Work Experience Programme (WEP): FAQ’s For Businessess
Frequently Asked Questions:
Can any local business participate?
- We are looking for work experience for a variety of people in lots of different industries, so the more businesses we can get involved, the better.
- However, we understand that different industries have different rules and requirements, such as CRB / DBS checks (Care) and CSCS cards (Construction). If your business has requirements such as these, please contact us, and we will work with you to try and overcome these barriers.
- To participate in this scheme, it is essential that your business holds both Public Liability and Employer’s Liability Insurance.
Will there be a lot of paperwork?
- Good news! Last year, as part of the ‘Red Tape Challenge’ the Health & Safety Executive slashed paperwork requirements for Work Experience Placements (1).
- If you have fewer than 5 employees, a written risk assessment is not required – a simple chat over the phone should suffice.
- In many cases, for those with 5 or more employees, existing Health & Safety Procedures for your other employees will also be suitable for work experience candidates. If you need to update your procedures, we will help you with this.
- SelseyWorks are committed to making our Work Experience Programme as simple and flexible as possible for your business, and will do our best to help overcome any barriers to your participation in the WEP.
What are the legal requirements?
- It is essential that you have Public Liability Insurance and Employer’s Liability Insurance. If your Insurance provider is a member of the Association of British Insurers, any people on work experience placements are automatically covered as if they were employees (2). If the placement lasts longer than 2 weeks, they may require some extra information from you.
- While on placement, your business will have the same Duty of Care towards your work experience candidate as it would for an employee. As such, Legislation covering items such as Health & Safety and Discrimination will still apply.
- If it has been a while since you provided a work placement, or your work experience candidate has any specific needs, simply review and update your risk assessment before they start. We can help you with this.
- If your business is involved in a higher-risk industry, or involves risks that your work experience candidate may be unfamiliar with, for example in the Construction & Manufacturing industries, appropriate induction, supervision, site familiarisation and safety equipment should be put in place. For more information, please visit the Health & Safety Executive’s website below (3), or feel free to give us a call.
How long will the placement last? Would it be Full Time or Part Time?
- Typically, placements may last anywhere between 2 and 8 weeks – but it’s flexible. Let us know how you would like the placement to work, and we will tailor it to suit both your needs and those of the candidate.
- Please note that work placement candidates in receipt of Job Seekers Allowance will still be expected to continue their job-seeking commitments while participating in the Work Experience Programme. For this reason, we recommend that participants on JSA undertake their placement on a part-time basis.
Will your candidate be suitable for our business?
- As we will be tailoring each placement to each business who becomes involved in our Work Experience Programme, we will do our best to match our candidates to your business needs.
- The Work Experience Programme is entirely voluntary for candidates, so those that come to us are more likely to be motivated to learn and gain practical experience in your industry.
- We will be asking candidates to sign a Work Experience Agreement before placement, covering their responsibilities on placement, such as time-keeping and dress code, for which your input would be most welcome.
Does this mean I get a free ‘dogsbody’ for a couple of weeks?
- Not exactly. Although tasks such as filing, sweeping and making the tea can form part of their tasks, candidates are on the Work Experience Programme to learn new skills and get an idea what it’s like to work in your industry. A poor Placement experience may not only discourage the candidate from pursuing a career in your industry, but may harm your business’s reputation amongst their network of family and friends.
- To learn more about best practice for a positive work experience placement, please read the guidance from the Department of Work & Pensions (4).
What happens if we are unhappy with the conduct of our candidate?
- Although we always try to do our best to find the right candidate for your business, occasionally a work experience placement may not work out. If you do have any issues with your candidate, and it can’t be resolved with an open and honest conversation with them, please contact us and we will manage the situation with regards to the best outcome for both parties, depending on the individual circumstances.
To join our work experience programme, or to find out any further information, please email firstname.lastname@example.org, or alternatively give us a ring on (01243) 200975.
Links to further information:
- Department for Work & Pensions: Press Release, 21st June 2013 https://www.gov.uk/government/news/ministers-to-end-work-experience-health-and-safety-confusion
- Association of British Insurers: Insurance & Work Experience https://www.abi.org.uk/~/media/Files/Documents/Publications/Public/Migrated/Liability/ABI%20guide%20to%20insurance%20and%20work%20experience.ashx
- HSE: Placement Providers (Employers) http://www.hse.gov.uk/youngpeople/workexperience/placeprovide.htm
- DWP/ CIPD: Work Experience Placements that Work http://www.cipd.co.uk/binaries/5799%20Work%20experience%20GUIDE%20(WEB).pdf