Work Based Learning
Work experience or an Apprenticeship; we can help you get the valuable experience you need.
We understand that learning is more than just facts and figures; experience counts for a lot too.
We have four options to help you in to the world of work:
This is usually a short period where you would enter into a real working environment as part of your course at college in order to gain experience and put your learning into practice. For the right student, this can often lead to something more permanent like an apprenticeship.
Being an apprentice means that you become employed whilst following a programme which gives you recognised qualifications as well as developing your competence within the sector you work. This often leads to established permanent employment or an apprenticeship at the next level.
Traineeships are an introduction to the workplace. They combine employability skills, core skills and work experience but for a much shorter period. Traineeships are typically 12 week programmes which give you the skills you need to be effective in the world of work. You’ll spend 4 days a week for 6 weeks in the workplace and raise your skills in English, Maths and employability through attending college.
The Apprenticeship scheme allows you to learn whilst being employed - you will spend the majority of time with your employer and will attend college to learn your trade. Work Experience gives you the opportunity to put classroom learning in to practice by attending an employers workplace and taking part in a range of tasks. Placements can range from two weeks to one day each week for six weeks.
We also have the new "VTalent Year" in which you run your own voluntary programme for a year learning and using new skills to make your project a real success. Work experience can form part of your studies at college. We will help you organise this and we have access to a wide range of employers who are willing to take our students on to work experience programmes that are relevant and valuable to the area of study. There is no better way of seeing how you can apply your skills and knowledge in the workplace. The duration of a Work experience placement can typically be anything from a day to 6 weeks, but for a few areas there may need to be more as part of the course. The Apprenticeship scheme allows you to learn whilst being employed - you will spend the majority of time with your employer learning the intricacies of your chosen vocation and working towards a work-related qualification, and depending on the area in which you work, attend college to gain relevant and recognised technical qualifications. Apprenticeships can be at Intermediate level, Advanced level or Higher level, so there will be a programme to suit everyone.
Work shadow or work experience, what's the difference?
An observational placement only. You literally 'shadow' a person in the area/business you are interested in. This can be useful in all sectors but can be especially relevant for learners who need to build up self-confidence first.
You will be able to do some of the work in your chosen area. Although there may be some tasks you won’t be able to do, you will get hands-on experience of a variety of tasks.
Both types of placements can be combined. You may like to start a placement with some work shadowing, but then begin to gain hands-on experience as you build in confidence.
You will understand more about the skills needed for
- different jobs in order to make a more informed choice about your career options.
- You will gain a greater understanding of how businesses operate.
- You will develop self-confidence.
- Doing work experience looks great on your CV.
- You may decide that a specific employment sector is not for you, meaning you can focus on other areas and possibly do another placement.
Employability skills you will learn
- How to communicate and interact with various groups of people.
- How to work as part of a team.
- Problem-solving and critical thinking skills.
- Literacy and numeracy skills.
- Time-management and organisational skills.
- Business and customer awareness.
- Confidence and independence.