We contacted five employers who’ve taken on students for work placements and asked them what makes a good work placement from their perspective, and come up with these basic tips. Work placements are such a fantastic way to introduce students to the world of work, and will often be the first time a young person has worked for someone. These experiences really help solidify a young person’s thinking on very important decisions, so it’s important to prepare them for the experience and ensure they make the most of it.
- As this is often the first time students have had to negotiate an employer/employee relationship, it’s important they know what’s expected of them and how they should behave in the workplace. Many employers spend a lot of time and effort offering structured work placements and sharing their expertise, so it’s important students show appreciation for the opportunity they’ve been given and take their placement seriously.
- For a good learning outcome, it can be really beneficial to make sure there’s a strong match between the student’s passions and interests, and the work placement on offer. This will help the student engage fully with the work placement and apply the skills and passion they already have.
- Get the basics right. Turning up on time and dressing appropriately makes a great impression and will help students make the most out of the opportunity.
- Ask questions. It’s better to be curious than bored, and chances are a host employer will have heaps of valuable information to share. Encourage your students to make the most of their SWL opportunity by picking their employer’s brain about their industry, which will really help them make an informed career choice.
- SWL hosts are responsible for students’ safety, and they want to make sure everyone at their business gets home safe at the end of the day. Students need to pay attention to their employer’s directions and ensure they follow any health and safety policies and procedures.