What good looks like
Every student should have first-hand experiences of the workplace through work visits, work shadowing and/or work experience to help their exploration of career opportunities, and expand their networks.
- By the age of 16, every pupil should have had at least one experience of a workplace, additional to any part-time jobs they may have.
- By the age of 18, or before the end of their study programme, every student should have had at least one experience of a workplace, additional to any part-time jobs they may have
Why this matters
- Experiences of the workplace can create social capital for young people with more limited networks
- Experiences of the workplace give students the opportunity to develop essential skills
- 8.2 per cent of people aged 16-64 in the UK today (3.4 million people in total) have never had a paid job (besides casual and holiday work). Never ever report 2020, Resolution Foundation
“People who are literate and numerate have greater chances of success in employment and in life, but what we are increasingly understanding is that essential skills are also critical to these life chances.”
(Sir John Holman)
Getting started with BM6
- Be clear about priority careers knowledge, understanding and application based on student needs and school priorities. Use this to shape and communicate planned intent for all experiences of the workplace.
- Gatsby Benchmark 6 describes experiences of workplaces as: “work visits, work shadowing and/or work experience”. It is important to approach this Benchmark with the understanding that work experience is not synonymous with experiences of the workplace. Remember that there is no blue print for age/key stage and format for experiences of the workplace. They should be planned for impact and implemented around what students need to know, understand and be able to do linked to a high level aim for the experience.
- Use the BM6 Careers Leader Guide to set learning aims and outcomes for experiences of work and reflect on most appropriate implementation type and time for your students based on their needs and aligned to school priorities.
- For further resources check out this page Reimagining Experiences of the Workplace.
All Careers Leaders require Outstanding training
For further support with Benchmark 1 register for our fully funded Careers Leader training
Download our Training Catalogue which includes all the information you need and a helpful comparison guide on the 11 high-quality Training Providers we work with. Here you will be able to choose the right course to suit you and your development, so that you can embed a successful careers programme in your school/college.
Once you have chosen the right course and Training Provider for you, you are all set to register!
Careers in Context: Can Do Approaches
Experiences of workplaces allow students to have first-hand experiences of the workplace through online or face to face work visits, work shadowing and/or work experience to help their exploration of career opportunities, and to expand networks. Experiences of the workplace could and should reflect the fastchanging nature of work, including remote working. The Gatsby Benchmarks hold the same level of relevance in an online world and continue to work as a framework for quality careers guidance. All experiences of workplaces should sit within a progressive careers programme that have clear learning outcomes and that supports positive student outcomes.
To include an activity under Benchmark 6, it must meet the following minimum requirements:
- Learning outcomes are defined, based on the age and needs of students
- Student meets a range of people from the workplace
- There is extensive two-way interaction between the student and employees
- Student must perform a task or produce a piece of work relevant to that workplace and receive feedback on it from the employer.
- The current context allows us to re-evaluate and take a fresh look at the aims and value of experiences of work.
- Consider school/college priorities and key learning outcomes to shape the aims, content and format of any experiences of work.
- Schools, special schools and colleges were already exploring innovative alternatives to the traditional model of 1- or 2-week placements, including blended approaches.
- Experiences and encounters can also teach young people about digital skills, teamwork and communication in an online environment which has increasing relevance for workplaces.
1. Identify relevant learning outcomes and aims for any experience of work and consider opportunities for implementation to deliver in those learning outcomes.
2. Consider how learning at school/home can be blended with structured experiences of work (online or face to face) to ensure that students access meaningful experiences of the workplace.
3. Whether face-to-face or online, work with employer partners to incorporate skills development that is up-to-date and relevant to the fast-changing world of work.
4. Consider developing workplace skills such as joining online meetings, independent working (e.g. research) and online professional etiquette to meet the changing requirements of the workplace.
I am a...
This toolkit is intended to be simple to use, helping Careers Leaders and others support and develop youth social action. the resource aims to enable more of their young people to be active citizens in their school or college and wider communities.
These resources have been created by curriculum subject experts from Academies Enterprise Trust through collaboration with EKFB to engage and support students in learning by placing teaching points in the context of the world of work.
This paper summarises the research on three forms of work related learning: work experience placements, job shadowing and workplace visits, showcasing the effectiveness of these activities and highlighting examples of best practice.
The Toolkit is for secondary schools, Academies and other education establishments - a guide for Head Teachers, Careers Leads and operations staff. It covers setting up and effectively managing and supervising placements or work experiences and has a number of standalone useful checklists and forms.
Prepare for a student’s work experience placement with these easily adaptable templates and example paperwork – developed by the Tees Valley Combined Authority.
The West of England Careers Hub recently commissioned staff from Three Ways School to work with seven SEND schools to support and train the careers leaders in developing a local network of employers for work experience. As part of this, a range of editable resources were produced.
The programme provides an opportunity for students to complete legal work experience virtually (online) by completing real life tasks created by Kennedy Laws trainees and apprentices and gain a unique insight into law and Kennedys.
The LEAN has created a series of resources to help schools and colleges provide their students with virtual experiences of the workplace. The first two virtual work experience packages are available to download and feature two key sectors, Digital and Technology and Construction.
Developed by Barclays. This resource gives students the opportunity to gain virtual work experience in a company that they might not normally get access to, while highlighting the essential skills they might need.
This list of virtual opportunities has been compiled from across the Network and contains links to virtual experiences of the workplace and training and development opportunities for young people. This is a signposting resource only and we encourage schools and colleges to quality assure around suitability to their individual needs before sharing with young people.
Upskill Me is a multipurpose tool enabling students to build a digital record of their achievements (both academic and extracurricular), learn about and develop in-demand soft skills, and find live opportunities to help them become better prepared for the world after school. Each students’ portfolio can be downloaded or shared into a job or UCAS application via a sharable link.
Transition Guide from Primary to Secondary: enhancing careers education and supporting parental engagement
This resource is designed to support Careers Leaders and other staff involved in the transition process from Key Stage 2 into Key Stage 3, exploring opportunities to embed careers activities and parental engagement across the full range of transition opportunities.
It takes you through the three phases:
- Decision making (Y4,5,6) while children and parents /carers are still considering their options
- Decision made (Y6) once the children have been allocated their secondary school
- Started (Y7) once the children have started their secondary school.