Frequently Asked Questions

What are the benefits of Work Experience?

There are numerous benefits of undertaking work experience:

For students, it provides the opportunity to:

  • develop employability skills
  • develop transferable skills i.e. communication and team working
  • encourage independence
  • build confidence
  • add to a CV to demonstrate to employers an interest in the world of work
  • investigate future career aspirations

For Schools and Colleges, it provides opportunities:

  • to develop the curriculum (real focus for revised Ofsted inspection regime from September 2019)
  • to achieve Gatsby Benchmarks (Careers Strategy 2017)
  • for staff to update their own knowledge and practice
  • to meet the requirements for the Technical Levels- (Post16 Skills Plan)
  • to build relationships with employers

For Employers it provides opportunities to:

  • engage with their workforce of the future
  • be engaged in educating young people
  • gain ideas on new ways of working
  • develop the supervisory and management skills of the current workforce
  • enhance the public profile by supporting the local community
  • access a pool of hidden talent – people who offer enthusiasm and a fresh perspective to businesses
  • promote workforce diversity

Why should I choose WorkExperienceSpace?

WorkExperienceSpace has been developed from the feedback from schools who have been managing the work experience opportunity within their schools. The processes that they had been using were predominantly manual systems that tended to take a great deal their staff time to manage. WorkExperienceSpace has been developed to reduce the amount of time required and to provide a digital solution. The tool provides:

  • Secure online digital platform – all the necessary tools are in one place. The tool can be accessed on numerous electronic devices.
  • Increased communication between the student and school/college staff
  • Access to work experience modules that students can use to prepare for, complete and evaluate their experience.
  • Access to over 8000 employers who are offering work experience opportunities.
  • The option for additional employers to be added
  • The facility to request health and safety risk assessments to be completed and to receive feedback as to their suitability for work experience to be undertake

How do I change my password?

You can change your password to your account at any time using the ‘forgot my password’ link on the login screen.

Alternatively, a school co-ordinator or tutor account will be able to reset student account passwords.

Are the WorkExperienceSpace modules compulsory to complete?

All of the packages contain the online modules. Each student account within WorkExperienceSpace will have access to the modules. Individual schools will determine as to how these will be used. Within WorkExperienceSpace there is no mandatory requirement for their completion.

What is a WorkExperienceSpace ‘credit’?

A credit is the currency used within WorkExperienceSpace. These are used to request health and safety risk assessments to be completed. One credit is used for each risk assessment request. Credits are purchased as part of a package, or at an individual cost.

What does the ‘Approved’, ‘Restricted’ and ‘Inactive’ status on Employer records mean within WorkExperienceSpace?

The three statuses given to our employer records within WorkExperienceSpace all have unique meanings:

Approved – The employer has been recently Health and Safety checked and is within the approval period. These employers will not incur a credit for a student to attend here as a placement.
Restricted – The employer has been approved by for a student / group of students / customer or school.
Inactive – The Employer is not currently offering work experience placements.

What if I want to cancel a placement when I have already sent a request to have a Health & Safety risk assessment completed?

WorkExperienceSpace allows you to cancel a request at any point up until when the assessment has been completed. The system will reimburse the credit if the risk assessment is not completed.

How long does it take for a Health and Safety risk assessment to be completed?

The time taken to complete a health and safety risk assessment, depends on several factors, including the location of business, the type of enquiries that need to be undertaken and particularly on time of year and incoming requests from schools. It also depends on the accuracy of the information provided and the response we receive from those businesses.

It is therefore very important to request risk assessments to be completed as soon as is possible and giving at least 8-week weeks’ notice. Although we do our best to provide risk assessments for all placements, we may be unable to respond to late requests.

Do I have to make sure Employers Liability Insurance is in place for all my student’s work experience placements?

As part of the Health and Safety Risk Assessment activity we will confirm that the correct insurance is in place. We will not approve any placement where there is no appropriate insurance. To optimise the use of your credits, you may want to complete this initial enquiry in the first instance.

Except for placements in Central Government and certain other larger organizations, or where the student is working with a close family member, all businesses must by law hold Employer Liability Insurance. If this is not held, we are unable to recommend approval of the placement regardless of the type of work being undertaken.

The Placement is with a family member, do they still need Employers Liability Insurance?

It depends on who is employed and relationship between student and family member. If the student is closely related to family member who runs the business (son/daughter, brother/sister, grandson/daughter or step child) provided no one else is employed outside of the immediate family then they do not need ELI. However, if they employ anyone else or if the business is a Limited Company, then they do need ELI regardless of student/family relationship.

Do students need to have a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check completed prior to starting their work experience?

Normally no, however, if the student is attending a business where there are vulnerable persons (residents in care homes or children in nursery etc) then they may need to complete a DBS check. This will depend on the age of the student and the type of work they are likely to undertake. For under 16s, the students normally work fully supervised and should not require such checks. However, for over 16s where the student has a more “hands on role” the business may require such checks to be undertaken before they will agree to such placements.

If in doubt always check with the business at an early stage to agree the role of the student and allow enough time to obtain necessary paperwork.

Do the staff at the Work Experience placement need to complete a DBS check?

Usually there is no need for employers to be DBS checked, as in most cases, the students do not work alone with individual persons for any significant time. However, if we feel that for the safeguarding of the student this is a concern, we will always raise this with you and offer advice.

If students are on extended placements (which may be the case for T levels), there may be a requirement for a DBS check to be completed.

Do you offer Health and Safety Risk assessments for placements abroad?

Although we can offer advice, it is very difficult if not impossible to make a judgement of placements located outside of this country.

Health and Safety standards and working practices will vary greatly across the world, and quite obviously we are unable to undertake any visits and to determine environmental factors which also may have a bearing on the suitability of a placement.

From a professional perspective, having to work within strict standards of practice and procedure we are therefore unable to approve any student placements abroad. The Health and Safety Executive which provides advice and guidance on such matters, has also stated that students under the age of 16 should not undertake placements abroad.