Aim of Work Experience
The main aim of the work experience scheme is to give students an insight into the world of work as part of an educational programme. An essential element is that students take part rather than observe wherever possible in the work of the firm they are visiting.
Arrangements for schemes are controlled by The Education (Work Experience) Act. When there is a statutory restriction on the employment of young people, for example, work with electricity, dangerous machines or hours at work limitations, these would continue to apply.
Health and Safety
The Health and Safety at Work Act requires the employers to ensure that young people on work experience are not exposed to risks to their health and safety and particular care needs to be taken to avoid activities where there may be such a risk. Adequate supervision must be exercised throughout the placement, although a main characteristic of the scheme is student participation with observation of other activities. The employer should ensure that any necessary protective clothing or equipment is worn. Employers should comply with the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 and in particular should advise students about key aspects on the first day.
As indicated above, students should not be required to work with or near dangerous machinery, or in environments that are hazardous for any other reasons. These precautions should minimise the risk of accidents. However, since this risk can never be eliminated the employer should protect himself by insuring against claims from students in respect of any accident allegedly caused by negligence of the employer or his staff. This insurance may already be available under the policy which the employer is legally obliged to take out against claims from his employees or under any Public Liability policy he may have effected.
The Education Business Partnership (South West), which has a responsibility for Health and Safety checking, may require an employer to produce evidence that in one way or another he is covered against claims from students. Students are not employed under a Contract of Service and are not entitled to the benefits of the National Insurance (Industrial Injuries) Act in the event of injury through accident. In the case of accident or sickness the employer should notify the school as soon as possible.
Employers will be contacted by EBP (South West) in order to check Health and Safety and Insurance requirements.
Parents’ consent to the placement is requested and the students are briefed as to what will be involved. Medical information is obtained to ensure that students do not undertake work experience which may be harmful or dangerous. Students are briefed about Health and Safety issues and given a booklet prior to their placement. As the experience is regarded as part of the education programme employers are not expected to pay students. There is no objection, however, to assistance being given with travel and subsistence expenses.
The links below provide more information for employers regarding work experience. You can also contact Shelagh Andrews at the College if you have any questions or queries.
Mrs Shelagh Andrews Honiton Community College School Lane Honiton Devon EX14 1QT
Tel: (01404) 42283 Ext 260 Fax: (01404) 44491
The Big Conversation Government resources for employers offering work experience.
The Right Start HSE - Work Experience for young people - health and safety basics for employers
Young People at Work HSE - More detailed guide for employers
Five Steps to Risk Assessment HSE - A brief guide to help small businesses prepare a risk assessment
Visit the employer’s pages of the Apprenticeships Website to find out about offering apprenticeships to young people.