The Department for Education describes three patterns that work experience for 16-19 year old study programmes are expected to follow.
We anticipate that students will use workfinder for experiential and vocation reasons as they explore the paths that will be open to them when they complete their formal education.
The common principles of a high quality work experience placement are that it:
Ofsted state that work experience must be purposeful and planned. It should give young people the opportunity to develop vocational and employability skills in real working conditions.
Work experience should contribute to students’ overall development. For example, when considering outcomes for students, inspectors will explore how well they can develop their employability and vocational skills and personal effectiveness (e.g. attendance, attitudes, punctuality, and behaviour) in relation to their starting points while on work experience.
This is the current list of most frequently applied for roles offered by companies on work experience placements. It’s really up to you - we just want the young people to find out what it is like in a real workplace - so if you don’t like any of these roles, feel free to suggest other ones to us!
No. Much the same way that parental consent is not needed for Google or other apps, parental consent is not needed to use Workfinder.
The obligation to obtain parental consent in order to download an app from the app store is dependent on whether or not any information is being required from the person downloading. We do not require the user to disclose any information to us in order to use the search aspect of the services.
No. The requirement to obtain parental consent in order to transmit an application to an employer is dependant on the type of personal data being transmitted.
Where the data is used for any of the following, it is advised that parental/guardian consent is obtained:
In order to protect students from inadvertent discrimination, WF does not transmit the applicant's name or personal data to the employer, nor do we use their details for any marketing activity, or to display pictures on any public website, and we do not collect information about the students’ families and friends.
Much the same way that Royal Mail does not have an obligation to read a letter between a young person and a CEO, and BT does not have the obligation to listen to the dialogue between a young person and a business employer, we also don’t have the obligation to monitor this transaction.
We collect the date of birth after the student has applied for work experience. The date of birth is then used to determine if the student needs parental consent before accepting the offer of a work placement.
This is related to the age at which a person has the legal capacity to enter into a contract under English Law: As such, the answer is as follows:
In England and Wales, 18 years old. If the applicant is under 18, we ask them to share the job offer they have received with their parent or guardian for ‘signoff’.
Employers can offer Work Experience to any student using the app, but must be aware that any contract entered into between them and a student under the age of 18 in England and Wales (or under the age of 16 in Scotland) is voidable at the student's option. This means that the student can still enforce the contract against the employer, but the employer may not be able to enforce the contract against the student (for example, any confidentiality obligations agreed between you and the student could be unenforceable, so please manage these relationships more carefully).
This is related to the processing of personal data under English Law. As such, the answer is as follows:
If the applicant is over the age of 18: No
If the applicant is 16 or 17: No
If the applicant is under 16: Yes
After the user has clicked on the ‘apply icon’ WorkFinder asks them for their date of birth so that we can let the employer know the age of the applicant in order to be able to make an ‘indicative offer’ subject to parental permission being gained by the student.
We then contact the student with the offer subject to parental permission (given their age) and seek the email address of the person the child needs permission from.
Note: the request for work experience does not contain any information from the student that would allow them to be identified.
Yes. If organisations already employ young people, risk assessments won’t need to be repeated for work experience students. Employers with fewer than 5 employees won’t need a written risk assessment. For more information, visit the Health and Safety Executive’s website and read the guidance on work experience here. http://www.hse.gov.uk/youngpeople/workexperience/index.htm
Provided the company holds employer’s liability insurance and the insurer is a member of the Association of British Insurers or Lloyds (the vast majority are) then it automatically includes young people on work experience and treats them as employees for the duration of their placement. The Health and Safety Executive advise that employers inform their insurer that they will have students on placements but they should be automatically covered.
There are very few work activities a young person cannot do due to health and safety law. However, it’s important to remember that the employer has the primary responsibility for the health and safety of the student and should be managing any significant risks. This can be done by explaining the risks and how they are controlled when inducting any individual undertaking work experience, checking that they understand what they have been told and know how to raise health and safety concerns.
If required by the permission grantor, we can ask the employer to upload a photo of their certificate or a link to the policy on their website to our system in order to validate the voucher. This certificate would be available on the company profile we refer permission grantor’s to.
The following guidelines from ABI reinforce this: https://www.abi.org.uk/~/media/Files/Documents/Publications/Public/Migrated/Liability/ABI%20guide%20to%20insurance%20and%20work%20experience.pdf
No. A separate risk assessment, specifically for work experience students, is not necessary as long as your existing assessment already considers the specific factors for young people. Furthermore, there is no requirement to re-assess the risks each time an employer takes on a new work experience student, provided the new student has no particular needs.
If you are told otherwise, there is a Myth Buster Challenge Panel that is set up you can appeal to see this [external link] for how to contact them.
If the applicant is younger than 16, we ask the employer making an offer over our service to confirm that they have a child protection policy in our terms and conditions.
Some of the best advice can be find found on the health and safety executive website: [external link] :
There is an excellent guide on what needs to go into a safeguarding policy and sample policy statements on the NSPCC website if you do not yet have one: [external link]
If required by the person the student needs to get permission from in order to accept the job offer, we ask the employer to upload a photo of their certificate or a link to the policy on their website to our system in order to validate the voucher.
