Halton Careers Education Service

We provide work experience, enterprise, employability and careers information, advice and guidance services to schools and colleges in Halton, Cheshire and Merseyside. If you are interested in further information please:

Information for Employers

Employers have an extremely important role in preparing young people for the world of work. Whether you work for a large national company, a small local firm or run your own business, you can benefit from working with a school in your area.

  • Demonstrate your commitment to corporate responsibility and community engagement
  • Prepare your future workforce
  • Employees share a ‘feel good factor’ for doing something worthwhile
  • Opportunity for your staff to develop their supervisory and communication skills
  • Excellent recruitment tool for trainee positions and apprenticeships

We organise lots of activities in local schools which you can get involved in, including careers fairs, assembly speakers, mock interviews, offering work experience placements and more. Whether you can give a lot of time or just an hour a year, there's something you can get involved in.

Why work experience?

Many Halton schools and colleges offer their students aged 14-18 (Years 10-13) the opportunity to gain real life work experience. Your help in giving Halton young people that extra head start in life is invaluable.  Work experience can:

  • Help students make more informed decisions about their future
  • Boost a student’s motivation to work hard in school
  • Instil a sense of responsibility and hard work in students
  • Make students stand out to future employers or universities

But there are also real benefits for employers, including:

  • Demonstrating your commitment to corporate responsibility and community engagement
  • Opportunity for your staff to develop their supervisory and communication skills
  • Preparing your future workforce
  • Excellent recruitment tool for trainee positions
  • Employees share a 'feel good factor' for doing something worthwhile

How can I offer a work experience placement?

There are two ways to offer work experience: A student might approach you directly and ask if they can do work experience with your organisation.  They will have a 'self placement form' with the requested dates on.  If you are happy to offer the student a placement, please complete this form with your details and hand it back to the student who will hand it in at their school or college.  Remember to make a note of the student's name and when they're starting - we will write to you several weeks before the placement is due to start as a reminder. You can also contact u directly to offer work experience.  We can add you to our mailing list and will periodically send you a 'job book form' which includes the dates local schools will be doing work experience.  You can complete this form and return it offering as many or as few placements as you like. These placements are made available in school for students to select with the guidance of their teacher.  We'll write to you several weeks before the placement is due to start to let you know which student has asked to do work experience with you.

Insurance

Do I need to change my insurance policies?

No, not if you already have Employers' Liability Insurance. Work experience students are classed as employees for health and safety purposes and are automatically covered under your Employers' Liability Insurance policy. You only need to notify your insurance provider if the placement will last longer than two weeks or if the student will be doing different work to your normal business activities. If you would like more information on work experience and insurance, the Association of British Insurers has a helpful guide.

What if I am a sole trader or family business?

Work experience students are treated as employees for the purposes of health and safety, therefore you must have employers' liability insurance. The only exemptions to this are for sole traders and family businesses (unless the business is incorporated as a limited company) where the young person is a close relative. However, if a sole trader or a family business offers work experience to a student who is not closely related to the employer, then you must have employers' liability insurance.  If this is the case and you don't already have employers' liability insurance, you should talk to your insurer about temporary cover for the duration of the placement.

Health and safety

Do I need to do additional risk assessments?

There's no requirement for an employer to carry out a separate risk assessment specifically for a young person.  Work experience students are treated as employees for the purposes of health and safety so the risk assessments you have done for other employees also apply to young people. However, if you haven’t previously employed a young person you should review your risk assessments before the placement starts, taking into account their inexperience and immaturity.

Is my workplace too dangerous to offer work experience?

Some workplaces are higher risk than others, but provided the right control measures are in place young people can do work experience in every industry, including manufacturing, construction and laboratories. You will already have risk assessments in place for your other employees.  These also apply to work experience students but you should review them to take into account the student's inexperience and immaturity. If you are in any doubt what work students are able to do on work experience, please get in touch and we will be happy to help.

Safeguarding and confidentiality

Should I have my staff DBS / CRB checked?

You don't need to get your staff DBS (formerly CRB) checked in order to supervise or work with a young person on work experience. The only exception to this is when working with children is part of an employee's job description.  In most organisations, however, supervising children is not part of an employee's job description so they don't need a DBS check. If you're in any doubt, however, please get in touch and we'll be happy to help.

Can students work with confidential information/data?

Every business has information and data which is confidential or industry sensitive. Every student on work experience organised by us signs a Placement Agreement Form which states: "I will keep confidential any information I gain about the employer’s lawful activities and will not disclose it to anyone without the employer’s permission." Understanding the importance of confidentiality and the Data Protection Act is an important part of work experience.  Students are briefed beforehand and you may also wish to stress this during the student's induction.

Do the students need to be DBS / CRB checked?

