Year 12 Work Experience

15th - 19th July 2018

Professor Alison Wolf’s Review of Vocational Education recommended an increase in provision of work experience amongst students of 16 years and older. This reflects changes in education and employment patterns and also means that work experience post-16 can be tailored to reflect the student’s prior attainment and career aspiration. [Department of Education]

Post-16 work experience has significant value and highlights the benefits in relation to the ever growing number of young people now unemployed in the UK. [The Education and Employers Taskforce report “Work Experience: impact and delivery – insights from the evidence” Based on 15,025 students]

Research from the government, employers and from students themselves show the ever increasing value of work experience at Post 16.  At Wadebridge Sixth Form we are providing an opportunity for students to complete work experience.

The focus of this Work Experience is different from that completed in Year 10 and we would like students to develop upon the basic employability skills they gained at this time.  We would encourage students to think carefully about their Year 12 placement and search for one which gives them the ‘next level’ of experience and skills from that which they have previously gained. This might include, for example, gaining a placement at managerial level or even, where possible, looking for a placement outside of county at a national or multi-national company.

Work Experience is compulsory for all students in Year 12.  Your son/daughter will have a lot of support in school from their Tutor and the Sixth Form Team with finding a suitable placement.  


National guidelines state that work experience for young people must be based in England or Wales.  Resources are not available in countries where education and employment laws differ from ours. 

We also suggest that students do not find a placement with a sole trader as they often do not have the relevant insurance and the placement will be rejected meaning that a student will need to find another placement.

Students should not find a placement where they will be working with a member of their family or where they already work as this won’t be a new experience for them.

Some placements such as The Police Force require students to complete an application form which can be downloaded from Cornwall Council’s website – check with Ruth Davies, Work Experience Coordinator if unsure.

Students may work any hours they wish whilst on work experience as long as parents and employers are happy with the arrangements but the recommended limit is 40 hours in one week.  Students may work evenings or weekends if it is an integral part of the job they have chosen.

If students want to go out of County, remember to only find placements in England or Wales.  Placements outside of these areas are not permitted.  Please also remember that students and parents are responsible for all accommodation and travel arrangements together with any costs.  As out of county placements take longer to process (sometimes they can take up to twelve weeks to be approved) it is advisable to have a back-up placement in Cornwall just in case.


Students have the choice of where they go but there are laws and regulations outlining what young people CANNOT do and these are listed below:

  • In a tattoo studio or any other skin piercing environment
  • On board a registered boat or ship
  • In any gambling context
  • In a cinema or night club
  • Behind a bar
  • In a travelling fairground or circus

There are also restrictions on the types of activity students can do on work experience:

  • Students may not work above two metres fall height i.e. two metres above ground level outdoors or floor level indoors
  • Students cannot work with toxic substances
  • Students cannot be exposed to radiation
  • Students cannot use power driven tools and machinery
  • Students cannot work in excessive noise, heat or cold
  • Students cannot work in confined spaces: mines, chimneys, storage tanks, tunnels, basements etc


For ideas on where to look for a placement, students have access to a website listing hundreds of placements in Cornwall which have been used previously.  This list does not mean that an employer will take them, it is simply a list of where students have been before.  This database of placements can be found by clicking here

Students will have been given a unique PIN number by their form tutor for them to access the database but if they do not have this, they should contact Ruth Davies, Work Experience Coordinator.

Students are encouraged to apply for their own placements rather than relying on parents as this prepares them for applying for a job once they leave Sixth Form.  However, if they are struggling to find a placement on their own help is available from Ruth Davies, Work Experience Coordinator.


Once a student has secured a placement, they need to collect their approval and consent form from Ruth Davies, Work Experience Coordinator. (The front page of the approval and consent form was completed by parents in September and given back to Ruth Davies for safekeeping).  Students should then take or send the form to their employer together with an information pack.  Once the employer has completed the form they can either send the form directly back to school or return it to the student.  The form should then be signed on the back page by parents and students and returned Ruth Davies, who will then enter it onto County’s database.


Health and Safety is of paramount importance and all placements are visited by Cornwall’s Education Business Partnership to ensure they are suitable for our students.  If a placement is rejected for any reason, a student will not be allowed to go there and will need to find somewhere else more suitable.  We will provide a general health and safety course before students go on work experience and we also provide ‘high risk’ health and safety training for those placements requiring more in depth training. 

Once a student is at their placement, a member of school staff will visit them to ensure all is well.  For students out of county, a phone call will be made instead. 

Upon their return, students will have a mini debrief session where they will be able to discuss their placements with each other and their form tutor and they will also be asked to write a letter of thanks to each employer for allowing them to work with them.

If you would like any further information please contact:

Ruth Davies
Work Experience Co-ordinator
01208 812881

Information for Parents and Carers

Information for Employers

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