This content is available to view by the permission grantor via the workplace offer summary page.
It is the permission-grantor’s responsibility to check the legitimacy of the certificate. The permission grantor receives access to the employer’s Workfinder company profile which contains links to certificates the employer has made available over our platform. If the permission grantor has previously visited the employer, then they can upload the certificate to the profile of the employer to save other teachers in the local authority the time and expense associated with safeguarding visits.
We work to the guidelines laid down by the Health and Safety Executive and the Department for Education. There are no restrictions relating to whether a child is over or under 16.
We ask the employer to confirm that they have employer’s liability insurance in our terms and conditions and this is indicated in the employer briefing we make available to the student and their parent guardian (if consent required).
We provide links on our website to other liability policies operated by other employers who offer work experience placements.
If required by the person the student seeks permission from, we can ask the employer to upload a photo of their certificate to our system in order to validate the voucher.
Provided the company holds employer’s liability insurance and the insurer is a member of the Association of British Insurers or Lloyds (the vast majority are) then it automatically includes young people on work experience and treats them as employees for the duration of their placement.
The Health and Safety Executive advises that employers inform their insurer that they will have students on placements but they should be automatically covered. Please see HSE advice: http://www.hse.gov.uk/youngpeople/workexperience/placeprovide.htm
The following guidelines from ABI reinforce this:
You can buy employers’ liability insurance through insurers or intermediaries like brokers or trade associations. You may find that it often comes as part of an insurance package designed to cover a range of business needs.
Your policy must be with an authorised insurer and the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has a list of these. You can check their register on the FCA website.
WorkFinder accepts no liability for risk assessments: but we enable the schools to validate the claims made by the employers before they give permission to the student to accept the offer they may have received (by giving the student the voucher they will have).
In order to make the offer, the employer has stated that they have employer’s liability insurance. This is shown on the work placement summary page that is emailed to the person the student is seeking permission from in order to accept the work placement offer.
We provide links on our employer briefings to risk assessment policies operated by other employers who offer work experience placements. See this advice from the health and safety executive: http://www.hse.gov.uk/youngpeople/workexperience/placeprovide.htm
There is no requirement to DBS check employees although some schools prefer to avoid students working with a sole trader. The responsibility is that of the applicant or the person giving permission to the student to accept the work placement on offer.
If the student or the person the applicant seeks permission from asks for a DBS check in order to grant permission, they can indicate this by messaging to the employer, outlining the reason. If the employer does not provide what the consent-provider needs, then the job offer will lapse, the voucher will remain valid and the employer is able to offer the job to another applicant on the waiting list.
Applicants have 7 days to accept the job offer and this includes time to get permission from a parent or guardian.
If the employer already has a valid DBS check, then they can upload a photo of this to the employer dashboard which we share with the applicant so they can view it or share it with the person they are seeking permission from in order to accept the offer after the offer is made.
No. It is not a legal requirement, but if the student requires permission in order to work for you, then the school or parent may wish to insist on visiting your workplace in order to convince themselves that it is safe and secure. After you make the offer, if this is required by the parent, then we will let you know via email.
If an inspection is required for the ‘approver’ to give their permission, then they may request a site visit from the employer. If you have had a site visit recently, then they will be able to upload a photo of the relevant document to the employer dashboard which we will share with the person requesting it on the form they complete in order to grant permission.
If you would like more information, please follow the link below:
If the permission sought is not given within 7 days, then the offer will lapse, and the voucher of the student will remain valid. The employer will then be free to offer the work experience placement to another applicant in the waiting list.
The young person’s contact information is passed on to the you after the young person accepts your offer of a work experience placement.
We understand and make clear in our terms and conditions that the offer of employment is subject to the student producing proof of age and proof of ability to work in the UK which the employer examines as part of the on-boarding procedure on the first day.
Yes. The immigration, Asylum and Nationality Act 2006 does not distinguish between paid and unpaid work, therefore the applicant must satisfy these checks prior to starting work. We recommend you examine the documents proving ‘right to work’ as part of the on-boarding procedure on the first day.
Our service allows both the young person and the employer to agree the times and dates of work experience placement.
The placement is up to you and whether or not it is convenient to you to host a student on a regular school day or at the weekend. The concept of ‘a Saturday Job’ has been around a long time and is transformative to students. Some schools encourage students to do work experience every other Friday in the afternoon. Others for the first couple of weeks in July. Parents often help their children find a work experience placement during half-term break or at Easter / Summer break.
Every bit of experience helps: so for Workfinder, it’s all good: If a valid voucher is presented by the student then the contract will be made and we will pass the your person’s details to the employer and the employer’s details to the young person assuming we’ve managed enough donations to fund us arranging the work placement. You apply, we’ll try to make it happen for you.
If an incident occurs during the work experience placement, please inform us (firstname.lastname@example.org) as soon as possible. We will inform the placement organiser and your parent / guardian using the details you gave us.
The full terms and conditions for the work experience placement service can be found here , but we summarise the most important points for employers: