Digital Work Placement Programme 2020/21 for school pupils

Digital Work Placement Programme 2020/21 for school pupils

Work placements give young people the opportunity to find out about your industry, discover different  job roles, get a glimpse into a “real” working environment and build upon their employability skills.  Covid 19 has severely impacted employers’ ability to offer an “on site” work placement but you can still  support a young person by moving that learning experience online.

Our Gateway/Workit Partner are currently building an online portal to support young people to engage in work related learning,  enabling them to find out about their own skills and aptitudes, explore different careers and utilising the  learning to produce evidence to gain an accredited qualification on completion of the programme. The information below is designed to support you to develop your digital work placement offer and  choose which resources/format best suits your organisation. We have provided a template for you to  complete with your offer. The list below is not exhaustive so please feel free to contact the team if you have ideas which you would like to discuss further.

Digital Work Placements / Projects / Activities

In order for a young person to begin to understand the workplace it would be ideal if you could provide  an activity or project for them to complete as part of their work placement. This could be a task that  you currently give to work placement pupils/apprentices or as part of your recruitment/induction  process. 

The task should help young people gain an understanding of the activities carried out within your  workplace and gain insights into the skills required within a job role.

Example A - An example of this could be a hotel – provide a short film or instructions on how to make a  guest bed and then ask them to make their own and take a photo of the completed task. Example B – Architectural Practice – set a basic design challenge for young people to complete.

When setting a project/activity consider

  • Define the task in simple terms – try to avoid using company jargon that the young person would struggle to understand.
  • Can a young person complete it with minimal supervision and resources?
  • Think about the resources required to complete the task and list them. If there is a cost involved (e.g. a recipe would require a pupil to purchase supplies). Are they required to download any applications to carry out the task?
  • Timescales – how long will the tasks/project take?
  • Numbers of pupils – is there a maximum number of pupils who can undertake this task?
  • Would you provide feedback to the young person, and if so, how?
  • You’ll also need to provide details of how young people would submit their completed work to you.

You can choose when in the year to make your offer available so that it suits your business.

  • Are there particularly busy periods when you would not be able to provide feedback, such as the run up to Christmas? You can still choose to set a project or activity, but not provide feedback – this way young people could try it out any time.


Industry Insight Recordings

Young people can learn so much from listening to someone talking about their role and it is normally an integral part of any work placement experience. A short video recording will give the young person an invaluable insight into your organisation. Some points to consider are: 

  • Videos should be between 2 and 5 minutes long
  • You can provide more than one – you might want to consider having a few short videos from people in different roles – e.g. a day in the life of a ...
  • Do you have any young people/apprentices on your workforce – young people tend to relate to their peers
  • Give an overview of your organisation (e.g. the company was established in xx and employs xx people and provides xx services)
  • What your role is within the company and what it involves? (e.g. I am a team manager and it’s my responsibility to xx)
  • Something about a typical day in your role (include a practical example if possible, e.g. hairdressing)
  • What you enjoy most about your role.
  • What you don’t like so much about your role.
  • Is this the type of role you expected to be in?
  • The career path you took to get into your role.
  • What advice do you have for young people who may be looking at getting into your industry sector, e.g. what would be the top 3 skills and personal qualities you would be looking for?

Most young people have never been in a workplace and it would be valuable for them to see a real workplace and what it is like to work there. Your recording could be more of a workplace tour. Make the recording as above but include a practical example too. You’ll probably need more than 5 minutes for this.

  • Describe your role and provide a virtual tour of your workplace.
  • Provide a practical example of how you carry out a part of your job, e.g. hair salons could record a colleague blow drying a client’s hair and talk about the products and techniques being used.
  • What kind of training a young person coming into your organisation could expect to receive.
  • Think about the things that make your workplace unique e.g. the staff room, that they can have music playing in the workplace, team social activities – charity events or any clubs etc.
  • The top 3 skills and personal qualities you would expect a young person coming into your workplace to have.

Webinars/Mock Interviews

This type of resource gives an opportunity for a young person to interact in a learning experience in  more depth. You could provide a webinar around a specific subject, future direction of your industry or to  give general advice around interviews and recruitment advice.

Interactive video conferencing session

  • Provide details of your session, when it will take place and how young people can register for live webinars.
  • You can record your session to be accessed by other young people at a later date. We’ll contact you to confirm the details of where your recording is hosted, e.g. YouTube. If you already have a recorded webinar available, put the details on the attached template and we’ll tell the schools how to access  it.
  • Mock Interviews can be in a group session or one to one which schools will arrange with you directly. Similar to the set up for a webinar, let us know if and when you can offer these, and when you would be available, and we’ll let the schools know when they can contact you.

Interview Tips

  • If your organisation has produced an Interview Tips document, email it to us and we can make it accessible to young people interested in your industry sector.
  • Format can be in Word or PDF – please send to [email protected]