Parent FAQs

  1. What do you mean by Work Experience?
  2. What is a high quality work experience placement?
  3. What roles can my child apply for using Workfinder?
  4. Is guardian / parental consent required for students to use the service?
  5. Is guardian or parental consent required for students to apply for a Work Experience placement?
  6. At what age is a student able to legally accept an offer of a Work Experience placement?
  7. Is guardian or parental consent required for students to accept a Work Experience placement from an employer?
  8. Do employers need to have a health and safety policy in order to host my child for a work experience placement?
  9. Do the employers need to carry out a health and safety risk assessment specifically for a student on a work experience placement or will their existing policies that protect other employees suffice?
  10. Do the employers need to have a Safeguarding policy in order to offer work experience placement to my child?
  11. Do the employers need to have employer’s liability insurance in order to offer work experience placements?
  12. Does the employer need to undergo a DBS check in order to host work experience?
  13. Will the employer’s premises be visited before students are allowed to work?
  14. Can my child undertake Work Experience during school days or Sunday?
  15. Are my child’s contact details shared with the employer?
  16. What do I do if something happens to my child during the work experience placement we are hosting?
  17. Are employers making offers of work experience placement required to carry out Right to Work checks for students aged 16 years or over?
  18. As a permission grantor, what are the terms and conditions my child is agreeing to in accepting the offer?
  19. How is Workfinder responding to Covid-19?
1: What do you mean by Work Experience?

The Department for Education describes three patterns that work experience for 16-19 year old study programmes are expected to follow .

  • Experiential work experience is ‘one or two short periods of work experience or other work-related learning to test out vocational ideas connected to future study or employment options, such as study visits, projects and engagement with local enterprise’ (https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/299597/Not_just_making_tea.pdf)
  • The vocational model is ‘focused on a particular vocational area to contribute directly to a study programme’
  • Finally, the extended model focuses on “developing employability skills, with maths and English covering the majority of the study programme time” and will apply to students on a traineeship, who need additional support to prepare them for apprenticeships or a Supported Internship

We anticipate that students will use workfinder for experiential and vocation reasons as they explore the paths that will be open to them when they complete their formal education.

2: What is a high quality work experience placement?

The common principles of a high quality work experience placement are that it:

  • is purposeful, substantial, offers challenge and is relevant to the young person’s study programme and career aspirations;
  • is managed under the direction of a supervisor to ensure the young person obtains a genuine learning experience suited to their needs;
  • has a structured plan for the duration of the placement which provides tangible outcomes for the student and employer;
  • focuses on the skills required for that occupational sector;
  • has clear roles, responsibilities and expectations for the student and employer;
  • is followed by some form of reference or feedback from the employer based on the young person’s performance.[1]

Ofsted state that work experience must be purposeful and planned. It should give young

people the opportunity to develop vocational and employability skills in real working Conditions.

Work experience should contribute to students’ overall development. For example, when considering outcomes for students, inspectors will explore how well they can develop their employability and vocational skills and personal effectiveness (e.g. attendance, attitudes, punctuality, and behaviour) in relation to their starting points while on work experience.

3: What roles can my child apply for using Workfinder?

This is the current list of most frequently applied for roles offered by companies on work experience placements. It’s really up to the employer - we just want the young people to find out what it is like in a real workplace - so if you don’t like any of these roles, feel free to suggest other ones to us!

  • Apprenticeship
  • Company introduction to engineering
  • Company open day
  • Customer facing role
  • Design
  • Design apprentice role
  • Engineering role
  • Finance role
  • Industrial placement
  • Internship (1 week)
  • Internship (2 weeks)
  • Internship (4 weeks)
  • Marketing role
  • Product Development
  • Project
  • Sales role
  • Sandwich course
  • Shadowing role
  • Taster project
  • Taster week (finance)
  • Taster week (marketing)
  • Taster week (software)
4: Is guardian / parental consent required for students to use the service?

No. Much the same way that parental consent is not needed for Google or other apps, parental consent is not needed to use Workfinder.

The obligation to obtain parental consent in order to download an app from the app store is dependent on whether or not any information is being required from the person downloading. We do not require the user to disclose any information to us in order to use the search aspect of the services.

5: Is guardian or parental consent required for students to apply for a Work Experience placement?

