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Helping Your Child With Work Experience

By April 13th, 2022No Comments

Many of us will vividly remember our first “work experience” — whether the experience was terrific or not. It is certainly an eye opener into the world of work and one that usually leaves an long-lasting memory. It is a daunting, yet exciting, time for young people as they explore a chosen field to explore their future possibilities.


Work experience is well considered by employers and allows young people the opportunity to develop employability skills including time-management, problem-solving and communication. As well as gaining experience and developing workplace skills, it will generally increase their self-confidence. Another benefit is that it can lead to a paid job for students.

It can be tough for a young person to get a placement in some fields i.e. psychology, science, aviation, medicine, police force…but sometimes it is “who you know” that determines whether your child can get into a more specialised area. Parents can help their child to find a placement of interest by using contacts or helping to raise their confidence to “cold call” a prospective employer. Cold calling is successful for both finding work experience placements and paid employment.

Most schools offer a Work Experience Program that runs for a week, usually Year 10 or 11. Many schools also offer work experience to students at other times i.e. after school, weekends and holidays. Schools tend to process their own paper- work and checks for these ad hoc placements – check with your school. It’s a time of great excitement and nerves for your child. To make it a wonderful experience for all, be as supportive as you can.

You can read more about how schools help children choose suitable careers here.

Rebecca Ambrose is the Careers Counsellor at St Mary’s Catholic College, Woree