Gaining work experience
Work experience and internships
Improving your skills and getting some work experience will look great on your CV and boost your chances of getting a job.
Going on work experience or work-related learning offers you the chance to:
- Improve your employ-ability by getting a taste of work,
- Shows you have the right attitude to succeed,
- Gives you experience of working with others, and
- Shows you can complete a number of tasks.
Search for placements such as internships, student placements or work experience opportunities at:
- Suffolk Jobs Direct
- Rising High in Suffolk for placements with your nearest council; e.g. Suffolk County Council
- Contact companies who you would like to work for with our Guide to asking for work
For extra tips and advice visit work experience advice on Target Careers.
During Year 10 or 11 you might have the chance to take part in work experience where you spend some time in a local workplace carrying out tasks or duties and working with other adults.
What's an internship?
An internship is a fixed period of work experience with an organisation which offers experience of a particular industry in a working environment.
Internships are a popular choice for students and undergraduates to get experience of the field they are studying. They can last from a few weeks in the summer holidays, up to a year as part of a higher education course or graduate internship.
Internships can be paid or unpaid, and this will depend whether or not you are classed as a 'worker'.
For information on the difference between paid and unpaid internships and advice on your rights, read this guidance from Gov.Uk: Making internships work, an intern's guide.
Questions to ask about work experience
What's in it for me?
- You will start to understand how the skills you’ve learnt in education relate to real working life.
- You might be able to apply those skills to a working situation.
- You will learn how to develop the skills employers look for in potential employees.
- You might have taster sessions of different careers sectors.
- You might be able to talk to local and national employers.
- You could be working in teams with a range of different people.
- You will learn what employers expect from an employee and what you can expect from an employer.
What do employers look for?
Literacy, numeracy and ICT skills are high on the list of skills that employers look for. Other desirable skills include:
- Communication skills.
- Personal presentation.
- Being reliable and punctual.
- Being motivated and enthusiastic.
- Able to behave in a professional way – for example working well with others, working safely and using your showing common sense!
Where do I start?
Every school or college will organise things differently. Some will:
- organise work related learning activities in your school that fit in with your normal timetable and subjects you are taking.
- arrange activities outside school.
- use the employ-ability 4 life charter that helps you gather evidence to show that you have a range of employability skills.
- have a list of work placements that you can choose from.
To find out more speak to the work experience co-ordinator in your school or college.