No. The requirement to obtain parental consent in order to transmit an application to an employer is dependant on the type of personal data being transmitted.

Where the data is used for any of the following, it is advised that parental/guardian consent is obtained:

  • disclosure of the child's name to a third party;
  • use of the child's details for marketing;
  • publication of the child's image on a website that anyone can see; or
  • the collection of personal data about third parties, for example where a child is asked to provide information about his or her family members or friends

In order to protect students from inadvertent discrimination, Workfiner does not transmit the applicant's name or personal data to the employer, nor do we use their details for any marketing activity, or to display pictures on any public website, and we do not collect information about the students’ families and friends.

Much the same way that Royal Mail does not have an obligation to read a letter between a young person and a CEO, and BT does not have the obligation to listen to the dialogue between a young person and a business employer, we also don’t have the obligation to monitor this transaction.

We collect the date of birth after the student has applied for work experience. The date of birth is then used to determine if the student needs parental consent before accepting the offer of a work placement.

6: At what age is a student able to legally accept an offer of a Work Experience placement?

This is related to the age at which a person has the legal capacity to enter into a contract under English Law: As such, the answer is as follows:

18 years old in England:

If the applicant is under 18, we ask them to share the job offer they have received with their parent or guardian for ‘signoff’.

Employers can offer Work Experience to any student using the app, but must be aware that any contract entered into between them and a student under the age of 18 in England and Wales (or under the age of 16 in Scotland) is voidable at the student's option. This means that the student can still enforce the contract against the employer, but the employer may not be able to enforce the contract against the student (for example, any confidentiality obligations agreed between you and the student could be unenforceable, so please manage these relationships more carefully).

7: Is guardian or parental consent required for students to accept a Work Experience placement from an employer?

This is related to the processing of personal data under English Law. As such, the answer is as follows:

If the applicant is over the age of 18: No

If the applicant is 16 or 17: No

If the applicant is under 16: Yes

After the user has clicked on the ‘apply icon’ Workfinder asks them for their date of birth so that we can let the employer know the age of the applicant in order to be able to make an ‘indicative offer’ subject to parental permission being gained by the student.

We then contact the student with the offer subject to parental permission (given their age) and seek the email address of the person the child needs permission from.

Note: the request for work experience does not contain any information from the student that would allow them to be identified.

8: Do employers need to have a health and safety policy in order to host my child for a work experience placement?

Yes. If organisations already employ young people, risk assessments won’t need to be repeated for work experience students. Employers with fewer than 5 employees won’t need a written risk assessment. For more information, visit the Health and Safety Executive’s website and read the guidance on work experience here. http://www.hse.gov.uk/youngpeople/workexperience/index.htm

Provided the company holds employer’s liability insurance and the insurer is a member of the Association of British Insurers or Lloyds (the vast majority are) then it automatically includes young people on work experience and treats them as employees for the duration of their placement. The Health and Safety Executive advise that employers inform their insurer that they will have students on placements but they should be automatically covered.

There are very few work activities a young person cannot do due to health and safety law. However, it’s important to remember that the employer has the primary responsibility for the health and safety of the student and should be managing any significant risks. This can be done by explaining the risks and how they are controlled when inducting any individual undertaking work experience, checking that they understand what they have been told and know how to raise health and safety concerns.

The following guidelines from ABI reinforce this: https://www.abi.org.uk/~/media/Files/Documents/Publications/Public/Migrated/Liability/ABI%20guide%20to%20insurance%20and%20work%20experience.pdf

9: Do the employers need to carry out a health and safety risk assessment specifically for a student on a work experience placement or will their existing policies that protect other employees suffice?

No, a separate risk assessment, specifically for work experience students, is not necessary as long as the existing assessment already considers the specific factors for young people. Furthermore, there is no requirement to re-assess the risks each time an employer takes on a new work experience student, provided the new student has no particular needs.

See this article by the Health and Safety Executive for more details: [external link].

If you are told otherwise, there is a Myth Buster Challenge Panel that is set up you can appeal to see this [external link] for how to contact them.

10: Do the employers need to have a Safeguarding policy in order to offer work experience placement to my child?

