5 things to learn before your work placement

Work placement is mandatory for any student completing a VET course whilst in school. It provides a valuable learning experience by immersing you in the real-life practice of the industry. Work placement can be both equally exciting and nerve-wracking. Therefore, it is important for you to know a few things before you dive into your work placement experience.

1. Who is your work placement host employer?

As soon as you are allocated your work placement, it is a good idea to research the host employer. This will give you a sense of what the business is like and what you can expect. Research will also provide insight as to what expectations they may have of you during your work placement. This way, you can feel more prepared for your work placement which could lead to a more enjoyable and valuable experience.

2. Where is your host employer located?

In addition to knowing about your host employer’s business, it is wise to know where the business is located. This will allow you to assess the best travel options and the routes available. Being prepared means you can arrive safely, stress-free and on time. It is also a good idea to have a backup plan in case there are changes to your travel route eg. a delayed train. Remember, if you are going to be late due to travel issues, you must call your host employer to let them know. It is wise to have your host employers contact number saved on your phone so you can contact them easily if needed.

3. What are the dress requirements?

Depending on your work placement industry, there will be certain dress requirements that you must follow. For example, within a Business Services placement, you may be required to wear corporate clothes. Whereas for a Construction placement you could be required to wear PPE. There are also some industries that may supply you with clothing that is appropriate for their business. For example, sports coaching may supply you with a company shirt for the week or Hospitality CC may supply you with an apron. To be prepared for work placement, you must be aware of the appropriate dress code. You should call your host employer one week prior to your placement to confirm the dress requirement.

4. What questions should I ask during my work placement?

Work placement is a valuable learning opportunity, so making sure you ask questions along the way will ensure you get the most out of the experience. Asking questions will further your understanding of the industry you are studying. Although it may seem intimidating at first, asking your host employer questions about their industry will show them that you are interested. This will help you to learn new skills and information that could positively encourage your career growth. In addition to asking questions about the industry, it is also important that you ask questions if you need help completing any tasks.

5. What steps should I take to ensure I am organised?

Organisation is key when it comes to work placement. Being organised will help you feel prepared, making it a stress-free environment and a valuable learning opportunity. Being organised will also allow you to feel confident as you meet new people and experience the real-life working world. To be organised, it is important that you get to know your host employer, know where your host employer is located & how to get there, and understand what the dress requirements are. It is also important that you take any materials that may be needed with you e.g. pencil case, your student work placement journal and any other items such as an Opal card.

Do you have more questions before you begin your work placement? Get in touch with one of our friendly team or read our latest blog to find out more.