Work Experience and Careers Guidance at Wilds Lodge

With our in-house Careers advisor

Pupils are well prepared for their next stage of education, training or employment
— Ofsted, January 2017

Wilds Lodge is fortunate to have our own careers advisor who has a vast experience working with SEN students and a range of colleges to secure the right environment for students ready to start this transition. This work starts as early as Year 8 in identifying areas of interest and develops through the next few years. She will help to inform option choices in Year 10 top specific aspirations and arrange the college links in Year 10 and 11,12 and 13. Taster days or experiences are arranged and visits to the college arranged to discuss the individual and support with any links and applications are all catered for in-house. If necessary, support will be provided within the college and then withdrawn once a student is feeling more secure in the environment and ready for this transition or used to a new member of staff from the college.


 The Department for Education has provided updated guidance for 16-19 study programmes (2015), which built on the work done following recommendations made in the Wolf review. The guidance advocates a period of work experience, or a more extended work placement, as a core part of programmes for all post-16 students, whether following an academic or a technical curriculum, in order to support them in developing their work readiness. Alongside the guidance for post-16 programmes, the government also revised its statutory guidance for schools, expecting schools to offer high quality work experience and encouraging them to engage fully with their local employer and professional community.


Work experience is not simply about an extended time spent with an employer. There is a range of work which is done to help to prepare students to move successfully into the world of work. Work may be done with students to include any exposure to work or working practice that does not involve a specific placement within a company. Activities may include employer talks, mini-enterprise activities, skills competitions, career fairs.

  • Work experience placements: work undertaken in a specific workplace over an extended period of time (this may be a block of time, such as a week or a fortnight, or a day a week over a number of months).

  • Work-related activities: both work inspiration activities and work experience placements.

    At Wilds Lodge we use a range of local employers to help us to provide a range of tailored work experience placements and experiences. Work experience is critical in building up a unique set of skills.


 
 

Employability skills

A good period of work experience will greatly increase the knowledge, personal attributes and skills that will make employers want to employ you, including:

  • Team working – you may have had the experience of working in groups on assignments, but most workplaces are built on teams and you need to learn to work well with other people and value each others’ strengths and contribution.

  • Communication – you will have to learn to communicate clearly and succinctly both in writing and orally.

  • Interpersonal skills – working with people at all levels.

  • Planning, organizing and time management – not only do you have to get to and leave work at set times but you may have to organise other people as well.

  • Problem-solving and decision-making – you won’t always be able to rely on other people to tell you what to do! It is important to be able to act on your own initiative.

  • Numeracy and IT literacy – both are important skills, along with oral and written communication.

  • Ability to appear self confident.

  • Negotiation skills – for example, over conflicting priorities, or if there is a particular way in which you want the organization to help you achieve a learning objective.

  • Ability to understand, and adapt to, the workplace culture, as well as the particular demands it places upon you.

  • Increase in commercial awareness by understanding management practices and the way organizations work. In particular, how are decisions made and who holds the power? What are the main factors in the company’s external environment, e.g. clients, competitors, that affect its products and performance? What is the company culture, and how can you fit in? Are there specific cultural differences which you need to be aware of?


We have a wide and established range of work experience locally which we use to support our leaners. Here is just a selection:

 
  • Anglian Water

  • Morrisons

  • Aurora Tattoo

  • Wilds Lodge PE department

  • Empire Gym

  • Peppercorn Cafe

  • Central Cafe

  • Johnston Press

  • Local sheep farm (Lambing season)

  • Tallington Care home

  • Age UK

  • Barnardos

  • Costa Coffee

  • Sandra’s Hairdressers

  • Luffenham Heath Golf Course

  • Waitrose

  • Co-op

  • Stamford Library

  • Rock Lodge Garden Estates