Work experience students typically do not need to be DBS checked, even when working with children or vulnerable adults. Children under 16 cannot be DBS checked by law, whatever their role. Students over 16 may be DBS checked but it is not a requirement because students should not be working unsupervised at any time.  Care Quality Commission guidance states; "Students under 18 years of age on placements such as work experience do not require a CRB check on the basis that the role will not be taking the place of an existing care worker and will be supervised." However, it is always sensible to put sensible control measures in place to minimise risk e.g. in a residential care home, students should not go into to residents' bedrooms unsupervised. Similarly, sensible control measures should be put in place for work experience students who will be working with children e.g. students should not be allowed to bathe or toilet children. But although it is not a requirement, it is always for the employer to make a judgement on whether to DBS check a work experience student who is over 16 years of age.

During the placement

The student is feeling unwell. Should I let them go home?

Please inform school first who may need to contact the student’s parent/guardian.

What should I do if the student is absent or is unaccounted for?

If the student has not informed you that they will be absent, you should inform their school or contact us as soon as possible. Even if the student has contacted you, it is best practise to inform school.

What if the student is misbehaving?

Students are briefed before work experience on the high standards they are expected to meet.  If the student continually misbehaves even after being spoken to, you should inform school or get in touch.

What should I do if I think the student is being abused?

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Information for students on a placement

Why do work experience?

Work experience is an opportunity for you to gain real life experience of the working world while still at school or college. Work experience will help you to:

  • decide on your future career or study options
  • demonstrate your potential to future employers or universities
  • develop your employability skills

Employers, universities and apprenticeship providers are looking for candidates and recruits that stand out. Work experience is a valuable addition to your CV and will help you forge links with employers.

How can I find a placement?

Most Halton students do some work experience when in Years 10-13. We work with schools to organise your placements. You’ll be given a self placement form which you can take to an employer to ask if you can do work experience with that organisation. If they’re happy to offer you a placement, they should complete this form and hand it back to you to hand in at school or college. Remind them to make a note of when you’ll be coming, although we will write to them several weeks beforehand as a reminder. If you’re struggling to find a placement, you should speak to your school work experience coordinator who will be able to help you.

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Information for schools

Careers EIAG

Ofsted has been giving careers guidance a higher priority in school inspections since September 2013, taking into account how well the school delivers advice and guidance to all pupils in judging its leadership and management. We can offer comprehensive Careers EIAG provision, including:
  • Independent one-to-one careers guidance for students from Years 7 - 13
  • The latest labour market information from across Cheshire and the Liverpool City Region
  • Support on hand when you need us, including on parents’ evening and exam results day
 

One-to-one guidance

We can tailor a package to suit your school’s specific needs, including a dedicated careers advisor in your school every week and support on parents’ evening and exam results day. Scheduled one-to-one support is most useful for Year 8 or 9 students decided on their GCSE options and Year 11 and Year 13 students looking at their next steps.  But students right the way from Years 7 - 13 can use the drop in service to see their careers advisor at break, lunchtime and after school. Not only is the careers education, information, advice and guidance package extremely flexible, but it can be complemented by our work experience service and employability and enterprise activities, including mock interviews and CV workshops.

Careers fair

A careers fair is an excellent networking opportunity and a chance to meet representatives of potential future employers.  They're also a great chance to get to grips with the range of training providers available, from sixth form colleges to apprenticeship providers. We have great links with employers right across the Liverpool City Region to give your students a wide range of contacts.

Assembly speakers

Inspiring speakers can introduce students to a world outside their regular communities and ideas of work. They can also raise students aspirations and are a great way to keep in touch with your alumni community. The chance to hear from a successful figure can have a real impact on how students look at their own journey, education and aspirations in school and beyond.  

Work experience

Year 10-11

Work experience can form an important part of a rounded careers information, advice and guidance (CIAG) service, and is suggested in the government’s statutory guidance on careers guidance for young people in schools (March 2013). All students at Key Stage 4 in their last two years of compulsory education (ages 14-16) may do work experience to augment their careers information, advice and guidance.

Year 12-13

Students from age 16-18 (years 12-13) may do work experience as part of a 16-19 Study Programme. Work experience will be inspected and reported on by Ofsted as an integral part of the inspection of provision for 16-19 year olds against the Common Inspection Framework for FE and Skills 2012.

Employability and enterprise

Employability and enterprise activities can raise your students’ aspirations, increase their self-esteem and help them develop the skills they need to make informed decisions and manage change positively. From weekly workshops to one day careers fairs, our employability and enterprise packages can be tailor made to suit your school or college. All students can benefit from employability and enterprise skills, but it is particularly relevant to students who are vulnerable and who may disengage from learning and become part of the “not in education, employment or training” (NEET) group.  It will also help schools to prepare students for the impact of raising of the participation age (RPA) by enabling them to make well informed realistic decisions about their future.

Primary

We deliver exciting and engaging activities for primary schools in Halton and across Cheshire and Merseyside suitable for children in key stages 1 and 2. Our activities are designed to introduce children to the world of work and are mapped to the national curriculum and the new Ofsted framework. We know that each school is different and one size doesn’t fit all.  That’s why there’s no SLA for this service so schools can book as many or as few activities as they wish and at a time of year that suits you.