Best practices in providing effective work placement/experience
Although work placement/experience needs no introduction, but it is important to understand what it really means and what the student requires. According to the Cambridge dictionary, a work placement is ‘a limited period of time, usually forming part of a course of study, during which someone works for a company or organization in order to get work experience, which may be paid or not paid’.
Let’s start with an overview. People you choose work placements can be both foreign students who come to your school, or locals who are looking for work experience. Now, here’s how you can do this more effectively, before, during and after the placement.
· Clarify what your expectations are clearly and create a job description for the recruit. Also, decide if this placement is going to be paid or not…It can be unpaid, but it would always be helpful if you can offer accommodation/meals.
· Work out a way in which the student can keep up with his/her commitments and be able to work at your school. Create a schedule which works for both parties.
· Have a mentor available to assist the recruit throughout his/her stay. Help may be needed to complete tasks effectively.
· Allow the student to really immerse him/herself in the work environment. Keep in mind that this should also be a learning experience.
· Keep the student active and engaged so they can truly develop during their time with you. This is important for all employees; however, work placement recruits may need it a bit more because this could potentially be their first work experience.
· Give feedback and discuss any concerns. This should be constructive and help their development for future employment.
· Once the recruit has finished the work placement provide a reference letter.
· Give feedback from you, colleagues and clients, if possible. This will be beneficial insight which he/she can use during interviews in the future.
Providing such an opportunity to students can not only help them find the job they want, but also develop them as human beings. Read the following testimonial from a mother on her son’s return from a work placement with us at V1 Media Group:
Just wanted to say a huge big thank you to both of you for yesterday. D’Artagnan was absolutely full of stories all the way home and very excited about learning to drive, Malta, roadshows and anything else he can do. You have inspired him. I am so very, very grateful to you for giving him this opportunity as dyslexic kids can often be labelled derogatorily.
Please do let us know if there is ever anything else he can help with in any way.
All the best