Work Experience & Volunteering

As you may be aware, work experience and volunteering is part of our sixth form Personal Opportunities Program.

As careers adviser I will be here to help your child get the best out of these programs, however, ultimately it is their responsibility to find their own placement.  Seeking their own placement is excellent preparation for their future.  This activity will teach them first-hand how competitive the real world can be.  They will learn how to approach companies in a professional manner and if they are not successful on their first contact, it will teach them how to deal with rejection and still persist in their pursuit to find a placement.

Why Work Experience?

Employers and educational institutions all have their own entry requirements and application processes but the feedback we have received from all of them tells us that they value work experience enormously. 

Outstanding academic grades are obviously imperative however in this competitive world employers and education providers are also looking to find someone who has experience of working within an adult environment and evidence of skills and qualities they have developed from this experience.

We would like to offer your child the opportunity to take part in work experience to ensure they gain the necessary skills to move on securely and successfully after their time at Valley Park School.

Work experience is confidence building and also gives students a chance to explore an industry of interest to discover first hand whether it would suit them as an individual.

How to Secure a Work Placement

Once your child has agreed a suitable time for the placement to take place with school, they can start approaching local employers.

One way to find out which local companies might be of interest is to use  Simply type in what you are looking for, e.g. Solicitor, Theatre or Advertising agency and then type in the area you are looking to work e.g. Maidstone.  This will bring up the necessary details for any companies that offer this service within the local area.  Students can then use these details to contact the employer asking for a placement, stating a little about themselves and when they would be available to work.  Just like with job seeking in the real world, they will need to be persistent and may have to approach many companies before they get a positive response.

Please find attached an example letter and guidance on how to compose this email/letter to a company of interest.  Work experience can be difficult to secure in the current climate.  Please do not forget to use your network of friends and family.  Employers often like it if the student has links with their firm already.

If you have any queries regarding work experience or volunteering places, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Mrs West

Careers Adviser