Work experience is an essential component for all Level 1, 2, and 3 students at Plumpton College.

Work experience enhances your studies and is an important part of your course, ensuring you leave college ready for the world of work. It is compulsory to undertake an element of work experience. The amount of hours you have to complete will depend on your level and programme of study.

Work placements provide practical exposure to a working environment. They give you valuable insight into your chosen industry whilst providing an introduction in preparation for entering the workplace, thus building the necessary knowledge, skillset and experience required for further education or employment. Work experience offers challenge and allows the student to apply the technical and practical skills learned in the classroom/workshop and is a great way to gain some form of feedback of performance in the workplace.

Finding a placement is part of the whole experience and it is important for students to pursue this themselves. 


What forms/paperwork are required for work experience?
  1. The Agreement Form - to be signed by the employer and student .
  2. Code of Conduct - this sets out how students should conduct themselves in the work setting.
  3. Student Induction - on arrival at the work placement, students should have an induction. This form covers all the areas required. 
  4. Timesheet - this is best logged by the student on ProPortal
How can work experience benefit a student?
  • achieve a better understanding of the industry, how a business operates and employer expectation 
  • introduce them to the requirements, disciplines and satisfactions of working life, so improving employability skills
  • to give them the opportunity to develop self-confidence, social skills and enhance their general, personal and social development  
  • to enable them to form relationships outside of their immediate social group and to make decisions in real life situations  
  • to put learning into practice in the workplace, and gather evidence for assignments 
  • to obtain understanding of job roles, further education and training options 
  • to get an introduction and foothold into the labour market 
How many hours are recommended?

Hours are agreed upon with your tutor and/or programme manager, however as a guideline, see below:

  • Level 1: 35 or 37 hours 
  • Level 2: 75 hours
  • Level 3: 150 hours
What if the required number of hours is not completed?

Work experience hours must be completed in order to pass the course.

Does the college have a database of employers that can be used?

Yes, we do have a database, however, you are much better placed to find your own placement as ideally, it will be near to where you live and easily accessible by public transport. If you are struggling to find a suitable placement ask for support:

I need to arrange my own placement - where do I start?

Student guide

Support guide for parents and guardians - help for parents/guardians to know exactly what forms are needed.

If you need more support email

Can work experience be done with a family member or friend?

Absolutely! If they are a friend, neighbour, or someone you know then they will need to have Employers Liability Insurance. If they are a close family member, this is not necessary.

Does work experience have to be related to my course?

Yes – it must be in the same field that you are studying. Except Level 1 study where it can be any type of experience in the work place.

Do I have to do 1 day a week or can it be at different times on different days?

In order to achieve the hours required, particularly at higher level study, it is best to undertake 1 day a week of work experience for most of the year. This is the ideal model as you can take what you learn at college into the work setting as you develop your skills and knowledge throughout the year.

Should work experience be paid?

No, usually it is not paid work. Often it is costly to the employer as they take time out to support and train you. Some employers may offer money, or you have already got a job within the relevant industry but that is a bonus, not an expectation.

I need to earn money and my job is not in a related industry – what do I do?

You must complete your work experience hours at some point. Try and get them done as soon as possible, or do both until you have completed your hours. For example, you could 1 day a week on each.

How can I help as a parent/ guardian?

As a parent you can help your young person in a number of ways. A good place to start would be looking at the Top Ten Tips for Work Experience.

You can support your son/daughter by helping them research relevant employers near to where you live, or within easy reach of public transport – unless you are willing to drive them.

Ask around in your network of friends, family, neighbours, social media groups.

Not sure where to start with it all? We've put together handy guides and tips for students to enquire about work experience with an employer.

  1. Step by step guide
  2. Enquiring about Work Experience
    This document supports students to make the initial contact with the employer.
  3. Example email for students
    An example of an email that a student might send to an employer which can be adapted.
  4. Help with Personal Statement
    A CV might contain a couple of sentences at the beginning to sell yourself, this guide gives you ideas of what to include.