Pupils are eligible for one week of work experience during their fourth year at school. The placements are spread over two weeks which historically have been in the first two weeks in January. Placements take place in the first two weeks in June offering a greater diversity of job opportunities for all pupils at this time of year. They are arranged by the Work Experience Coordinator in collaboration with The Ayrshire Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI).
Most pupils choose a suitable placement from previously approved and validated firms/placed of work provided by the ACCI. However, the opportunity exists for pupils to arrange their own placement but this needs to be progressed as early as September to allow the necessary checks and paperwork to be completed. Firms which are willing to take pupils on Work Experience placements must satisfy health and safety regulations. Nevertheless, self found placements are becoming more and more popular especially with pupils who have a particular career in mind when they leave school.
As part of the PSE programme in school, pupils learn how to complete application forms and prepare for their week at work.
Pupils are expected to make their own travel arrangements to their placement with bus/train fares being refunded. Working hours are those normally expected of a 16 year old employee, rather than school hours. Pupils are asked to keep a record of their day to day activities and are provided with a log book for this purpose. The employer should not pay the pupil but must provide adequate supervision, instruction and a detailed report at the end of the week.
Pupils in S4 now have access to Mock Interviews within school as part of their preparation for work. Appropriate adults and contacts within the Business Community are brought in to school to conduct the interviews so that the whole experience had authenticity and kudos. An important part of the process is that pupils receive feedback on their application form and interview technique. We have no doubt that this will put our pupils one step ahead of the competition when applying for real life jobs and for college/university courses.