Work Experience 2023 Guide

When is work experience?

Work experience placements can take place at any time of the year and every company has their own schedules in place. Although, work experiences programmes are most common during the summer vacations.


Can work experience be paid?

Many people are paid while working on long-term work experience programmes and are often reimbursed for travel and/or lunch expenses by an employer. However, there is no legal requirement for employers to do so. 

Students who are expected to complete a placement for less than a year as part of a further education or higher education study do not qualify for the National Minimum Wage. Work experience placements are often unpaid because they last for a short length of time and are classified as voluntary work.

If you’re required to perform a work placement as part of your degree, you’ll almost always be compensated.

The type of work experience programme you take on, the organisation, and the length of time you’ll be working there will all influence whether or not you’ll be paid for your placement.


How long do work experience programmes last?

The length of a work experience programme will be determined by the type of employment, industry, and individual employer.

Some job placements are done during the holidays and can run anywhere from a few weeks, to a few months. Other placements require you to work one day each week for a set amount of time.


How do you apply for work experience?

It might be challenging for young people to find meaningful work experience on their own.

Obtaining a work experience placement is similar to finding a job, however the positions may not be as extensively publicised, and you may need to do some research to find  out who offers work experience and which programme is right for you.

National Work Experience Week 2023 takes place 24-28 April and is an online event aimed at bringing students together with employers to talk about what work experience is, its benefits and the opportunities available.

You’ll have the chance to find out more from top UK employers and organisations, get access to exclusive expert resources and advice, as well as take part in live Q&A sessions.

Take a look through the events planned during the week here.