Work experience placements while in School
Senior pupils at secondary school can take part in work placements, normally for one week.
Legally, there are limitations on the type of work they can part in, where the work concerned is subject to a statutory restriction based on age limits. There are also local by-laws prohibiting certain work for anyone under 16. Our Education Service manages the work experience scheme and will carry out visits prior to placements to look at a company's health and safety arrangements.
Training and apprenticeships
Many colleges and training providers have schemes where young people take part in training and work experience of varying duration with employers. The Health and Safety (Training for Employment) Regulations state that those receiving relevant training should be treated as employees for the purposes of health and safety legislation. Relevant training means work experience provided as part of a training course or programme, or training for employment or both.
Hours of work when training
Under the working time directive, young people:
- May not work between the hours of 10.00pm and 6.00am unless they have had a health assessment prior to commencing such work and regularly thereafter
- Are entitled to a daily rest period of 12 consecutive hours in any 24 hour period
- Are entitled to an un-interrupted weekly rest period of 2 days (consecutive days where possible) in every 7 day period — this may be interrupted by justifiable short periods of work, although the rest period must not be shortened to less than 36 hours
- Working for more than 4½ hours are entitled to a 30 minute daily rest break which should be taken consecutively where possible
- Four weeks paid leave per year after a qualifying period of three months employment
Training and Instruction
The employer must ensure that all young people starting work go through an induction course that includes health and safety. This must assume that the to new employees may not have been in paid employment since leaving school. Employers should increase the level of supervision and support to young persons until they are satisfied that they understand the risks they are likely to encounter in the workplace.