Due to COVID-19, we are currently unable to support with work experience placements. It is our hope that we will be able to offer work experience placements during the summer term, but we will continue to review the situation in line with Government guidance.
Now more than ever, we recognise that every work experience opportunity is essential to help you enter your chosen career pathway, and we continue to work closely with local employers to organise suitable placements for our students.
When it comes to getting the right job, we want to make sure Northampton College students stand out from the crowd. In addition to success in your studies, our aim is to involve you in events and activities that develop your skills and experience in preparation for employment and the world of work. Work experience will stand out on your CV and can give your employability a huge boost.
All students (aged below 19 on the 31st of August during enrolment) must complete an element of work experience as a part of their Study Programme. This is a directive from the Department for Education and one Northampton College believes enhances our students’ learning and prepares them for future employment.
Why is Work Experience important for students?
Work experience is a taster of the world of work. For many students, this will be their first experience of working and an opportunity to improve their employability skills is key to finding employment in the future.
Work Experience is the best way to get a real sense of a chosen industry and to also check it is definitely something a student wishes to pursue in the future; it will give students the opportunity without commitment. It is worth noting that many employers ask for previous experience and if students have not had a job they will look to see what work experience they have undertaking. Doing work experience also shows passion and interest to future employers.
When do students go on work experience?
Work experience placements can take place at any time during the academic year depending on the course of study. There may be set times/weeks during the year where students are on a work experience placement or it could be fitted around the days when students are not attending college. Work experience placements are not always 9am - 5pm.
Where can students complete their work experience?
Ideally, work experience placements should be with a business/organisation closely matching what is being studied, and although we strive to gain as many vocationally relevant opportunities as possible for our students, this is not always possible. Some areas of work experience are difficult to source placements due to health and safety issues and in these instances, a ‘close match’ would be acceptable. For example, it is difficult to place a 16-year-old on a construction site so a placement with a builder’s merchant would be acceptable.
How are placements organised?
Students are supported in organising their work experience by our dedicated work experience staff or are able to find their own placements if they are able to. Additionally, students in some of the college creative courses such as Art & Design may be commissioned to complete external project work on behalf on an organisation.