YES

We ask the employer making an offer to a student over our service to confirm that they have a Safeguarding policy currently operating in our terms and conditions and we provide links on our employer briefings to child protection policies operated by other employers who offer work experience placements. Some of the best advice can be found here:

11: Do the employers need to have employer’s liability insurance in order to offer work experience placements?

Yes.

We work to the guidelines laid down by the Health and Safety Executive and the Department for Education. There are no restrictions relating to whether a child is over or under 16.

  • We ask the employer to confirm that they have employer’s liability insurance in our terms and conditions and this is indicated in the employer briefing we make available to the student and their parent guardian (if consent required).
  • we provide links on our website to other liability policies operated by other employers who offer work experience placements.

Provided the company holds employer’s liability insurance and the insurer is a member of the Association of British Insurers or Lloyds (the vast majority are) then it automatically includes young people on work experience and treats them as employees for the duration of their placement.

The Health and Safety Executive advises that employers inform their insurer that they will have students on placements but they should be automatically covered. Please see HSE advice: http://www.hse.gov.uk/youngpeople/workexperience/placeprovide.htm

The following guidelines from ABI reinforce this:

12: Does the employer need to undergo a DBS check in order to host work experience?

No:

There is no requirement to DBS check employees although some schools prefer to avoid students working with a sole trader. The responsibility is that of the applicant or the person giving permission to the student to accept the work placement on offer.

  • If the student or the person the applicant seeks permission from asks for a DBS check in order to grant permission, they can indicate this by messaging to the employer, outlining the reason.
  • Applicants have 7 days to accept the job offer and this includes time to get permission from a parent or guardian.
13: Will the employer’s premises be visited before students are allowed to work?

No. It is not a legal requirement, but if the student requires permission from you or the school in order to accept the placement, then you or the school may wish to conduct a workplace visit in order to convince yourself that it is safe and secure.

14: Can my child undertake Work Experience during school days or Sunday?

Our service allows both the young person and the employer to agree the times and dates of work experience placement.

The placement is up to you and whether or not it is convenient to you to host a student on a regular school day or at the weekend. The concept of ‘a Saturday Job’ has been around a long time and is transformative to students. Some schools encourage students to do work experience every other Friday in the afternoon. Others for the first couple of weeks in July. Parents often help their children find a work experience placement during half-term break or at Easter / Summer break.

15: Are my child’s contact details shared with the employer?

The young person’s contact information is passed on to the employer after the young person accepts the offer of a work experience placement so that the employer can perform right to work checks that they are required by law to perform.

The offer of a work experience placement is subject to the student producing proof of age and proof of ability to work in the UK which the employer examines as part of the on-boarding procedure on the first day.

16: What do I do if something happens to my child during the work experience placement we are hosting?

If an incident occurs during the work experience placement, please inform us (incident@workfinder.com) as soon as possible.

17: Are employers making offers of work experience placement required to carry out Right to Work checks for students aged 16 years or over?

Yes:

The immigration, Asylum and Nationality Act 2006 does not distinguish between paid and unpaid work, therefore the applicant must satisfy these checks prior to starting work. We recommend you examine the documents proving ‘right to work’ as part of the on-boarding procedure on the first day.

18: As a permission grantor, what are the terms and conditions my child is agreeing to in accepting the offer?

The full terms and conditions for the work experience placement service can be found [link to specification document here] , but we summarise the most important points for parents here:

By accepting the offer of a work placement: your child is agreeing to the following:

  • You agree to take full responsibility for your actions at the work placement
  • You agree to show up on time and do all that is required; You will notify school and employer if you are going to be late or absent
  • You will turn your phone off and do all tasks to the best of your ability
  • You will notify school and your parent/guardian for any reason you do not feel safe if an issue arises.
  • You agree to Workfinder sharing your name and date of birth with the employer so they can perform the legal obligations associated with providing you with a work experience placement
19: How is Workfinder responding to Covid-19?

Like many businesses, the team at Workfinder are now working remotely and continue to support both businesses and students to make meaningful connections.

We have launched a new programme to enable the flexibility that both candidates and employers need.

We offer remote work experience projects which are designed to be short and intensive two-week activity that will provide value to both sides. Our intelligent algorithm matches the best young people with their placement. We provide practical tips, guidance, and regular check-ins needed to keep the project on track and deliver value.