Industry Placement Officers can advise you on your CV or your application.
  • Be prepared to record your work experience on e-tracker.

What If I can’t find a placement?

Our Industry Placement Officers can give you advice on work experience and placements. They, along with your course tutors may also be able to help you find placements if you’re having difficulties.

Is there any financial support?

You may be entitled to financial support whilst on work experience if it forms part of your full–time study programme, just enquire at the student services financial support desk in Advice Street.


You will be responsible for organising your own travel to and from your work experience placement. Financial support may be available in limited circumstances.

Health & safety

Your health, safety and welfare whilst on work experience or placement is important. You will be given advice and checks will be made before you visit and start your placement with any employer.